STARTUPS OF PUERTO RICO TO MEET NEW YORK CITY’S STARTUP COMMUNITY ON OCTOBER 15TH, 2013

STARTUPS OF PUERTO RICO TO MEET NEW YORK CITY’S STARTUP COMMUNITY ON OCTOBER 15TH, 2013

 

            NEW YORK, NY – Four Puerto Rico startups will pitch their businesses and products here on Tuesday, October 15th, 2013 at the Startups of Puerto Rico Showcase event.  The event will be held at the Puerto Rico office, 135 West 50th Street in Manhattan.

            The startups pitching are: Blimp, represented by Giovanni Collazo, a startup providing “beautiful and easy project management for doers”.  Leavebox, represented by Roberto Santos, describes itself as the place “where Human Resources meets Business Intelligence by providing tools to manage employee absences”.  Kytelabs, represented by Jonathan Gonzalez, offers OneCard, “The last card you’ll ever carry.  Pay from any account, anywhere, on any system.  Say goodbye to your wallet.”  And, finally, iGenApps, represented by Norman Ortiz, allows users to “create function-rich mobile apps from the palm of your hand with no programming”.

            The pitches will take place in the evening session of the program, in front of an esteemed panel of judges, including Bob Dorf, Amol Sarva, KJ Singh, and Ricardo García Amaya.  Bob is a startup trainer and coach and co-author of the book “The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-step guide for building a great company”.  He has “founded 7 startups for 2 home runs, 2 basehits, 3 tax losses.”  Amol Sarva is a self-described “Founder, builder, and philosopher” currently building a new company.  He was the founder of Peek, which “created the world’s first mass-market smart device – a $30 email and internet gadget that won Time’s Gadget of the Year, Wired’s #1 Gadget and many more awards on its debut.”  KJ Singh, is currently a Director at startup accelerator TechStars NYC.  Ricardo García Amaya, Executive Director of the New America Alliance Angels, will also be part of the panel.  Without a doubt, a winning panel to provide valuable insights to the entrepreneurs.

Other entrepreneurs from the Puerto Rico startup community will also present on their expertise areas, including Luis Figarella, discussing how a coherent IP strategy (including patents) can make or break an entrepreneurs’ lifelong dreams.  Carlos Cobián, who has expanded his business to 17 countries and thrived across multiple generations of mobile technologies, will share his lessons learned.  Lastly, Albizu García will discuss insider secrets that prove Facebook is now the go-to, bang-for-buck platform for fast-growing startups.

The program described here is a partial view.  The event will run from 2 pm to 930 pm.  See all details and register through:  http://prstartupshowcase.eventbrite.com/  A social will follow at 930 pm, hosted by the local group Fans & Friends of Startups of Puerto Rico.  All are welcome to join!

            The event is sponsored by law firm Perkins Coie and Antrocket.  With more than 900 lawyers in 19 offices across the United States and Asia, Perkins Coie provides a full array of corporate, commercial litigation and intellectual property legal services to clients that span the range of entities in the business world—from FORTUNE 50 corporations to small, independent start-ups, as well as public and not-for-profit organizations.  Perkins Coie was named “Law Firm of the Year” in Patent (2013) and in Venture Capital (2012 –2013) by U.S. News – Best Lawyers.  Learn more at http://www.perkinscoie.com/

Antrocket is an innovative crowdfunding platform for the Latino communities created to help promote, empower and put your ideas in the market. Our end goal is to help you realize your dreams, while benefiting the people around with ease of life, jobs and stability.  Here, good ideas that don’t fit the traditional financier’s criteria have the opportunity to boom, because our platform provides access to raise the capital needed. Antrocket.com is the crowdfunding site designed by Innovation Fund Corp.  Learn more at http://www.antrocket.com/en/

 

CONTACT:

Marcos Polanco  mjpolanco@gmail.com

Carmen L Bonilla carmen.bonilla239@gmail.com

 

 

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Startups of Puerto Rico in NYC (TM) to host its first event in New Jersey

The group brings together Tri-state based entrepreneurs and all interested in doing business with startups in Puerto Rico

 

September 6, 2013, New York, NY – Startups of Puerto Rico in NYCTM, a recently-launched group that brings together Tri-state based entrepreneurs and all interested in doing business with startups in Puerto Rico, announced today its first networking event to be held in New Jersey.

