By : Caribbean Business staff
Grupo Guayacán Inc. (GGI) announced the launch of the 7th edition of its Venture Accelerator (GVA) program.
In its second edition for 2015, the GVA debuts an expanded curriculum with new workshops and instructors, and a strengthened mentoring component. GGI is looking to increase the GVA’s impact, which to date has graduated 50 local companies and 150 executives, “representing nearly 4,600 jobs in high-impact economic sectors, including information technology, manufacturing, distribution, entertainment, and other professional and financial services,” according to the announcement.
Since its start in 2010, the GVA has become a cornerstone of GGI’s entrepreneurial development programs and the only acceleration program in Puerto Rico targeting local growth companies with at least three years of operations. To be accepted into the program, applicants must demonstrate “commitment and organizational capacity for designing and implementing an aggressive growth plan including increased local market share, entry to new international markets, and the development of new products or services. The program provides a rigorous curriculum of advanced executive education offered by distinguished local and international academic and professionals,” GGI stated.
This edition of the GVA will feature participation from 10 local companies: ASC Holdings, Blue Ocean Industries, ECOLIFT Corp., Gascó Industrial Corp., Integrated Technology & Compliance Services, Location Marketing Platform, Máximo Solar Industries, Reality Realty PSC, Reciclaje del Norte Inc., and Tijuana’s Bar & Grill.
Three executives from each company will have the opportunity to participate in a series of eight workshops. This session will feature new workshops, including “Strategic Selling” and a session focused on the use of financial tools and resources to improve strategic decision-making.
Participants will also have access to mentoring opportunities to support them in the implementation of their growth plans in and outside Puerto Rico. Participating companies will also benefit from a series of coaching sessions featuring a rotating panel of entrepreneurs and professionals. These sessions will prepare the companies for GVA’s Demo Day, where graduating companies pitch their growth plans and capital needs to a panel of local and international investors.
“At Guayacán, we are very proud of the track record and impact the GVA has achieved throughout the past five years. This experience has allowed us to better understand and recognize the unique needs of local established companies that are looking to grow in and outside Puerto Rico. For this reason, we are deploying a series of programmatic changes, aimed at offering additional practical tools and resources to support our participating companies who have accepted the challenge of growing even in difficult economic conditions, such as the ones we are experiencing in Puerto Rico today,” said Laura Cantero, executive director of GGI.
The GVA’s workshops are offered by a group of international and local resources, including: Prof. John Mullins from the London Business School; Jeffrey Leavitt, Kauffman Fellow and partner at DLA Piper; Martín Kleman, vice president of Sales and Customer Services at Sellutions-Miller Heiman; Miguel Moreda, restructuring adviser and CFO at Porto Capital; Monro Lanier, vice president and partner at McLarty Capital Partners; Francisco Uriarte, president of Aireko Capital and Grupo Guayacán chairman; Randy Thompson, president of VA Angels; and Robert Dávila, president of DHD Services and former executive director of Grupo Guayacán.
“The GVA is one of the most important tools available within Puerto Rico’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. This initiative allows us to promote the development of entrepreneurs and ventures capable of generating economic and social value for Puerto Rico through innovative projects. Pridco is proud to partner in this effort and we recognize the program’s ability to promote economic and industrial development for Puerto Rico, leveraging our capacities as a destination for investment,” said Pridco Executive Director Antonio Medina-Comas.
Grupo Guayacán also highlighted the contribution and support of the Puerto Rico Trade and Export Co. (CCE by its Spanish initials), which is once again sponsoring the participation of three selected companies and will provide participants with support as they develop and execute export plans. “The alliance between the Puerto Rico Trade and Export Co. and the GVA is an excellent example of the strategic partnerships we have secured in order to support local businesses with the potential to scale and grow,” said Frankie Chévere, executive director of the Puerto Rico Trade and Export Company.
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