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SOBRE NOSOTROS

¡QUÉ BUENO CONOCERTE!

Foundation for Puerto Rico (FPR) es una organización sin fines de lucro 501(c)(3) que busca liberar el potencial de Puerto Rico en la economía global, para que más personas puedan vivir, visitar, trabajar e invertir en nuestra hermosa isla. Nuestros programas de desarrollo económico y resiliencia dirigidos trabajan de la mano con nuestros socios comunitarios, proporcionando recursos, capacitación, financiamiento y redes que mejoran la economía local desde adentro.

Pasamos de la información a la acción, combinando un pensamiento innovador basado en datos con un sólido trabajo de campo. Hemos apoyado a más de 2,000 pequeñas empresas y colaborado con más de 1,000 ONG locales y nacionales. Nuestra sede central se encuentra en El Colaboratorio, en el corazón de Santurce, un espacio diseñado para fomentar la colaboración, compartir nuevas ideas y crear sinergias entre otras ONG, todas unidas por el objetivo de transformar Puerto Rico.

Nuestro lema, “no hay futuro en reconstruir el pasado”, refleja nuestra visión transformadora y el sueño para el futuro de nuestra isla: un Puerto Rico próspero que libere el talento, la creatividad y la pasión de su gente.

Tenemos un equipo de primera categoría compuesto por talentosos, apasionados y dedicados agentes de cambio que trabajan juntos por un mejor Puerto Rico, junto con nuestra red de colaboradores, patrocinadores y voluntarios en especie.
Nuestro enfoque colaborativo para resolver problemas nos ha convertido en un socio de confianza y fiable, además de ser beneficiarios de varios prestigiosos subsidios federales y públicos de entidades como la Agencia de Desarrollo Rural del USDA, la Agencia de Desarrollo Económico de los EE. UU., la Fundación Kauffman y el Departamento de Vivienda y Desarrollo Urbano. El respaldo de estos colaboradores nos permite operar nuestros programas con los más altos estándares de cumplimiento.

Nuestra misión

Transformar la economía de Puerto Rico en una próspera y sostenible.

Nuestra visión

Un Puerto Rico próspero que desate el talento, la creatividad y la pasión de su gente.

Con la ayuda de personas como usted, podemos cambiar la dirección estratégica del desarrollo socioeconómico de Puerto Rico, revitalizar nuestros activos más preciados y cambiar vidas en el proceso. 

Un mejor futuro para Puerto Rico está en nuestras manos. A continuación compartimos cómo planificamos impulsar el impacto en beneficio de nuestras comunidades más desatendidas:

Un Puerto Rico próspero requiere un enfoque audaz e innovador que sigue muchos caminos. Durante la última década, hemos estado trabajando para construir una base sólida de apoyo para este enfoque, comprometiéndonos y asociándonos con partes interesadas en todo Puerto Rico, desde el gobierno hasta las empresas, la academia y las comunidades. Nuestra fuerte presencia comunitaria en toda la isla y nuestras intervenciones programáticas innovadoras nos han permitido pasar de la base a la base, mientras que nuestro enfoque colaborativo con líderes y legisladores, desde San Juan hasta DC, ha ayudado a aumentar nuestro impacto para transformar El desarrollo socioeconómico de Puerto Rico.

Desde adentro hacia afuera, aceleramos la transformación a través de la innovación, la colaboración y la acción para que los puertorriqueños puedan prosperar y ser dueños de su futuro. Las tres áreas en las que estamos impulsando un impacto transformador incluyen La Economía del Visitante y el Empoderamiento de Comunidades, la Resiliencia de Comunidades e Infraestructura y Liderazgo Intelectual e Intermediación de Conocimiento.

Nuestros principios fundamentales incluyen

Impacto Transformador a través de la Innovación 

El éxito futuro de Puerto Rico depende de un pensamiento innovador que conecte los puntos, acelere el crecimiento y cree beneficios tangibles para todos.

El poder de las ideas

Las ideas tienen un poder ilimitado: Necesitamos encontrar ideas prometedoras, dondequiera que se encuentren. Necesitamos identificar y comprender el potencial para nuestro progreso que encarnan. Luego necesitamos la determinación para probar, desafiar, defender y nutrirlas para que ese potencial pueda ser realizado. 

Valentía para Desafiar el Status Quo

Debemos atrevernos a examinar los paradigmas existentes que impiden el progreso y desarrollar caminos audaces y transformadores hacia el éxito y la prosperidad.

ComunidaD y colaboraciÓn

Las colaboraciones que generan conexiones sólidas y un sentido de pertenencia conducirán a soluciones duraderas que ayuden a que nuestras comunidades florezcan. 

Empoderando a las personas

Cada individuo tiene un potencial ilimitado y puede contribuir con algo único que puede ayudar a mejorar nuestra isla y sus comunidades.

FOUNDATION FOR PUERTO RICO:

UNA BREVE HISTORIA

FPR se fundó con el objetivo de convertirse un líder de pensamiento en el desarrollo económico de Puerto Rico.
Establecimos una unidad de investigación enfocada en análisis, política pública y creación de coaliciones.
Creamos la primera incubadora en Puerto Rico – El Colaboratorio (“laboratorio de colaboración”) para albergar, apoyar y crecer el ecosistema de las ONG de Puerto Rico.
Desarrollamos planes de trabajo que creó una Organización de Mercadeo del Destino como una mejor práctica turística reconocida en el mundo.
Tras los huracanes Irma y María, abrimos las puertas de El Colaboratorio, acogimos a más de 180 organizaciones y lanzamos más de 250 misiones de ayuda.
Diseñamos, dirigimos y financiamos el Bottom Up Destination Recovery Initiative. Fuimos elegidos por el Departamento de Vivienda para dirigir el Programa Integral para la Resiliencia Comunitaria.
Recibimos una subvención histórica de la prestigiosa Fundación Ewing Marion Kauffman para lanzar Emprende360°, una innovadora iniciativa de incubación de pequeños negocios.
Reactivamos el Small Business Support Program para las víctimas de terremotos; publicamos la propuesta para la Frontera Biológica ante el COVID-19; lanzamos más de 50 talleres virtuales para apoyar a pequeños negocios.
Lanzamos el Centro de Innovación Estratégica para poveerle a Puerto Rico una capacidad robusta para identificar y determinar la viabilidad de oportunidades de alto impacto para la transformación.
2011
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2021

Nuestro

EQUIPO

Jon Borschow

Fundador, Presidente de la Junta y Director Ejecutivo
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Damaris Ocasio

Principal Oficial de Finanzas
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Alma Frontera

Vicepresidenta de Operaciones y Programas
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Soledad Gaztambide

Principal Oficial de Programa
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César Santos

Director de Recursos Humanos
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Ana Puig

Directora de Finanzas y Contabilidad
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Anneliz Oliver

Gerente de Programa
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Andrea Castro

Gerente de Subvenciones

Carla Martorell

Gerente de Comunicaciones
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Carmen Villanueva

Coordinadora de Relaciones con Actores Claves
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Doménica Jara

Facilitador de Programa

Francis Pérez

Gerente de Investigación y Análisis
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Hagmel Vega Fontánez

Facilitador de Programa

Hazel Garay

Analista de Finanzas
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Hecdalí Marrero

Partnerships & Events Coordinator

Jaikiz Chaparro

Facilitador de Programa

Jean M. Charlois

Facilitador de Programa
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John Castro

