Guayacán Opens Doors to the Future

Despite current vicissitudes, the Guayacán Venture Accelerator (GVA) program continues with its mission to help businesses develop themselves and boost their growth capacity in times of great economic challenges.

The initiative consists of the selection of 14 companies prepared to take the next step to expand and open a field in Puerto Rico or abroad, marketing their products or services. Participants — selected through a competitive process — must have at least three years of operations and demonstrate that they have the capacity and commitment to develop and implement an aggressive growth plan.

“The program is designed for growth opportunities. We provide workshops with resources in different areas of need. They are helped with management and contacts that can help them, depending on each industry and its challenges. The program has proved to be an agent of change that has enabled hundreds of entrepreneurs to expand their companies’ vision to successfully take them to the next level,” explained Natalia Arias, program manager at Grupo Guayacán.

“For this year’s participants, the knowledge and tools that we provide during the workshops come at a propitious moment so that they can sustain themselves and evolve within the scenario that we face due to the pandemic,” she added.

The Advanced Executive Education curriculum provides participants with the knowledge and tools to develop their growth plans. This may include expanding its local presence, developing new lines of products or services, or exporting to new markets. The program is made up of 14 virtual educational workshops offered by a group of academics, executives and investors recognized in the business world both in Puerto Rico and internationally.

Each company is offered the help of a mentor to develop its expansion plans and they benefit from coaching sessions to present their growth plans before a panel of business experts and local and international investors at the GVA Company Showcase.

Shayra Norat, administrator of Viktor Pollo — a chain of restaurants specialized in selling BBQ chicken with seven locations in Puerto Rico and one in Florida — explained the benefit of the workshops, since she was chosen as one of the participants in the 2020 group.

“I have only taken a three-day workshop and I have benefited a lot because I am already seeing how I am going to start the expansion. The tools they give you can be used immediately to plan the growth of your business. We are very positive about expanding our wagons in Puerto Rico and the United States,” Norat said about her company, which has 165 employees.

Selected companies include Alten Group, Arcon, Better Blinds, Chocolate Cortés, Hacienda San Pedro, the Puerto Rico Museum of Contemporary Art, P.E.C.E.S. and PR Deli Provisions.

Launched in 2010, the GVA is the only business acceleration program in Puerto Rico designed to enhance the growth of established companies with a demonstrated commitment and capacity to design and implement aggressive growth strategies. Participating companies are guided to critically evaluate their business model, incorporate strategies for rapid growth, and determine the type of resources needed to execute these new strategies.

The program concludes with a company showcase where the participating companies will present their growth plans to the business and investment community. Since 2010, the GVA has impacted over 79 graduating companies representing more than 6,000 jobs and over 251 executives.

As originally reported by: The Weekly Journal