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Guayacán: 18 startups competing in ’17 EnterPRize

The team from Feliche Artisan Yogurt during their pitch.

After a judging session this past weekend, Grupo Guayacán Inc. (GGI) announced the 18 startups that will go on to compete as finalists in this year’s EnterPRize Business Building Competition, the organization announced Monday.

EnterPRize provides startups with access to an educational curriculum including workshops, mentoring, coaching, and the opportunity to compete for more than $100,000 in equity free seed capital from GGI and a group of corporate partners.

During the session, a group of more than 20 collaborators, sponsors, and mentors evaluated pitches from the 26 ventures that were participating in the competition’s semi-finalists round.

The finalist selection process took various factors into consideration, including the scalability of the business model, the strength of the team, and the quality of the pitch presentation.

The 2017 EnterPRize finalists are: Aguja Local, Aporte, BrainHi, Brands Of Americas, Clickup, Cognitio Corporation, Dame Un Bite, étnica, Feliche Artisan Yogurt, F.R.E.S.H. Export Solutions, Loveshare, Molcajete Foods, Poko, PRatian, Queso Kbra, SpotiN, Triad Agro Industrial and VermiPads.

The group includes startups from multiple industries including agribusiness and food, technology, e-commerce, and transportation.

It also features alumni from various entrepreneurial development programs including I-Corps Puerto Rico, The Founder Institute, Parallel18, and the local competition of the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards, sponsored by Entrepreneur’s Organization.

The 18 finalist teams will compete for $108,000 in equity free seed capital awards. The three top ventures will receive $50,000 in prizes by GGI: $25,000, $15,000, and $10,000, respectively.

They will also get access to billboard space sponsored by BMedia and a membership to the Puerto Rico Sales and Marketing Executives Association.

Additionally, finalists are eligible for $58,000 in special prizes within the following focus areas:

  • Agribusiness & Food: $12,000 sponsored by Puerto Rico Farm Credit (PRFC), Puerto Rico Coffee Roasters, and Caribbean Produce Exchange plus an additional $4,000 prize to the most innovative agribusiness, sponsored by PRFC;
  • Social Enterprise: $10,000 sponsored by Banco Popular;
  • Customer Experience: $5,000.00 sponsored by Liberty Puerto Rico;
  • Innovation: $5,000 sponsored by Ferraiuoli LLC;
  • Sustainability: $5,000 sponsored by Fundación Aireko;
  • Environmental Conservation: $5,000 sponsored by FirstBank;
  • Maritime Community: $5,000 sponsored by TOTE Maritime Puerto Rico;
  • Woman Entrepreneur in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math: $5,000 sponsored by Oriental Bank;
  • Student Entrepreneur: $2,000 and a direct pass to the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards sponsored by Entrepreneur’s Organization Puerto Rico Chapter;
  • Woman Entrepreneur: direct pass to participate in the next Access Latina Cohort;
  • Tech: coding course, valued at $6,000 sponsored by Codetrotters; and,
  • Sharing Economy: one-year membership to Piloto 151 Café co-working space in Santurce, valued at $3,000, sponsored Piloto 151.

EnterPRize winners will also have access to a broad and diverse portfolio of in-kind professional service providers, incluying Ferraiuoli LLC, RSM Puerto Rico, Afterthought Solutions LLC and Cobalto, among many others.

EnterPRize is GGI’s longest-standing entrepreneurial development offering, and continues to evolve by strengthening its educational curriculum and seeking new partnerships for special track prizes, the nonprofit said.

This year’s competition features 10 educational workshops including financials for start-ups, legal structure and intellectual property protection, tax incentives for emerging businesses, marketing, and sales, among other topics.

The educational curriculum is complemented with a series of coaching sessions where start-ups will have the opportunity to pitch their ventures to a group of experienced entrepreneurs, investors, service providers, and instructors who will provide feedback and recommendations.

The competition’s finalists will also benefit from additional workshops and coaching from veteran angel investors Susan Preston, Gwen Edwards and Ross Finlay, trustees and instructors of the Angel Resource Institute.

GGI’s partnership with ARI will allow start-ups to receive specialized support to prepare for raising capital from investors to scale and grow their ventures.

EnterPRize 2017 winners will be announced by GGI during its year-end event to be held Dece, 14 at the Puerto Rico Museum of Art.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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