Artista Gráfico

JOHN BRIAN VÉLEZ

Especialista en Comunicaciones

José Luis Colón

Gerente de Subvenciones

Kenneth Matos

Facilitador de Programa

Kevin O. Pérez

Gerente de Proyecto
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Lizbed De Jesús

Asociado de Contabilidad

Líder de planificación comunitaria

Principal Oficial de Programa
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Marie Ann González

Coordinadora de Programas
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Marisa Rivera

Líder de Planificación Comunitaria
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Natalia Negron

Field Team Supervisor

Odalys Rivera

Facilitador de Programa

Omar Ramos Izquierdo

Asociado de Contabilidad

Pedro Vélez

Oficial de Cumplimiento - Auditor Interno
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Ricardo Rivera

Facilitador de Programa

Sally Everson

Diseñadora y Escritora de Subvenciones

Shatsei Rodriguez

Facilitador de Programa

Verónica Montalvo

Procurement & Operations Manager
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Vianca Morales

Colaboratorio Ambassador/Receptionist

Yenesis Vélez

Analista de Investigaciones

Andrea Estrella

Development Intern

Carlos Rodríguez Ferrer

Accounting Intern

Jasiel Carril

Research and Analysis Intern

Nayshla López

Research and Analysis Intern

Rebecca De Jesús

Research and Analysis Intern

Ivette Pérez

Gerente de Programa

Junta de

Directores

Jon Borschow

Fundador, Presidente de la Junta y Director Ejecutivo
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Graciela Eleta

Vicepresidente de la Junta

Zulmarie Urrutia-vélez

Tesorero
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Ingrid Rivera

Secretaria

Founder & President, Rove Consulting

Alexander Borschow

Director

Socio director de Semillero Ventures

Carlos L. Rodríguez, Esq.

Director
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Jesús Ricky López

Director

Juan Antonio Ramos

Director

Director de planificación estratégica de Best Option Healthcare

Kathryn Wylde

Director
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Rafael Ortiz

Director

Director general de Moonsail Capital

Ramón Mellado

Director

Presidente de Electra Corporation

Ronald Castro

Director

Principal & Chief Strategist at Roca Marketing

Dr. Rafael Bras

Director emérito

¿QUIERES SER
AGENTE DE CAMBIO?

¿Quieres trabajar con personas
para transformar a Puerto Rico?
Esta es tu oportunidad:

2017

2018

2019

2020

Jon Borschow - Founder, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Jon Borschow was born and raised in Puerto Rico. After graduating from M.I.T. with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Jon returned to Puerto Rico to support the growth of his family’s Health business. He led this company for the next 30 years, employing hundreds of employees. In 2008, the company was acquired by Cardinal Health. Today, the company is the leading healthcare distribution company in Puerto Rico, with over 500 employees, and it is the most extensive distribution business in Puerto Rico. Jon remained as C.E.O. of the Puerto Rico business until his retirement in 2011. That year, Jon founded Foundation for Puerto Rico.

Jon también ha devuelto a la comunidad sirviendo en las juntas directivas de hospitales, escuelas, organizaciones benéficas, organizaciones religiosas, fundaciones de investigación, asociaciones de residentes y compañías de seguros. Entre las organizaciones benéficas más recientes que Jon ha presidido se encuentran el capítulo de Puerto Rico de The United Jewish Appeal y el Puerto Rico Holocaust Memorial.

In addition to giving his time freely to these causes, Jon has donated to various charities, including La Perla de Gran Precio, a home for homeless, drug-addicted women infected with AIDS and their children. Jon is a major philanthropic giver. At M.I.T., he has endowed a needs-based undergraduate scholarship for students from Puerto Rico. In 2011, he expanded his relationship with M.I.T. to include a multi-million dollar investment in the M.I.T. Puerto Rico Economic Project to develop a new strategy for growth for Puerto Rico involving the M.I.T. Center for International Studies, The M.I.T. Community Laboratory, The M.I.T. Political Science Department, the Sloan School of Management, and the Puerto Rico Center for a New Economy. In 2011, Jon established the Foundation for Puerto Rico to focus on high-impact catalytic philanthropy to support these goals.

Damaris Ocasio, Chief Financial Officer

Ms. Ocasio is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with a B.A. in Business Administration. With over 25 years of experience in highly regulated environments, including the healthcare and nonprofit sectors, she has been responsible for designing and implementing processes and procedures to strengthen organizational compliance with federal and local regulations. Her knowledge includes operations, finance, human resources, business development, vendors and customer relations, distributions, internal audit, complex project management, and success translating strategies into maximum benefits commensurate with the best interest of stakeholders, customers, employees, and the public.

Alma Frontera, VP – PROGRAMS AND OPERATIONS

With two decades of experience in production, logistics, and project management, Alma has worked for companies such as Hilton, SMG (Coliseo de Puerto Rico), and Univision, producing, rebranding, and creating new businesses while managing premium clientele. Alma has worked with a wide range of brands and companies throughout her agency journey, including Coca-Cola, Sony, Wrigley, and Peroni Brewery.

After hurricanes Irma and Maria decimated the Caribbean, Alma switched gears and decided to focus and dedicate her work to the recovery and rebuilding of the islands. Wanting to contribute more to the community and Puerto Rico’s economic development, Alma joined Foundation for Puerto Rico alongside a fantastic team of dedicated professionals to ensure the continuance of the impactful initiatives steered by Island Relief.

Alma manages funds and is hands-on to ensure successful execution. She led the organization’s on-the-ground relief efforts, including over 230 missions islandwide and distributing $2+M in immediate aid. As Director of Economic Development Programs at FPR, Alma ensured the implementation of our portfolio of programs and managed more than $10M of private and federal funds while building an exceptionally empowered team of 30. After working alongside Secretary Cidre at the Economic Development and Commerce Department, Alma returned to FPR to continue pushing forward its impact and presence around the Island by designing new structures such as the Field Engine.   

Alma is an executive member of the Board of Directors of Women Empowered (WE), a member of the Advisory Board for the Kingbird Innovation Center at SUAGM, and a former executive member of the Board of Directors of the YMCA in San Juan. Avid believer and promoter of women in the business and sports industries, Alma is passionate about improving and raising awareness on gender and equality. Her favorite topics are the importance of mentors, Millennials in the workforce, and people development. She is a former local sports analyst looking to inspire young girls to become whomever they want to be. 

Alma is a graduate of the University of Puerto Rico, an Aspen Institute fellow, a former instructor in NSLC programs at American University (Communications, Sports Broadcasting, and National Security) and UC Berkley (Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations), high school teacher, and cheerleading coach. 

Soledad Gaztambide Arandes, Senior Program Officer

Ms. Gaztambide Arandes holds a B.A. in Geography and Anthropology and an M.A. in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. With almost 20 years of professional experience, Soledad is an environmental management professional skilled in project/program coordination and management, advocacy, alliance building, ecological awareness, stakeholder engagement, and policy analysis, with a demonstrated history of working in governmental and non-profit organization sectors.

She is FPR’s Senior Program Officer for the Whole Communities Resilience Program. This planning program is part of the Puerto Rico Department of Housing CBDG Disaster Recovery funding to address the impacts of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. Ms. Gaztambide supervises developing and timely completion of a risk and vulnerability data dashboard and community education component. She has extensive experience in policy and government relations in the environmental field and public engagement to raise awareness and funding for critical initiatives related to protecting and managing protected areas, among other areas of expertise.

