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Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. 
All opinions, conclusions and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of SBA. 

 

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and The Puerto Rico Trade Company: Partners in export promotion and development of technology based startups

 

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) supports important programs and trade related activities organized and coordinated by the Puerto Rico Trade and Export Company (PR Trade).  Federal investment funds granted by the SBA’s Federal & State Technology Partnership program (FAST) in 2014 ($90,909.00) and in 2015 ($100,000.00) support PR Trade’s PRO TECH program for the promotion of technology based startups in the island.

In addition to these grants, PR Trade was also awarded with funds from SBA’s State & Trade Export Promotion (STEP) program in 2015 ($288,650.00), to help support the promotion of Puerto Rico’s exports abroad, allowing exporters to participate in trade shows and trade missions abroad to increase their sales and facilitating their introduction to new markets.

 

The STEP Program

SBA’s State & Trade Export Promotion (STEP) program is a matching-fund awarded to states to assist small businesses enter and succeed in the international marketplace. The program’s objectives are to increase the number of U.S. small businesses that export and the value of exports by small businesses. Thanks to the funding provided by SBA’s STEP grant, Puerto Rico’s exporters will be able to participate in 2016 in trade mission to Colombia and México, and exhibit at important international trade shows such as Expocomer (Panama), Expo Capac (Panama) and America’s Food & Beverages (Miami, Florida). 

 

What is PRO-TECH?

PRO TECH is a creative and innovative program created by PR Trade which brings world-class experts and top resources to foster the creation and support of technology-based startups and the necessary environment for innovation and the commercialization of their products and services.  It is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program.

Carta Circular Pro-Tech

 

PRO TECH Collaborators

In 2014, PRO TECH was the result of a collaborative effort between the Puerto Rico Trade and Export Company (PR TRADE), Puerto Rico Science and Technology Trust (PR TRUST), Founders Institute (FI) Puerto Rico Chapter and Guayacán Group (GG) and partial funds from FAST and PR Trade.  In the current 2015-2016 edition of the FAST grant, additional partners such as  Ferraiuoli LLC and  the Universidad del Sagrado Corazón became part of the program.

 

PRO TECH Benefits

In the 2015 edition, the participating startups who graduated with the top scores from the renowned Founders Institute Startup Program in Puerto Rico in 2014, benefitted from multiple incentives under the PRO TECH program: free shared office space at PR TRUST’s headquarters, seed money to execute their business plan to cover expenses such as licenses, trademark registration, patent registration and reimbursement of costs related to their incorporation, among others. Participants under the program also attended the South by Southwest (SXSW) Trade Show in Austin, Texas on March of 2015. SXSW is the premier trade show for technology-based startups showcasing the latest trends and networking sessions with potential investors and buyers. 

Moreover, startups received additional coaching on how to present to investors, and pitch to Angel Investors brought from the United States at the PRO TECH Startup Showcase in November 20, 2015. For the PRO TECH 2015-2016 edition, five new startups will attend SXSW 2016 and receive free shared office space at PR TRUST headquarters and seed money to help develop their companies, funded in part by FAST 2015-2016 grant.

 

 PRO TECH Puerto Rico Startups SXSW 2015:

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 PRO TECH Startups at SXSW 2015 in Austin, Texas

  

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Pitching to Angel Investors (PRO TECH Startup Showcase/SXSW 2016 contest)

In preparation to be choose the startups ready to pitch to Angel Investors brought by PR Trade from New York, the 5 SXSW 2015 startups and over 20 additional startups where invited to participate in theHow to pitch to investors?workshop provided  by the Angel Resource Institute.  Participants also received additional individual coaching sessions at the Puerto Rico  Technology and Science Trust (PR Trust) and at Guayacán Group (GG) headquarters.  An Evaluation Committee composed ofPR Trade, Founder Institute (FI) and Guayacán Group (GG) chose 9 finalists out of the entire group, based on their readiness, scalability, strength of their teams among other variables.  The finalists pitched to the Angel Investors during the PRO TECH Startup Showcase.  The judges, both angels from New York and Puerto Rico, then chose 5 startups who will be attending SXSW 2016 under our second FAST grant 2015-2106.  Click here to see video .

 

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  Startups pitch to the Angel Investors at the PRO Tech Startup Showcase/SXSW 2016 Contest                           

 

  

PRO TECH Puerto Rico Startups SXSW 2016: Meet the Winners!

The following five startups won the opportunity to represent Puerto Rico in the SXSW 2016 trade show, to be held in Austin,Texas in March 2016: 

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Lessons learned: sharing with the Tech and Startup Community in Puerto Rico

The winners of the PRO TECH Startup Showcase 2016 also had the opportunity to pitch to the tech community in Puerto Rico at Piloto 151, sharing their experiences and lessons learned on to how to design and present your pitch to investors.

 

  5 winners SXSW 2016   Demo Startup 1

 

 

SBIR workshops

In 2014, PRO TECH program also provided the opportunity to 22 potential teams of entrepreneurs and researchers to receive a workshop on how to write successful Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant proposals to the federal government. These grants provide support to develop and commercialize the products/services/discoveries resulting from their research and development efforts. The workshops where provided in San Juan and Mayaguez by SBIR’s catalyst, Connie Casteel from Georgia Tech’s Advance Technology Development Center.

PRO TECH 2015-2016 will provide said workshop to 10 teams and individual review of their SBIR proposals to help them increase their approval rate.

SBIR SAN JUAN FOTO    SBIR SAN JUAN FOTO 3   

 

                                       

 

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