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P.R. Trade and Export opens call for 2nd Innova program cycle

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Looking to promote business innovation, the Puerto Rico Trade and Export Company and the INprende business organization have announced the second call for the Puerto Rico Innova program, an initiative that seeks to empower future entrepreneurs.

The initiative seeks to help up-and-coming businesses with high potential for expansion and development, Secretary of Economic Development and Commerce Manuel Laboy said.

“During the first call for this initiative, 35 entrepreneurs had the opportunity to develop their business ideas through a process of self-knowledge, training and critical analysis,” he said. “Among the business proposals developed are distilleries, food and beverages, manufacturing, pet services and digital platforms for all types of products or services.”

“In this last line of digital platforms, it’s important to note that there is a marked trend toward business in the digital world,” Laboy said. “This indicates that more entrepreneurs will be looking for niches of opportunity to meet a demand identified in a particular market, which will allow them to develop a product or service that meets that demand.”

The new call for the Puerto Rico Innova cycle, the government is urging entrepreneurs who have an innovative business idea to give themselves the opportunity to conceptualize it, validate its scope and chances of success.

Puerto Rico Innova will be implemented in several stages. The first stage will begin with the call to all those people who have an innovative business idea to be selected to participate in a workshop which will aim to motivate participants to undertake and develop their business ideas, as well as train them on skills needed to increase the chances of success in their future as entrepreneurs.

That call will be open until Mar. 27, 2020 and may be accessed HERE. Two hundred participants will be chosen in the first phase.

In the second phase of the program, a selection process will be opened through a committee during which the 35 proposals or business ideas that meet the criteria of innovation, disruptive contribution and entrepreneurial vision will be chosen.

Those selected will become part of an extensive training program where they will learn to analyze and develop their idea, product or service, study the target market and its consumers, study possible sales and distribution channels, promotion, advertising, permits and legal aspects, as well as financing and commercial viability.

After the conclusion of the training and counseling period, it will give way to a third stage of the program where participants will present their business ideas to members of Puerto Rico’s business ecosystem.

They will select the best 10 business projects, which will receive individualized advice for three months to complete the commercial development of the business idea, branding, among other mentoring services.

During that process, Puerto Rico Trade will provide coworking space so that participants can continue developing their projects at the agency’s Entrepreneurship Center.

Upon completion, the 10 finalist entrepreneurs will have their implementation plan designed for their business, their branding, as well as a roadmap for future plans.

Part of Puerto Rico Innova’s activities of are possible through a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, an entity under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“Programs like Puerto Rico Innova are vital to educate and guide island entrepreneurs to develop sustainable companies that have innovation as their goal,” said INprende Founder Alessandra Correa.

“Now more than ever we need trained entrepreneurs who, through their ideas, create value for the island,” she said.

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