César A. Santos Cardona, Human Resources Director

César has a BA in Sociology with a minor in Psychology and an MA in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. He is a licensed psychologist certified as a Lean 6 Sigma Green Belt. César has more than 16 years of experience leading Human Resources teams. He has held various positions throughout his career centered around Organizational Development, Process Improvement, Strategic Alignment, Coaching, Training, and Human Resources Management. His expertise is in developing cross-functional teams from formation to performance levels, designing adult learning programs, leadership development, strategic consulting, and process improvement. At Foundation for Puerto Rico, César leads all Human Capital endeavors, including harnessing and leveraging the potential of all team members, including volunteers, internship students, and other personnel. 

Ana M. Puig Rivera, Finance and Accounting Manager

Ms. Puig holds a BBA and MBA in Accounting, with over 15 years of experience in Non-Profit and Governmental Accounting and Budgeting design and management, and has been FPR’s Finance and Accounting Manager and Budget Officer since 2019. For the past three years in the organization, along with supervising 4 team members, she has designed and executed FPR’s Annual Budget Templates and budgeting process, as well as the federal billing process for the following federal programs: USDA Rural Development, EDA, and HUD’s CDBG-DR Whole Community Resilience Planning Program, that has resulted in over $2 million of successful invoicing over the past two years. 

Under her leadership, FPR passed its first Single Audit in 2019 and the most recent Single Audit in 2020. Along with the FPR’s Finance and Accounting Team, she successfully designed and implemented a new Accounting ERP System. She also supported and collaborated with the first approved organization, negotiating indirect cost rates with a federal cognizant agency. Ms. Puig collaborates with FPR’s Compliance, Procurement, and Development departments, designing federal, public, and private grant budgets and processes. She holds a Yellow Belt Lean Sigma Certification and Fidelis’ iSupervise Certi Certification and is proficient in various accounting ERPs such as SAGE, Oracle, Blackbaud, and others.

Anneliz Oliver, Program Manager

Ms. Oliver holds a BS in Psychology and completed graduate courses and practice in Clinical Psychology. For the past four years, she led small business and community development support programs and community outreach initiatives in Foundation for Puerto Rico (FPR). She has extensive experience in project management, ensuring timely and effective completion of deliverables, outcomes, and compliance.

Ms. Oliver designs and oversees program evaluation and measurements and implements strategic improvements to address challenges and achieve targets. She is skilled in stakeholder management, particularly in collaborative and participatory design. Anneliz led Island Relief efforts after Hurricanes Maria and Irma in 2017, overseeing the logistics and the successful deployment of water filters, impacting 200+ elderly homes and 90+ communities across the island. She successfully led project coordination for the Bottom Up Destination Recovery Initiative pilots in Humacao and Orocovis, which were scaled to an additional 12 municipalities with EDA and private funding. Anneliz delivered programming and direct services that strengthened community-driven initiatives to promote resilience and socioeconomic development by fostering collaborative relationships between individuals, non-profits, and private and public sectors. She has also collaborated with small businesses, community-based organizations, and government officials to implement asset-based community development initiatives for their visitor economy sector while strengthening entrepreneurship and social capital. She led earthquake relief efforts through the management of the Small Business Support Program, which provided cash grants and technical assistance to small businesses in Ponce and Guánica severely affected by the tremors of 2020. She served as Program Manager for Emprende360, an innovative multi-stage business incubation model executed with the leading organizations in the sector. This model led to the selection of FPR as the only grantee in Puerto Rico to deploy SBA’s Community Navigator Pilot Program.

She now serves as Program Manager for Puerto Rico’s Community Navigator Pilot program, designing and executing a multi-stage business development model alongside leading organizations to provide access to recovery and relief resources through technical assistance and access to capital. Ms. Oliver’s skills include project design, logistics, coordination and management, grant management, stakeholder management, and collaborative/participatory design.

Carla Martorell Colón, Communications Manager

Carla Martorell Colón is an experienced Communicator and public relations professional. She possesses a BA in Communications and Journalism. She started her professional career as an editor for the island’s number-one radio news station, WKAQ. Following this professional opportunity, she further developed her communication skills, landing a position as both a producer for a radio talk show and a news reporter. After six years working in the news, she became the Treasury Department Press Office Director, changing her career path to public relations. During the five years she directed the communications office at the Treasury Department, she managed several communications crises, like implementing the local sales tax in 2007.

After five years in the government, Martorell accepted a position in the private sector as a Senior Account Executive in Comstat Rowland, a highly prestigious public relations firm in Puerto Rico, where she managed accounts like Toyota, Microsoft, British Airways, and Nokia, among others. Later, she started as Public Relations Director at JMD Communications, overseeing all PR accounts, crisis management, social media content, and new business acquisitions. Martorell joined Foundation for Puerto Rico in January 2020, following her desire to work for the third sector and the well-being of her island.

Carmen Villanueva, Stakeholder and Outreach Coordinator

Mrs. Villanueva holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts, with concentrations in Accounting and Economy, and a Master’s Degree in Finance and Accounting. Mrs. Villanueva also possesses certifications in Fraud Examination and as an International Client Service Facilitator. In addition, Mrs. Villanueva has been distinguished as a member of multiple Associations, including but not limited to being a Spokesperson of the Puerto Rico movement for Decent Housing, President and Community Leader of the #9 Community Board Territorial Ordinance, Institute of Internal Audit, Executive Committee of CDBG-DR funds monitoring of State Housing Department, advisory member of the Department of Education and the Department of Recreation and Sports of Puerto Rico. For almost two (2) decades at Popular Inc., Mrs. Villanueva served from platform official to Senior Fraud Examinator, Auditor, and Officer of Norms and procedures. In 2002, she received the opportunity to work as Coordinator of the CEDICE Economic and Social Development project, providing education and close accompaniment to communities with economic and social disadvantages. 

Mrs. Villanueva then moved to serve as Academic Director in the CASA project of Toa Baja to provide education for young people unable to complete High School Diploma, as the Finance & Administrative Manager responsible for the whole financial and fiscal compliance operations of Buena Vista Group, Inc., Collections Manager for Legal Credit Solution, Inc., and community liaison for Firm, United and Resilient with Advocacy (FURIA) Inc., with the mission to foster education and protection of human rights to communities through participative advocacy. Thanks to her substantial experience and demonstrated special connection with communities, Mrs. Villanueva continues to create positive social impact through her role in FPR, being an instrumental resource for successfully identifying opportunities to expand strategic outreach of the WCRP program and highlighting fundamental elements to strengthen the most vulnerable communities of Puerto Rico.

Verónica Montalvo, Procurement Associate

Ms. Montalvo holds a B.A. in Business Administration and has been the Procurement Associate at Foundation for Puerto Rico since July 2020. Verónica has professional experience in domestic and international logistics, including supply chain management, procurement/purchasing, planning, and inventory management. In early 2000, while studying, she worked as a Receptionist and Customer Service Coordinator at a local Customs House Broker, arranging clearance and delivery of import shipments. Later, other opportunities for professional growth arose, where Verónica continued to expand her knowledge in different fields and processes of Supply Chain Management (SCM) while working with international Freight ForwardersIn 2012, she started to work the complete SCM cycle, from planning, purchasing, shipment arrangement, receiving, inventory management, and delivery for Telecommunications and Medical Equipment Companies.


As the Procurement Associate at Foundation for Puerto Rico, she has reduced procurement costs and on-time delivery of products and services by standardizing processes, negotiating favorable terms, and streamlining supplier channels for different Program Projects and internal purchase needs.

