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UPR i+c Labs opens 1st call for incubator program

The University of Puerto Rico’s Innovation and Marketing Support Center, known as the UPR i+c Labs in Spanish, is announcing the initial call for participants — individuals or groups — to take part in its “Become an entrepreneur and innovate for Puerto Rico” incubator program.

The UPR received $1.2 million from the Puerto Rico Housing Department this year, through the CDBG-DR’s Small Business Incubators and Accelerators Program. Applications will be accepted through Sept. 24, and the first cycle will begin Oct. 4, campus officials said.

The funding will cover five training cycles through the year 2026.

Up to 10 people or teams of community entrepreneurs with defined business ideas who need support to move from idea to action will be chosen. Groups will receive free individualized training and support.

Specialized mentors will accompany the participants in the creation of the business plan and in the company’s early start and development, for a period that can extend up to 18 months. Additionally, those with innovative ideas will have access to manufacturing teams to design and build prototypes of their inventions.

“As the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor study has identified and documented, there is a significant gap in Puerto Rico between the conception, formation, and early development of a business idea — many people start ventures, but few survive the early development stage,” said Marinés Aponte, one of the researchers and director of the UPR i+c Labs incubator.

“This explains why we have a low rate of established ventures compared to other countries. The incubator focuses precisely on the phases of conception, training, and early development of the venture, in such a way as to increase the probability that the business will successfully go from idea to market,” she said.

Each selected group must have a leader available to attend in-person a weekly workshop that will be taught in the Incubator, located at the UPR’ Río Piedras Campus.

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

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