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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

DDEC, UPR-Mayagüez launch call for innovative business ideas


Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Manuel Cidre Miranda

By The Star Staff


The Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC by its Spanish acronym) announced Tuesday a call for innovative business ideas under Puerto Rico Innova.


The initiative, coordinated under the DDEC Trade and Export Program, seeks to promote the development of innovation applied to business projects with high potential for expansion. The new edition will be led by the DDEC in conjunction with the Mayagüez Campus (RUM) of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR).


“Puerto Rico is innovative, but in order to compete with the rest of the world, it is necessary to apply this capacity by thinking outside the box in the business field,” DDEC Secretary Manuel Cidre Miranda said of Puerto Rico Innova, which in its past three editions produced more than 200 business ideas. “With this objective in mind, and together with the UPR of Mayagüez, we launch this call to continue training those people who have an innovative business idea so that they give themselves the opportunity to validate it.”


RUM Chancellor Agustín Rullán Toro noted that “the Mayagüez Campus has a solid ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship that has been strengthened for decades, thanks to the work of our Center for Business and Economic Development (CNDE), attached to the College of Business Administration.”


“From the Center, in collaboration with various institutional initiatives, multiple business and training projects have been forged for members of our community in the western region and the rest of the island,” he said. “This collaborative agreement with the DDEC, through the PR Innova program, consolidates this feat and allows the training pathway to continue for more entrepreneurs, through the CNDE platforms and its resources with experience in promoting business, innovation and technology, so that it results in the economic development of Puerto Rico.”


In the first phase of the project, 100 entrepreneurs will be selected for the business training program, which will be offered in person in Ponce and Mayagüez, where participants will develop the necessary skills to increase the chances of success for their business. Companies will have the opportunity to analyze and develop their idea, product or service, and study the target market and its consumers, as well as write their business plan and identify possible sales and distribution channels. They will also receive guidance on promotion, publicity, permits and legal aspects, as well as financing and commercial viability. The training will start from the first week of March and will be free of charge.


In the second phase of the program, a selection process will begin through a panel that will choose the best 30 projects that have completed their business plan. Those entrepreneurs will have access to specialized and individual strategic advice and will have a specialist mentor who will assist them in the technical areas of business development.


The finalists who qualify will be able to participate in a “Demo Day” in which they will have the opportunity to present their business ideas to potential investors. Demo Day winners will receive seed capital for the development of their business idea. First place will receive $20,000, second place $15,000, and third place $10,000.


Interested parties must complete a participation form and go through a selection process in which the best business proposals will be chosen. Those proposals will be evaluated under the criteria of feasibility, commercialization, and technical and financial capacity.


The call will be available until Feb. 24 and can be accessed through the page www.refuerzoeconomico.ddec.pr.gov


More information can be acquired by sending an email to: programaprinnova@ddec.pr.gov.

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