Francis Pérez, Research Manager

Program Manager at Foundation for Puerto Rico since 2016. Francis has a BA in Finance. He was part of the Center of Innovation team, managing several projects and programs that sought to improve the visibility of our island’s assets globally, inspire more travelers to visit, explore our geography, and increase the economic activity of our communities.

Before joining FPR, he worked for GE Capital’s Risk Management Program as a financial analyst, where he completed two rotations, one in financial model validation and governance in Connecticut and the second in cash flow underwriting, working on $10MM to $500MM loans for procurement deals supported by private investment firms at Bethesda, MD. While working for GE Capital, he had the opportunity to be part of the team that oversaw the sale of the equipment financing division in the Federal District of Mexico. Later, he moved back to Puerto Rico where he worked with Champlain Advisors, a boutique placement agent and financial advisory firm, focusing on the areas of project management, market research, deal analysis, and CRM management.

Hazel R. Garay Vazquez, Accounting Coordinator

Ms. Garay holds a BBA in Accounting and a minor in Finance and has five years of experience in general accounting and the accounting cycle for non-profit and retail industries. During this period, she has gained experience in managing inventory, customer services, and retail general accounting. She joined Foundation for Puerto Rico (FPR) in 2019, and for the past three years, has executed roles such as payroll accountant, accounts payable, preparing and assisting with federal billing process, receivables accountant, and fiscal sponsorship accountant.

Ms. Garay currently occupies the accounting coordinator position. Along with the Finance and Accounting Team, she successfully designed and implemented a new accounting and Payroll ERP. Also collaborated on the first successful single Audit in 2019 and the next Single Audit in 2020 and assisted with gathering information as needed for the annual tax filing. Ms. Garay assists the Finance and Accounting manager with monthly closing accounting procedures such as Bank account reconciliations, holding bank account reconciliation, journal entries preparation, SEFA report updates, and Financial Statement preparation. She holds a Yellow Belt certification in Lean Six Sigma and is proficient in various accounting ERPs such as Sage, Peachtree, QuickBooks, and Blackbaud.

Jean-Manuel Charlois, Regional Community Planning Associate

Mr. Charlois holds a B.A. in Communication Sciences and an M.A. in Planning, with a special interest in community planning, participatory processes, and knowledge development for effective – horizontal participation and just relations.

As part of the Planning Team, Charlois has helped develop WCRP’s tools and processes, particularly supporting the development of the Education Strategy designed to provide guidance to communities, sub-recipients, and vendors during the implementation of the Planning Framework. He is in charge of the development of different educational and support materials, such as the Resiliency Snapshots and the script’s development of the video capsules contained in the Education Strategy. With 19 years of experience developing, directing, and editing award-winning documentaries and Scientific TV Series, Jean provides Foundation for Puerto Rico (FPR) with solid assessment in developing media content for educative, documentary, and marketing purposes. His background as a professor and designing community workshops helps FPR in the development of technical assistance for communities and small businesses. Mr. Charlois sees FPR as a strong ally of those communities’ providing expertise and technical production support as well as a potential repository for multipurpose audiovisual material.

Kevin Pérez, Procurement Officer

Mr. Pérez holds a BA in Material Management and is a Certified Supply Chain Professional and a Certified Quality Auditor. In his role at FPR, Mr. Pérez works the federal purchases of different programs such as EDA and WCRP, in addition to keeping the SOPs in force and with the necessary controls to be in compliance. Mr. Pérez also manages the activities of the Procurement Associate and maintains a continuous flow of purchases for FPR operations. Some of his additional projects are auditing, monitoring, and continuous improvement functions to ensure good documentation practices and all the requirements set forth in CFR 200 and other federal regulations. These projects work on a wide variety of procurement types, from community planning to business resilience products. 

Lourdes Pérez Medina, Community Planning Lead

Ms. Pérez-Medina holds a M.S. degree in City and Regional Planning and a professional B.A. degree in Architecture. Currently, she leads the planning team for FPR’s Whole Community Resilience Planning Program. As the Community Planning Lead, she has successfully managed a team of four planners, the development of a comprehensive community resilience planning framework, and an education component centered on themes such as resilience, participatory planning, just relationships, and community advocacy.

Prior to joining FPR, Lourdes worked with several grassroots community-based organizations in both NYC and Puerto Rico across various climate justice, environmental justice, and housing accessibility projects and initiatives. As the Climate Justice Policy and Programs Coordinator at UPROSE –a community-based organization in Sunset Park, Brooklyn—she had the opportunity to coordinate the Climate Justice Alliance’s northeast regional hub around the Transportation and Climate Initiative, the development of N.Y.’s first community-owned solar cooperative, and a community-led re-zoning proposal for a climate-adaptive industrial waterfront. Lourdes’s passion and professional core are rooted in social justice values and equitable, sustainable, and climate-adaptive development.

Marie Ann Gonzaléz Laboy, Volunteer Program and Administrative Support Coordinator

Marie Ann Gonzalez Laboy has an MA in Social Work Direct Services. She is licensed to work with all populations, especially with vulnerable and disadvantaged groups. She has experience working with survivors of domestic violence and investigating cases of abuse according to law 246, “Child Abuse law.” Marie Ann has also worked managing cases with a religious-based organization (REHACE) in the recovery of Puerto Rican families after Hurricane Maria in the Eastern Region of the island. This experience opened the opportunity for her to work with the Whole Resilience Planning Program at Foundation for Puerto Rico.

The experience working with various communities and outreach activities provided an opportunity for the development of community tools, guides, and manuals that promote and support the active participation of the communities in all matters that concern them. She has developed and participated in different types of outreach efforts with communities, organizations, and municipalities to promote applications for the WCRP program in an effort to involve communities and all sectors to position Puerto Rico in a better place to face disasters and any other events.

Marisa Rivera, Data Analyst

Marisa Rivera has studies in Environmental Sciences, Geography, and Planning.  As Data Analyst for the Whole Community Resilience Planning Program, Ms. Rivera was responsible for developing all supporting tools provided by the program, including Social Capital and Risk & Vulnerability Indicators Story Maps, which display valuable information regarding social capital assets and vulnerability indicators in six thematic areas (Economic Development, Housing, Infrastructure, Environment, Education, and Health), respectively, as well as a Risk & Vulnerability Dashboard.  Ms. Rivera’s passion for place-based knowledge, in conjunction with her experience with managing and displaying geographic information, has enabled her to create effective tools and information sources capable of supporting problem-solving and decision-making processes for a variety of stakeholders, from governments to NGOs to communities.

Pedro J. Vélez Rivera, AFA, Compliance Officer, Internal Auditor

Mr. Vélez Rivera holds a B.A. in Business Administration, with a concentration in accounting and over 15 years of experience in the audit, compliance, risk, and internal controls field over various industries. In 2021, he joined FPR as Internal Auditor and Compliance Officer after serving as a Risk and Internal Control Manager in the Suiza Dairy Corp, where he was directly responsible for assessing the effectiveness of internal controls using integrated solutions based on an implemented risk basis approach and the organization’s internal controls, operating procedures, and compliance policies and regulations. He oversaw the development and introduction of cost-effective policies and procedures based on workflow reviews.

As a Senior Internal Auditor, he oversaw and conducted different types of operational audits through units, departments, and areas using integrated solutions based on an implemented risk-based approach. He also leads the audit team in unique and complex projects, including evaluating unusual transactions, unauthorized disbursements, and suspicious behaviors. 

