Banco Santander Puerto Rico, through its Santander Universidades division, announced the winners of the fifth edition of the Santander Award for Business Innovation competition.
This contest rewards projects that promote creativity and innovation and that stimulates the development of small businesses among college students. In this edition, 26 proposals were received from 13 campuses and 36 students.
“Through the projects submitted, university students bet on their creativity to take a significant step in their career as entrepreneurs,” said Fredy Molfino, president of Santander Puerto Rico. “They are young people seeking to thrive and contribute to Puerto Rico’s economic and social development and deserve our recognition and support.”
The winner of the first prize, worth $10,000 was the “Sustainability of the National Agricultural Economy” project presented by student Luis Raimundo Bures-Martinez of the Universidad del Turabo.
This project involves the development of poultry facilities in disuse for hydroponic vegetable production in a controlled environment.
The second place went to the Eco-cell project presented by Gerardo Mena, Adrián Olivera, Luis del Valle and Joshua Rivera-Vázquez the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez Campus. This group of students received $5,000, for proposing the company that will produce fuel cells to give households an option for power generation. This would happen with minimal environmental impact that also contributes to independence from the power grid, according to the proposal
Third place, with a $3,000 prize, was awarded to the project CREATELOS by student Celia Castaner-Virella of the Inter American University Metropolitan Campus. This initiative offers workshops and integrated educational coaching to maximize life, academic and entrepreneurial skills among children and adolescents ages 6 to 17 years. In addition, education professionals, parents and adults can become certified in the CREATELOS Model.
In addition to cash prizes, the top two winners will have the use of private offices in a coworking space for two months, and the first-place winner could participate in eight meetings during a one-year period with a business management expert.
“In Santander we will continue supporting entrepreneurship as an engine for a prosperous Puerto Rico, and will continue contributing to the development of the college community, a key part of the island’s future,” Molfino said.