By Caribbean Business
Grupo Guayacán Inc. (GGI) will offer the third edition of its I-Corps Puerto Rico program at the University of Puerto Rico’s (UPR) Mayagüez Campus, marking the first time the program is offered outside of the San Juan metropolitan area and on a university campus. I-Corps Puerto Rico is an intensive customer discovery boot camp for entrepreneurs looking to build and develop scalable business models.
Through the five-week, program each team will learn about their potential markets by conducting over 100 customer discovery interviews with likely customers and market influencers. Based on the feedback and evidence gathered through the customer discovery phase, each team will build a business model canvas, detailing the venture’s value propositions, customer segments, key activities, resources and partners, sales/distribution channels, cost structures, and revenue streams. The program, which began last year, was awarded the Startup Program of the Year award at the recent H3 Tech Conference.
I-Corps is offered through a partnership between GGI and the Georgia Institute of Technology (GT), whose VentureLab manages the regional node for the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps. The program includes a two-day kick-off, three weekly meetings and a two-day conclusion workshop where each team presents the findings from the customer discovery process. The local teaching team will be led by Keith McGreggor, Venture Lab Director, entrepreneur and veteran I-Corps instructor.
“We are very pleased that, following two successful I-Corps cohorts during 2015, we are able to expand the program’s reach in order to continue discovering the great potential of our entrepreneurs and researchers,” said Laura Cantero, GGI’s executive director.
Like its recent second edition, the upcoming I-Corps session is funded mainly by the Puerto Rico Science, Technology & Research Trust. “Sponsoring I-Corps Puerto Rico is aligned with the Trust’s mission of investing in the knowledge economy so it can become a driver for economic development,” said Lucy Crespo, CEO of the Science Trust.
Providing access to I-Corps’ customer discovery methodologies is an important accomplishment for the UPR. “Through this program, we reiterate the university’s relevance on the topic of entrepreneurship which has become even more pertinent in Puerto Rico’s current situation,” said UPR President Dr. Uroyoán R. Walker Ramos.
John Fernández Van Cleve, Mayagüez Campus chancellor, also expressed his support for the new program. “Promoting an entrepreneurial mindset amongst our students and the commercialization of innovations developed on campus is a priority in our agenda to support Puerto Rico’s economic development.”
Interested teams must submit a brief online application at www.icorpssouth.com/puertorico. The application process will be open until Jan. 30. For additional information, contact Keila López at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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