ZULMARIE URRUTIA-VELEZ, Director

Urrutia-Vélez brings along a solid academic background and diverse professional exposure to sophisticated business decision-making affairs in both local and multinational public accounting firms, government, professional and commercial organizations, private practice, and academics.
 
Urrutia-Vélez currently leads the Risk Management Services Practice at FULCRO INSURANCE. Her professional experience includes high-profile work scenarios such as P&G, E&Y, KPMG, Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Department of Economic Development and Commerce, and as a professor at the School of Business of the UPR-Río Piedras (“FAE” for its Spanish acronym). She has served as a board member of non-profit organizations such as Asesores Financieros Comunitarios, CPA Society Foundation, ABRE Puerto Rico, Teatro UPR, and FAE Advisory Board. She co-founded the Fondo de Amigos FAE to promote academic efforts within AACSB accreditation standards.
 
Urrutia-Vélez served as a Member of the Puerto Rico Accountancy Board 2007-2009 and as president of the Puerto Rico Society of Certified Public Accountants 2015-2016, a term during which she was recognized as one of the leaders/speakers of the Private Sector Coalition.
 
Urrutia-Vélez holds a Master of Laws (LLM) with Honors from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago; a Certificate in Business from IE University (formerly Instituto de Empresa) in Madrid; a Juris Doctor from the School of Law at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR); and Bachelors in Business Administration specialized in Accounting, Magna Cum Laude, from the UPR, Río Piedras. She is a certified public accountant (“CPA”), an attorney at law admitted to practice in Puerto Rico, an Alternate Disputes Resolution – Mediator certified by the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico, and a Certified Property [Insurance] Appraiser and Umpire (“CPAU”), also admitted by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner to act as Neutral Umpire in Puerto Rico, and Associate in Insurance (“AINS”) designation. 

Carlos L. Rodríguez, Esq.

Carlos L. Rodríguez Ramos es Jefe Legal y Oficial de Cumplimiento, y Secretario Corporativo de Triple-S Management (TSM) desde septiembre de 2021, cuando se incorporó a sus responsabilidades el área de Cumplimiento. Rodríguez se ha desempeñado como Asesor Legal Principal y Secretario Corporativo desde 2016. Además de Legal y Cumplimiento, Rodríguez lidera Auditoría Interna y a los equipos responsables de políticas públicas y asuntos gubernamentales, asuntos corporativos y gobernanza de la junta directiva, y se desempeña como presidente del Comité Ambiental, Social y de Gobernanza (ESG, por sus siglas en inglés). Rodríguez se unió a Triple-S Management en 2013 como Asesor General Asociado. Como alguien con un fuerte compromiso con el servicio y la comunidad, es miembro de la Junta Directiva de Fundación Triple-S y Foundation for Puerto Rico. De 2011 a 2013 trabajó como Subjefe de Gabinete para Asuntos Programáticos y Proyectos Especiales de la Oficina del Gobernador de Puerto Rico. Se incorporó a la administración del Gobernador Luis Fortuño en 2010 como Asistente Legal y Asesor Legislativo. Además de su experiencia en la Rama Ejecutiva, Rodríguez trabajó como asistente jurídico del Presidente del Tribunal Supremo de Puerto Rico, Federico Hernández Denton, de 2007 a 2009. Su educación incluye un LLM de la Universidad de Columbia, una maestría de la Escuela Paul Nitze de Estudios Internacionales Avanzados de la Universidad Johns Hopkins y un Juris Doctor de la Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Puerto Rico. El señor Rodríguez tiene una amplia experiencia académica como profesor universitario de ciencias políticas y economía y profesor adjunto en la Facultad de Derecho de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, donde ha impartido cursos de leyes de salud y realizado investigaciones sobre la regulación de la industria de la salud, derecho de salud pública, e implicaciones constitucionales y legales de la política de salud pública.

Kathryn Wylde, Director

Kathryn Wylde is President and CEO of the nonprofit Partnership for New York City, the city’s leading business organization. Its mission is to work with government, labor, and the civic sector to increase economic opportunity and build a stronger New York, focusing on education, infrastructure, and the economy.

Wylde was the founding CEO of the Partnership’s housing and investment fund affiliates. From 1982 to 1996, she was responsible for developing and managing affordable housing and economic development programs that contributed to the renaissance of blighted urban neighborhoods across the five boroughs. The New York City Housing Partnership was the sponsor of the city’s New Homes and Neighborhood Builders programs, producing more than 35,000 units of new, owner-occupied housing, and of the Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Program, which enabled more than fifty minority and women-owned firms to purchase and rehabilitate apartment buildings that were formerly owned by the city.

From 1995 to 2001, Wylde worked with Henry Kravis and Jerry Speyer to establish and manage the Partnership Fund for New York City. This civic Fund was capitalized with more than $100 million in private contributions. The Fund has led successful public-private initiatives to diversify the city economy, both geographically and by sector. It built a network of business experts and investors that nurtured the city’s “innovation economy growth,” creating thousands of jobs and promoting entrepreneurship with a focus on disadvantaged communities.

Wylde was named chief executive of the Partnership in 2001. Under her leadership, the business community worked with the government to develop an impact assessment and response to the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, generating $23 billion in federal aid to support the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan. Subsequently, the Partnership has been a significant source of the research and policies required to sustain New York City’s role as the world financial capital and a global high-tech and life sciences hub. In 2017, the nation’s first Transit Innovation Partnership was established with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to accelerate the improvement of the region’s transit system.

Wylde is an internationally known expert in housing, economic development, and urban policy. She serves on many nonprofit boards and advisory groups in New York and Puerto Rico, including the NYC Economic Development Corporation, the Fund for Public Schools, the Manhattan Institute, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO), and the Governor’s NYC Regional Economic Development Council. She has authored numerous articles, opinion, and policy papers and has been recognized by dozens of educational, professional, and nonprofit institutions for her leadership.

Before joining the Partnership, Wylde worked in senior positions at the former Anchor Savings Bank and Lutheran Medical Center in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. She is a native of Madison, Wisconsin, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of St. Olaf College, and resides in Brooklyn, New York, and Quebradillas, Puerto Rico.

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Cuidados de Salud

Imagine a world where every ailment is detected in its earliest stage, where every treatment is personalized to your unique genetic makeup, where tedious administrative tasks are automated, allowing your doctors to focus solely on your care. Picture a healthcare system where life-saving medications are discovered at lightning speed, and mental health support is just a click away, available 24/7. Visualize surgical procedures carried out with unfaltering precision by robotic hands, guided by artificial intelligence.

In this world, AI-powered wearable devices monitor your health continuously, flagging potential concerns before they escalate. Virtual assistants remind you to take your medicine, answer your questions, and provide you with comfort during your healthcare journey. Regardless of where you live, quality healthcare is always accessible, thanks to telemedicine driven by advanced algorithms.

This world isn’t a distant utopia. It’s the imminent future of healthcare, transformed by AI. A future where disease prediction, prevention, and treatment reach unprecedented levels of efficiency, accessibility, and accuracy. A future where healthcare becomes truly personalized, proactive, and patient-centered. Welcome to the revolution of healthcare by artificial intelligence.

We see a future where healthcare becomes truly personalized, proactive, and patient-centered. This is the revolution of healthcare by artificial intelligence.

