Nonprofits unite to promote tourism industry start-ups
The Foundation for Puerto Rico and the Center for Entrepreneurs will join forces to develop business ideas, in 54 hours, that strengthen the island’s tourism ecosystem.
During the first Startup Weekend, dedicated to the visitor economy — slated to take place Dec. 11-13 — participants focused on strategies to transform Puerto Rico into a world-class destination, said Giselle Nevares, programs director for the Foundation for Puerto Rico.
“Startup Weekend gives us the opportunity to provide entrepreneurs an overview of Puerto Rico as a destination and the business benefits that this represents,” said Nevares.
The visitor economy includes all direct, indirect and inferred investments generated by a tourist. In other words, it represents all new capital that enters the island as a result of an individual’s visit.
“Despite the economic downturn and the global geo-political conflicts, the travel industry continues to grow. It is an opportunity for economic development for all countries, and Puerto Rico,” she said.
Startup Weekend is an event ideas are developed in 54 hours, its business model is validated and viable product is developed. These events seek to unite in one space creatives, entrepreneurs and programmers so that they can collaborate and create results via teamwork.
With this event, the nonprofits seek to identify ideas to boost the visitor economy, ranging from services to innovative companies that include new technologies.
“We expect participation from people wishing to set up a business from authentic food to public-private partnerships to help mitigate transportation challenges visitors may find. The possibilities are endless, as long as the desire to undertake them is there,” Nevares said.
Manwhile, Nerma Albertorio, co-founder of the Center for Entrepreneurship said “these events are part of a global movement that promotes the development of business ideas related to technology to turn them into successful businesses.”
This movement has managed to organize 1,068 events in 478 cities around the world, including Puerto Rico, she said.