Sacred Heart University, through its “Nuestro Barrio: Santurce Cultural District Program” announced the 23 companies selected to participate in its training platform for the area’s creative businesses.
This initiative is possible through the allocation of $400,000 the university received from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to support the acceleration of creative industries, college officials said.
La Cepa 1.0, the name given to the business community, includes: Bena Creativa, Café de Luna, Casa Barbeiro, El Bloque, Festín, Filosofía para niños de Puerto Rico, Fundación Ismael Rivera, Galería National, Guillermo Domínguez, Happy Potts, Isis Cepeda, José Maldonado Publishing, La Serigráfica, Lilac, Martín Peña Recicla, MC Cono, Mother Flower, Proyecto 00915, Sofía Bistro Rooftop, Solo Pelota, TerraVita, Tonos Entertainment and TraduCooP.
“We received about 50 applications, so the selection process was not easy. The quality of the proposals submitted by these companies and the commitment that many already show with the Santurce communities make them stand out above the others,” said Javier De Jesús-Martinez, director of Neeuko-Center for Collaborative Innovation at Sacred Heart, which leads the initiative.
The group represents various sectors of the creative industries including visual arts, industrial design, fashion, culinary arts, publishing, sports, philosophy and more.
De Jesús pointed out that U.S. Census Bureau data and classifications by the United Nations in Puerto Rico show there are 2,355 creative industries with a market share of $2.37 billion, 18,181 jobs on record and an economic contribution of $1.75 million.
As part of the program, companies will participate in workshops on accounting, finance, marketing, strategic planning and other issues. They will also receive mentoring and individual consulting hours with expert staff. With this, the Nuestro Barrio team seeks to strengthen the company’s internal structures to successfully help market the products and services offered by participating companies.
Similarly, they will have access to Sacred Heart’s Center for Collaborative Innovation, which has a manufacturing laboratory and a team of experts in various branches of design.
At this stage of the program, the companies will work on creating prototypes of new products and services.