Alleviating healthcare worker burnout: Puerto Rico is experiencing a healthcare worker shortage, with the few that remain experiencing a disproportionately high workload. This has caused long wait times and various medical areas to be unattended. The number of workers is not proportional to our population. This is increasingly worrying considering the advancing aging population. Due to this, burnout is incredibly common among the available healthcare workers. Artificial Intelligence has the potential to alleviate this problem by revolutionizing the healthcare system by improving efficiency, accuracy, and accessibility. AI can assist in early detection and diagnosis of diseases, aid in treatment planning, and enhance patient monitoring through remote care and wearable devices. It can automate administrative tasks (e.g., documentation, scheduling, record management, information retrieval, etc.), streamline workflows, optimize resource allocation, reduce healthcare costs and alleviate the burden on healthcare workers. AI-powered technologies, such as virtual assistants and chatbots, can provide basic medical information, freeing up healthcare workers to focus on more complex patient care. AI-driven decision support systems can enhance clinical decision-making, reduce errors, and improve patient outcomes. Additionally, AI-powered research and data analytics can accelerate medical discoveries and enable personalized medicine. These AI-enabled solutions have the potential to enhance the healthcare system’s efficiency, alleviate healthcare worker’s burnout, and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

Healthcare accessibility for isolated municipalities: In Puerto Rico, there are gaps in healthcare accessibility. Some municipalities, specifically those at the center of the island, have little to no access to healthcare services. Most times, they either have only one physician for the whole community, which causes long wait times, or they must commute out of their municipality to receive medical service. Telemedicine enabled by AI-powered platforms allows remote consultations, breaking down geographical barriers by providing access to medical services in these isolated areas. AI can also facilitate remote monitoring of patients’ health conditions through wearable devices and sensors, allowing healthcare providers to track and manage their health remotely. This reduces the need to commute out of their municipalities for in-person appointments. Additionally, AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can offer 24/7 support, providing immediate responses to basic medical inquiries and delivering healthcare information to patients at their convenience. Likewise, AI algorithms can assist in diagnosing and conducting a preliminary assessment on patients, providing access to specialized care even in areas where certain medical specialties may be scarce. Therefore, implementing AI can help reduce healthcare disparities on the island.

Ensuring Healthcare for the Aging Population: Puerto Rico has a rapidly aging population, its share of older residents being one of the largest in the world. At current rates, Puerto Rico will be disproportionately populated by older residents. This brings a myriad of concerns, specifically in the healthcare sector which can be easily overwhelmed by the large influx of older patients. AI could be the solution to this problem. AI can assist in the personalization of healthcare plans by considering the unique needs and preferences of older adults. Through AI-powered monitoring systems, the health of elderly individuals can be remotely tracked, allowing for timely intervention and proactive care. AI-based virtual assistants can offer companionship, reminders for medication and appointments, and support for daily living activities which can enhance the independence and well-being of the elderly. These options reduce the need for in-person medical services. This way, AI can ensure Puerto Rico’s elderly are taken care of despite the limitations of personnel and resources.

Drug Discovery and Development: Puerto Rico used to be a pharmaceutical manufacturing giant until companies started to leave for places with better tax incentives. The pandemic demonstrated the issues with outsourcing medical drugs and resources. This started conversations on needing to re-domesticate the health industry. Since Puerto Rico already has the necessary infrastructure, it has an advantage over other locations. With the help of AI, Puerto Rico could become once again the pharmaceutical mogul it used to be. AI can significantly shorten the time to market for new drugs by predicting their effectiveness and potential side effects. It can also identify potential therapeutic uses for existing drugs, thereby repurposing them and saving time and resources in the process.AI can be used to analyze large datasets of genetic and biochemical information to identify new drug targets. This can help to focus drug discovery efforts on promising targets, increasing the chances of success. AI can be used to design new drug molecules that are more likely to be effective and have fewer side effects. This can be done by using AI to simulate the interactions of drug molecules with target proteins. AI can be used to screen large libraries of drug candidates to identify those that are most likely to be effective. This can help to reduce the number of laboratory experiments that need to be conducted, saving time and money.

Mental Health Care: Overall, there is a mental health crisis in Puerto Rico. The uncertainty about the future, economic struggles, natural disasters, and a failing healthcare system have contributed to a worsening mental health. There’s a complex trauma within the residents that is not being properly addressed. In the field of mental healthcare, AI has the potential to revolutionize the way that people receive care. One of the most promising applications of AI in mental healthcare is virtual counselling and therapy. AI-powered chatbots can provide support and therapy to people who live in remote areas or who cannot afford traditional therapy. These chatbots can be accessed 24/7, making them a convenient and accessible option for people who need help. For example, the company Woebot offers an AI chatbot that can help people to manage their anxiety and depression. Woebot is trained on a dataset of millions of text messages, and it can use this data to provide personalized support and advice. Woebot can also track a user’s mood over time, and it can alert the user if their mood seems to be declining. Another way that AI can transform mental healthcare is by monitoring patients’ moods and emotions. AI-powered apps can be used to track a user’s mood, sleep patterns, and other factors that can affect mental health. This information can then be used to identify people who are at risk for developing mental health problems, and it can also be used to track the progress of people who are already receiving treatment. Moodpath offers an AI-powered app that can help people to track their mood. Moodpath uses a variety of methods to track mood, including facial recognition, text analysis, and surveys. This information can then be used to identify patterns in a user’s mood, and it can also be used to provide personalized advice. In addition to providing virtual counselling and therapy and monitoring patients’ moods and emotions, AI can also be used to alert professionals when intervention is needed. For example, AI-powered apps can be used to track a user’s heart rate and breathing rate. If these measurements indicate that a user is experiencing a panic attack, the app can automatically send an alert to a mental health professional.

Educación financiera y manejo de capital

Durante esta etapa, las empresas profundizarán en la gestión financiera, el crédito y las herramientas de financiamiento. Con la guía y el asesoramiento de expertos, las empresas generarán e interpretarán informes financieros.

  1. Completar un plan de trabajo para crear un buen historial de crédito personal y comercial.
  2. Desarrollar un presupuesto utilizando las herramientas disponibles.
  3. Realizar un plan para tener información financiera precisa y clave para la toma de decisiones y solicitudes de préstamos.
  4. Desarrollar proyecciones financieras comerciales.
  5. Crear un archivo estructurado de documentos financieros.
  6. Conocer cómo establecer relaciones con prestamistas y delinear un camino claro para el financiamiento de su plan de negocios actual.

Durante esta última etapa, las empresas comprenderán sus necesidades de acceso a capital y tendrán un camino claro para llenarlas. Si es necesario, el cliente solicitará financiamiento a través de LEDC. Con la orientación y el asesoramiento de expertos, las empresas comprenderán la importancia del mantenimiento de registros, ayudarán a los clientes a solicitar un préstamo y superarán las barreras para obtener acceso a capital.

 

Modalidad:  Virtual

 

Adiestramientos grupales:   3 talleres de 2 horas cada uno

 

Asesoramiento individual: 3 sessions per business (6 hours of direct services and 4 hours of indirect services)

 

Total de horas por negocio/grupales:  16 horas

Mercadeo y presencia digital

A través de tres módulos educativos, los empresarios irán desde los conceptos básicos de la industria hasta la complejidad del desarrollo de campañas de mercadeo, así como estrategias dirigidas a capturar nueva clientela y lograr su lealtad. En esta etapa, los negocios recibirán asistencia técnica individualizada para desarrollar su marca, establecer una estrategia de mercadeo (incluido el digital) y establecer el comercio electrónico como una de las fuentes de ingresos de la empresa. Como resultado, se pretende que las empresas establezcan el comercio electrónico (según corresponda) con una estrategia de ventas y completen el desarrollo de una estrategia de mercadeo.

