Caribbean Business Online
SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico-based business accelerator Grupo Guayacán Inc. (GGI) announced that three new directors have agreed to serve on the organization’s board. The new appointees are Javier Soltero, corporate vice president of Outlook for Microsoft; Dr. Frances Colón, founding board member of Cenadores Puerto Rico; and Ángel Pérez, vice president of Rock Solid Technologies.
“On behalf of GGI’s Board of Directors, I am very proud to welcome these three amazing individuals to the Guayacán family. As Guayacán prepares to celebrate its 20th anniversary this year, we are certain that their skills and experience will be of great value to this organization’s vision and leadership and we are thankful for their commitment,” said Francisco Uriarte, partner in Aireko Companies and GGI chairman.
Soltero, a technology entrepreneur born and raised in Puerto Rico, leads the team responsible for the vision and strategy for Microsoft’s Outlook client and cloud service across all platforms. Before that role, he was the general manager of Outlook Mobile, the most downloaded iOS and Android Microsoft mobile app. Soltero joined Microsoft in 2014 when Acompli, the startup he co-founded, was acquired. “I’m very excited to bring the Silicon Valley perspective to help further Grupo Guayacán’s mission to develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Puerto Rico,” Soltero said in a GGI statement announcing the new appointees.
Colón is a Puerto Rican scientist, advocate and policy leader. In addition to her role as deputy science and technology adviser to the U.S. Secretary of State, Colón is a founding board member of Cenadores PR, a group that seeks to harness the connections and technical expertise of the Puerto Rican diaspora to empower civil society in Puerto Rico.
“I’m honored to have the privilege of joining this team. I admire Guayacán’s nearly 20-year track record of working to jumpstart entrepreneurial and economic development in Puerto Rico through an innovative model that leverages the catalytic power of the private equity asset class,” Colón said in the statement. Throughout her career, Colón has worked to promote the integration of science and technology into foreign policy dialogs, the advancement of women in science, and innovation as a tool for economic growth around the world.
Pérez is a local entrepreneur, who has led Rock Solid Technologies’ efforts to increase the software company’s international presence, focusing on Latin America and the Caribbean. “Having participated in all of Guayacán’s initiatives and programs since 2006, I can attest to the great impact that the organization’s work has had on Puerto Rico’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. I have witnessed how gaps in the ecosystem have been filled and how the entrepreneurial landscape has become more robust, thanks largely to Guayacán’s programs and the partnerships it has established. I’m honored to join this Board and put all my experience and energy behind this organization,” Pérez added.
In 2010, Rock Solid Technologies graduated from the first class of the Guayacán Venture Accelerator (GVA), an executive development program aimed at accelerating the growth of mature companies. Pérez was also a Guayacán fellow, attending MIT’s Entrepreneurial Development Program in 2007. As a GGI alumni, Pérez has also participated in other efforts, including championing the team that represents Puerto Rico at MIT’s Regional Entrepreneurial Development Program. Pérez is also a founding partner at Ausubo Ventures, Puerto Rico’s first angel investing group.
The new directors were selected through a nomination and screening process led by GGI board Vice Chairman Manuel Calderón, board member Francisco Martorell, and Executive Director Laura Cantero.
“At Guayacán, we pride ourselves on having a strong and independent governance structure, anchored by a robust board of directors that includes people from different sectors and a diverse set of backgrounds. On this occasion, we are pleased to welcome Javier and Frances, two distinguished members of the Puerto Rican diaspora, who are eager to give back by finding ways to meaningfully engage with local organizations that are making a difference on the island. We are also proud to have Ángel, one of GGI’s most notable alumni and a tireless collaborator to our efforts,” Cantero said.
The GGI Board also includes Antonio Medina, executive director of the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Co., as an ex-officio member.
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