Grupo Guayacán Inc. (GGI) announced the start of the 11th edition of the Guayacán Venture Accelerator (GVA), its business development program for established companies in search of new growth opportunities.
The class of 2019 includes 11 companies and a nonprofit organization, for a total of 12 participants representing a wide variety of industries in Puerto Rico.
The class includes: Casa Grande Interactive, DISS, Dunas Contractors Group, ERC Engineers, Estuario de la Bahía de San Juan, Flanes Cedó, Glenn International, La Hacienda, Printech, Signs & Media, Tilde & Co., and Zen Spa.
These companies generate close to $80 million in aggregate annual sales and represent 635 jobs in the local economy, Guayacán said.
With this group, GGI celebrates the milestone of having reached 100 Puerto Rican companies since the GVA began in 2010, executives said.
“It is a privilege to welcome this new group of GVAs and, together with them, celebrate the important milestone of impacting 100 local companies through the program,” said Laura Cantero, executive director of Grupo Guayacán.
“This year’s participants are leaders in their industries, who are committed to the growth of their companies, and to Puerto Rico,” she said. “We’re confident that this new class will continue to grow and succeed, and we are proud to be able to support them through educational resources, mentoring and coaching.”
Since its inception, the GVA has become one of GGI’s cornerstone entrepreneurship programs and is the only program in Puerto Rico designed to boost the growth of established companies with at least three years of operation.
Program applicants must demonstrate organizational capacity and commitment to design and implement an aggressive growth plan that may include increasing local market share, entry to new international markets, or the development of new products or services.
The program consists of a series of 14 educational workshops offered by a group of academics, professionals, executives, and investors from Puerto Rico, the U.S. mainland, and Canada. Some of the workshop topics include: Strategic planning, company valuation, corporate governance, and sales strategies, among others.
The program kicked off this past weekend with a three-day workshop titled “Identifying Growth Opportunities” offered by former Grupo Guayacán Executive Director, Robert Dávila.
This class also marks the 5th year of the Pay-it-Forward scholarship program founded by Jorge López, CEO of Fuller Group and GVA 2014 alumni.
Recipients receive an incentive which covers program tuition with the condition that they commit to sponsor a participant of the subsequent class.
The fellowship program has benefited companies like La Ceba, Máximo Solar, and Connect Road Assist, among others. In addition to the five Pay-it-Forward scholarships, the 2019 GVA has six additional scholarships thanks to the collaboration of several corporate sponsors:
- Health Innovation by MCS Foundation: granted to DISS;
- Puerto Rico Builder’s Association, together with AZ Engineering and Conspro Corp. (last year’s recipients): three fellowships granted to Dunas Contractors, ERC Engineers, and Glenn International;
- Titín Foundation: granted to Estuario de la Bahía de San Juan; and,
- Banco Popular: granted to Printech.
The GVA is also sponsored by the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company.