 

Modalidad:  Adiestramiento presencial

 

Adiestramientos grupales:  4 talleres de 4 horas cada uno

 

Asesoramiento individual: 1 sesión por negocio (1.5 horas)

 

Total de horas por negocio: 17.5 horas

Innovación en los planes de negocios

Esta busca fomentar una mentalidad de crecimiento basada en la resolución de problemas y la identificación de ideas de negocios innovadoras con alto potencial para convertirse en negocios. Con la metodología de INprende, las empresas conocerán el proceso y los pasos necesarios para desarrollar un plan de negocios innovador de forma estructurada y orientada a resultados. Los participantes recibirán un manual de innovación empresarial que detalla la metodología del plan de negocios y una plantilla de trabajo, que guiará a las empresas en su travesía. A través de una serie de talleres y sesiones de innovación, los participantes realizarán ejercicios de validación comercial, técnica y financiera con la guía de INprende. Como resultado, las empresas completarán un plan detallado de innovación empresarial adaptado a su negocio.

 

Modalidad:  Virtual

 

Adiestramientos grupales:   3 talleres de 2 horas cada uno

 

Counseling per cohort: 3 sesiones de Innovación de una hora cada una

 

Total de horas por negocio: 9 horas

Negocios 101

Negocios 101 es una etapa introductoria que delinea el camino para el desarrollo, la optimización y la innovación de negocios de una manera estratégica. A través de una serie de talleres y asistencia técnica individual, las empresas se sumergirán en sus modelos de negocio existentes y aprenderán sobre las oportunidades para crecer bajo una nueva economía. También, aprenderán cómo reevaluar la segmentación de sus clientes, evaluar la viabilidad de su modelo existente e identificar áreas clave de oportunidad considerando el comportamiento actual de la economía y las demandas de nuevas industrias en todo el mundo. Los negocios recibirán material educativo y un perfil comercial revisado con un plan de acción para identificar y evaluar nuevas oportunidades de negocio.

Con la ayuda de expertos, las empresas:

 

Identificarán los retos y las áreas de oportunidades en los modelos de negocio existentes.

 

Identificarán estrategias para enfrentar los desafíos

 

Realizarán una evaluación para garantizar que el negocio cumpla con las leyes y regulaciones existentes. 

 

Modalidad:  Virtual 

 

Adiestramientos grupales:  4 talleres de 2 horas cada uno 

 

Asesoramiento individual: 2 sessions per business (2 hours of direct services and 3 hours of indirect services)   

 

Total de horas por negocio:  13 horas 

Radiografía del negocio, plan de acción personalizado y enlace con recursos

PULSO es parte del Programa Piloto de Navegadores Comunitarios de la Agencia Federal de Pequeños Negocios (SBA, en inglés), diseñado para proporcionar a las pequeñas empresas herramientas y recursos para sobrevivir, crecer y expandirse. A través de este programa, Foundation for Puerto Rico, junto a una red de organizaciones de apoyo empresarial, acompañarán a las pequeñas empresas de la región norte* de la isla en un camino de desarrollo empresarial compuesto de las siguientes etapas.

Descargo de responsabilidad

Foundation for Puerto Rico, el Departamento de la Vivienda de Puerto Rico (Vivienda) , el Programa de Planificación Integral para la Resiliencia Comunitaria (WCRP, por sus siglas en inglés) los Programas CDBG-DR y CDBG-MIT no son responsables de las publicaciones compartidas en la página web de Recursos de Apoyo WCRP y no están obligados a actualizar la información.

FPR, Vivienda, WCRP y los programas CDBG-DR y CDBG-MIT no administran los recursos presentados, no pueden responder a preguntas relacionadas con estas oportunidades y tampoco representan ni respaldan ninguno de los recursos compartidos en este boletín. Para obtener información adicional, consulte los enlaces proporcionados.

Las oportunidades no gubernamentales o externas se ofrecen únicamente con fines de divulgación. FPR, Vivienda, WCRP y los programas CDBG-DR y CDBG-MIT no respaldan, compensan o colaboran directamente con ningún proveedor u organización externa y, como tales, las expresiones o el contenido de los sitios web, las aplicaciones o las páginas no pueden interpretarse como la postura u opinión oficial de las entidades mencionadas con respecto a estos temas.

Al navegar por las páginas web enlazadas en esta página, el receptor asume toda la responsabilidad, incluyendo, pero sin limitarse a ello, los posibles intentos de suplantación de identidad, estafa y descargas de malware. El usuario también acepta toda la responsabilidad y el riesgo al hacer clic en las cookies, así como al rechazar o aceptar cualquier oferta o publicidad. Proporcionar el nombre, el teléfono, la dirección, u otra información, mientras se navega por los sitios web enlazados anteriormente, se hace a discreción del receptor. FPR, Vivienda, WCRP y los programas CDBG-DR y CDBG-MIT no tienen ninguna influencia ni participación en la forma en que los sitios web utilizan los datos. Tampoco es responsable de la protección de los datos de los usuarios y no responderá de las intrusiones, expresiones, intentos de piratería o comportamientos indebidos en dichos sitios web.

N'Corcho continuado...

Morgan Toro fundó N’Corcho para aumentar sus fuentes de ingresos en el 2019. Su negocio se estableció después de meses de negociación con la empresa matriz que fabrica una conocida marca de productos de corcho en Portugal. Su negocio es el primero y único en Puerto Rico que distribuye carteras innovadoras y otros accesorios hechos de corcho, cosechado de manera sostenible. Al principio fue un desafío convencer a las personas de que se trataba de productos de alta calidad, porque la gente normalmente asocia el corcho con las botellas de vino y nada más. A pesar de eso, Morgan comenzó a mover el producto, logrando ventas sobresalientes en festivales y eventos importantes en Puerto Rico. Después de ver su gran éxito durante estos meses iniciales, decidió apostar en sí mismo y en su negocio e invirtió todos sus ahorros y ganancias en nueva mercancía. Desafortunadamente, solo días después de su gran inversión, la pandemia de COVID-19 golpeó la isla y provocó un cierre total, cancelando todos los eventos y cerrando los centros comerciales en toda la isla. Esto dejó a Morgan sin ingresos, fuente de ingresos y con una casa llena de productos que no tenían punto de venta. Desesperado, recurrió a vender sus productos en las calles o donde pudiera, pero estaba preocupado por la imagen que proyectaría su marca. Quería mantener la apariencia de lujo de su marca, pero estaba luchando para cubrir sus gastos.  

Aunque Morgan pudo abrir una tienda en un destacado centro comercial de la región norte una vez que se redujeron las medidas de distanciamiento social, todavía estaba preocupado por el futuro de su empresa. El 2021 fue un año en el que tanto las personas como las pequeñas empresas recibieron ayudas de alivio económico, lo que permitió a los clientes seguir comprando sus productos, permitiendo que su negocio se mantuviera a flote. Anticipó que el 2022 sería diferente, ya que habría menos ayudas financieras disponibles. Necesitaba desesperadamente capacitación empresarial para asegurarse de que su negocio pudiera recuperarse y seguir creciendo. 