The event will be held on Wednesday, September 11th, 2013 in Hoboken.  To see all details, logon to:  http://www.meetup.com/Startups-of-Puerto-Rico/

The group was first launched in NYC less than a month ago and has so far included the participation of technology and design entrepreneurs, academics, service providers, and startup enthusiasts.  At its first meeting, Carmen Bonilla, the group’s founder, explained the motivation behind the initiative: to strengthen ties between the Puerto Rican startup community on the island and the startup community in New York City in order to promote Puerto Rico as a technology hub. “Since the New York area continues to be the largest Puerto Rican community in the diaspora, it is natural that we create a chapter in NYC”, said Bonilla.

A new startup community has flourished in recent years in Puerto Rico, partly in response to the island’s economic difficulties. The startup community there, which has adopted the name of “Startups of Puerto Rico”, recently stated goals of promoting the establishment of 50 startups over the next 5 years, which generate at least $1 million dollars of annual revenue. The group in NYC would support those goals.

Startups of Puerto Rico in New York CityTM will provide programs and networking to its members and aim to grow the pipeline of aspiring entrepreneurs and the number of startups both in Puerto Rico and in NYC.  The group seeks to share resources between the two locations and to ultimately promote Puerto Rico as a technology hub. The group is open to all interested in startups of Puerto Rico, located on the island and/or in NYC. You can join for free at http://www.meetup.com/Startups-of-Puerto-Rico/

 

CONTACT INFO:

Carmen L Bonilla

Carmen@puertoricoventures.com

Twitter: @claura97

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Fans & Friends of Startups of Puerto Rico launches in New York City

The new group brings together NYC entrepreneurs and enthusiasts of startups of Puerto Rico

 

August 15, 2013, New York, NY – A new group to bring together entrepreneurs and enthusiasts of startups of Puerto Rico has launched in New York City. The group’s first meeting was held in Manhattan on Thursday, August 15, 2013 and included the participation of 18 technology and design entrepreneurs, academics, service providers, and startup enthusiasts.

Carmen Bonilla, founder of the New York City-based group, explained the motivation behind the initiative: to strengthen ties between the Puerto Rican startup community on the island and the startup community in New York City in order to promote Puerto Rico as a technology hub. “Since the New York area continues to lead in terms of the number of Puerto Ricans in the US, it is natural that we create a chapter in NYC”, said Bonilla.

She explained that a new startup community has flourished in recent years in Puerto Rico, partly in response to the island’s economic difficulties. The startup community there, which has adopted the name of “Startups of Puerto Rico”, recently stated goals of promoting the establishment of 50 startups over the next 5 years, which generate at least $1 million dollars of annual revenue. The group in NYC would support those goals.

Marcos Polanco, guest speaker at the event and himself a technology entrepreneur based in Puerto Rico, provided further background about the recent history of entrepreneurship in the island. He indicated that the first handful of technology startups first sprung up on the island during Internet 1.0, including www.altamente.com (2000), www.alchavo.com (1998) and www.vervenetwork.com (1999). Collaborating with Ramphis Castro, another local technology entrepreneur, Polanco started bringing entrepreneurship educational programs, such as Startup Lessons Learned conference (since renamed Lean Startup Conference), This Week in Startups, and Barcamp to the island in 2010, engaging speakers and mentors from Silicon Valley.

Since then, other local entrepreneurs have joined Polanco and Castro in organizing events and the startup community on the island has benefitted from participating in pitch workshops, Startup Weekends, TEDx, Hackathons, NEXT, and Founder Institute programs. A Startup Weekend to be held this fall will feature a CoFoundersLab as well. The educational and training programs have supported the latest crop of startups, which include www.getblimp.com and www.kytelabs.com, among others.

