Grupo Guayacán Inc. (GGI) launched the 10th edition of the Guayacán Venture Accelerator (GVA), its program geared at accelerating the development of established companies in Puerto Rico which are seeking new growth opportunities.
The program kicked off with a three-day workshop offered by veteran instructor and former GGI Executive Director, Robert “Bob” Dávila, focused on innovation as a source of new business opportunities.
This year, the program has the support of the Hispanic Federation which granted funding to GGI to develop and integrate new programmatic content focused on resiliency to the GVA curriculum.
This year’s program will offer a total of 14 educational workshops featuring local and international speakers, topics include: strategic planning, human resources and organizational development, exports, valuation, corporate governance, and sales strategies, among others.
The GVA Class of 2018 will feature 11 participating companies representing a variety of industries in Puerto Rico: Able Sales, AZ Engineering, Conspro Corp., EDP University, IT Group, Empresas La Ceba, Levain Artisan Breads, Nazareno Services, Piloto 151, South Caribbean Financial Services and Synerlution.
In total, GVA participants generate nearly $70 million in sales and represent more than 520 jobs in Puerto Rico.
The GVA was first launched in 2010 and is one of GGI’s cornerstone entrepreneurship programs, and 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, and the development of new products or services.
“At Guayacán, we feel immensely proud to launch this 10th edition of the GVA, a program that is unique in its scope and target and that, throughout the years has impacted 79 companies in Puerto Rico, representing more than 6,000 jobs in the local economy,” said Laura Cantero, executive director of Grupo Guayacán.
“After successfully concluding the 2017 GVA, which was interrupted by Hurricane María, we feel confident that this new class will continue to reach new levels of success and it is our privilege to support them through educational resources and mentorship,” she said.
This new class also marks a milestone in the development of the GVA’s fellowship program, which has grown significantly over the past years, she said.
The “Pay-it-Forward Program,” founded by Fuller Group CEO and 2013 GVA Alumni Jorge López, covers the cost of tuition for current participants with the condition that they, in turn, sponsor a company’s participation the following year.
This is the fourth year of uninterrupted support by Fuller to the program which has impacted participants such as Máximo Solar, Connect Road Assist and MedPlus Solutions, among others. In addition to the four “Pay-it-Forward” fellows, the 2018 GVA will also offer four new fellowships by industry sector:
- Health Innovation by MCS Foundation: Nazareno Services
- Puerto Rico Builder’s Association: Two Fellowships granted to AZ Engineering and Conspro Corp.
- Visitor Economy by Foundation for Puerto Rico: Levain Artisan Breads
The GVA is also sponsored by the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company.