Cuando Morgan ingresó al programa piloto de navegación comunitaria de la SBA en Puerto Rico, PULSO, confesó que estaba muy escéptico acerca de la capacitación que iba a recibir, preocupado de que fuera una pérdida de tiempo. Sus preocupaciones y escepticismo se desvanecieron apenas inició su primera etapa del programa, con Colmena66. Describió esto como un momento de revelación que marcó el tono para el resto de su travesía en PULSO. Durante esta etapa, a Morgan se le proporcionó una hoja de ruta llamada “Tu Camino Empresarial”, que detallaba claramente las rutas de los programas y organizaciones de apoyo empresarial que podrían ayudar a los emprendedores y las PyMEs a establecer y hacer crecer su negocio, sin importar en qué etapa se encontraran. Morgan explicó cómo cambió a tener una visión más optimista, sintiendo que estaba comenzando a comprender que no estaba solo en este viaje. Después de la segunda etapa del programa, “Negocios 101”, dirigido por Centro para Emprendedores, Morgan se sorprendió de cómo los mentores explicaban términos típicamente complejos de maneras que le resultaban más fáciles de entender y aplicar a su negocio. La tercera etapa del programa, liderada por INprende, le permitió comprender mejor quién era su audiencia meta y descubrir que su ubicación actual podría no ser el lugar de compras para su audiencia; lo que lo hizo reconsiderar su punto de venta. N’Corcho también se benefició del manual que le brindó esta etapa para mejorar su plan de negocios, facilitando la planificación y proyección futura. Además de esta etapa, también se benefició enormemente de las herramientas que Brands of Americas le brindó durante la etapa de “Marketing y Presencia Digital”, las cuales lo ayudaron a desarrollar un plan más estructurado para ganar mayor reconocimiento de marca en el mercado puertorriqueño. También reconoció que sus habilidades en las redes sociales tuvieron una gran mejoría y que esto, combinado con sus planes de expansión, duplicaría las ventas y aumentará el reconocimiento de la marca en Puerto Rico. 

Morgan explica que luego de los servicios del programa, se siente más seguro sobre el futuro de N’Corcho, especialmente ahora que ha desarrollado una red de apoyo con los mentores y compañeros de PULSO. Después de pasar por gran parte del currículo del programa, Morgan estaba listo para solicitar financiamiento para implementar sus planes de expansión, basados en su nuevo conocimiento obtenido en PULSO. Con la ayuda del Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC), Morgan pudo estructurar las finanzas de su negocio y trabajar en la preparación de su préstamo. LEDC también pudo guiar a Morgan a través de su solicitud de préstamo, que finalmente fue aprobada por $45,000. 

Después de meses de tener solo un punto de venta y un empleado de medio tiempo, Morgan está listo para abrir un segundo punto de venta en un centro comercial con mayor tráfico, reclutando 3 empleados adicionales a partir del 1 de diciembre de 2022. Morgan expresa una inmensa gratitud por el apoyo que ha recibido del consorcio PULSO e insiste en que, si tuviera la oportunidad, lo haría todo de nuevo. 

Historia de éxito de Wafol Café

Después de recibir muchos comentarios positivos en las redes sociales sobre sus creativos desayunos, Alexander Ortiz decidió convertir este pasatiempo en un negocio real con la ayuda de su esposa y ahora socia comercial, Davnny Rodríguez. Ambos eran empresarios autodidactas, con trayectorias profesionales y educativas completamente diferentes (Alexander estudió Ingeniería Eléctrica y Calibración, y Davnny estaba en el campo de Ciencias Naturales). Con la ayuda de algunos libros lograron aprender cómo establecer y administrar un restaurante. Antes de PULSO, Wafol Café tenía un modelo comercial muy distintivo. El restaurante no tenía meseros y se basaba en un modelo de autoservicio que permitía a los clientes entrar y hacer sus propios wafles y desayuno, agregando los ingredientes que deseaban. 

Sin embargo, solo 1 mes después de su apertura en diciembre de 2019, Puerto Rico fue golpeado por una serie de terremotos; y 3 meses después, se confirmaron los primeros pacientes con COVID-19 y Puerto Rico fue puesto bajo confinamiento obligatorio. Estas medidas ejercieron una gran presión sobre muchos empresarios y propietarios de pequeños negocios como Alexander y Davnny. En su caso, pudieron reanudar parcialmente su negocio después de que se redujeron las restricciones. Aun así, las regulaciones locales solo permitían una capacidad del 50 % en los restaurantes, lo que finalmente llevó a Wafol Café a reinventar su modelo original en una experiencia con meseros, al mismo tiempo que implementaba servicios de entrega. 

La asistencia basada en etapas de PULSO permitió a Alexander y Davnny superar muchos de los desafíos a los que se enfrentaban, específicamente al reevaluar su plan de negocios original para considerar los desafíos nuevos y preexistentes a través de las etapas de Radiografía del Negocio, Negocios 101 e Innovación de Plan de Negocio de PULSO. En una entrevista con el equipo de CNPP Hub, Davnny recuerda que después de una sesión de asesoramiento con Centro Para Emprendedores, descubrieron que la forma en que administraban su inventario era parte de la razón detrás de sus limitaciones de flujo de efectivo. Gracias a que estos servicios se proporcionaron al principio del programa, Davnny y Alexander pudieron aprender cómo los productos descartados, los beneficios de comidas para empleados y la inflación de precios aumentaron los costos por unidad y, a su vez, aprendieron cómo ajustar su estrategia de precios para no tener mayores pérdidas. Luego comenzaron a desarrollar un sistema estandarizado para ayudarlos a tener más control de sus finanzas. Además, los servicios del programa permitieron que Davnny y Alexander se dieran cuenta de que el 40 % de sus ingresos por ventas procedían de un producto específico, lo que finalmente los llevó a desarrollar una estrategia de ventas para seguir impulsando los ingresos a través de su producto estrella. Además, las sesiones de consejería les hicieron darse cuenta de que estaban pasando por alto a sus consumidores de lunes a viernes (como empleados de oficinas cercanas, padres que llevan a sus hijos a la escuela temprano en la mañana y jubilados/ancianos que viven en el área), lo que representó una oportunidad de crecimiento para el negocio. Las sesiones de innovación del programa con otros participantes de la cohorte fueron especialmente útiles para Davnny y Alexander en la identificación de oportunidades comerciales adicionales. Al conectarse con otros empresarios de Vega Baja y municipios aledaños concluyeron que su zona no contaba con suficientes opciones de entrega de comida a domicilio, lo cual era un área de oportunidad para expandir sus servicios. El dúo ahora está desarrollando la segunda fase de su plan de negocios que considera un esfuerzo de cambio de marca que incluye una nueva página web conectada a un nuevo sistema de entrega para ayudarlos a aprovechar la oportunidad y llegar a su cliente ideal. A medida que su negocio avanza hacia la experiencia digital, reconocen cómo los talleres de Brands of Américas los ayudan a garantizar la implementación exitosa de estos esfuerzos. 

Después de tener un plan original donde solo contemplaban 3 empleados, ahora tienen 14 empleados y están en proceso de reestructurar su cocina y comprar equipos avanzados para ayudarlos a alcanzar su capacidad de producción proyectada. Lo que comenzó como una empresa de medio tiempo, ahora es una fuente de ingresos de tiempo completo. Ambos expresaron que, desde que se inscribieron en el programa, ya no sienten que están levantando un negocio por su cuenta, y su progreso ha hecho posible que Alexander deje su trabajo diario y obtenga su salario digno completamente de su negocio.