Fans & Friends of Startups of Puerto Rico will provide programs and networking to its members and aim to grow the pipeline of aspiring entrepreneurs and the number of startups both in Puerto Rico and in NYC.  The group seeks to share resources between the two locations and to ultimately promote Puerto Rico as a technology hub. The group is open to all interested in startups of Puerto Rico, located on the island and/or in NYC. You can join for free at http://www.meetup.com/Startups-of-Puerto-Rico/

                              

CONTACT INFO:

Carmen L Bonilla

Twitter: @claura97

 

Marcos Polanco

Twitter: @marcospolanco

 

Ramphis Castro

Twitter: @jramphis

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What is possible for Puerto Rico’s future and economy? Startups could provide a new direction

By Carmen L Bonilla
7 August 2013

I was excited when, earlier this year, I discovered a post on Parranda’s LinkedIn group page about startup companies in Puerto Rico. Someone had posted Mark Hayward’s “Sun, Surf & Startups” e-book, which I quickly downloaded. As a Puerto Rican living in the US, I don’t track all news coming from Puerto Rico and I was delighted to hear of Puerto Rico’s burgeoning startup scene – a concerted initiative and effort by citizen entrepreneurs that I like to describe as “never before seen in PR.”

Recent years had only brought pessimistic news about PR’s economic woes: “Puerto Rico Looks To Approve Budget To Solve Economic Crisis”, “Is Puerto Rico the Greece of the Caribbean?”, and so on. It was through the latter that I learned of PR’s multi-year recession, estimated at 7 years long now, and the resulting pressures of the decline in population with the massive exodus of 500,000 Puerto Ricans to the mainland over the last decade.

This is where I invite you, reader, to breathe in and breathe out. These are tough news to read about our beloved Puerto Rico and I don’t mean for your experience of reading this blog to be stressful.

I think, at this juncture, it is more empowering to think and wonder “What could be possible for Puerto Rico?” It’s a question of inspiration, hope, and excitement in the opportunities we can create for a different future for Puerto Rico. In search for inspiration, I turned to history. I found some in the book entitled “Puerto Rico… a success story”, written by Ralph Hancock, because it narrates the magnificent stories of Puerto Rico’s past economic development success story.

“Puerto Rico has created a favorable business climate and sparked a phenomenal boom in industry… Puerto Rico has made jobs for thousands and raised the living standards of everyone on the island… Today it stands foremost as a prosperous, healthy land of opportunity… Largely by its own intensive effort, Puerto Rico has achieved today a level of economic and social development little short of the miraculous.” According to Ralph, Puerto Rico’s success story could be felt in the emotions of the people: “for the moment there is courage, hope and vitality”.

I was also fascinated by how Ralph connected with our Puerto Rican psyche and describes us to the world as “simpatico”, says “there is little hypocrisy in the Puerto Rican make-up” and, about us at work, references someone’s comment that “Puerto Ricans are thirsty for knowledge, they try hard…”

How do I tie all this back in with startups? History reminds us that previous generations got up, worked hard, and put Puerto Rico on the world stage as a success story of development and progress. Our parents and grandparents did it and so can we do it once again. I believe that we are set to create something great for Puerto Rico through our new startup companies, our new technologies, our new ideas, our new passion. And, we are set to create more collaboration than we have set out to create before. We are setting out to create community, to find new ways of collaborating, of helping each other, of creating new opportunities.

This is my motivation behind calling together the group “Fans & Friends of Startups of Puerto Rico”. This group, starting in New York City, seeks to bring together those interested in startups of Puerto Rico, seeks to create community here, seeks to reach out to Puerto Rico, find new ways of collaborating and helping each other.

Our first meeting is planned for next week. I’m excited about the reception so far and look forward to a great meeting and conversation!

You’re welcome to sign up here if you’re interested: http://www.meetup.com/Startups-of-Puerto-Rico/
If you can’t make it, I’ll keep you posted on how it goes on my next blog post. In the meantime, please share your thoughts. Would very much like to hear from you!

Referenced websites and stories:
(1) http://parranda.org/
(2) http://mark-hayward.com/2013/05/13/puerto-rico-startups/
(3) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/29/puerto-rico-economic-cris_n_3521555.html?utm_hp_ref=puerto-rico
(4) http://www.cnbc.com/id/50010562
(5) Hancock, Ralph. Puerto Rico… A success story. Van Nostrand (publisher), 1960
(6) http://www.meetup.com/Startups-of-Puerto-Rico/

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