The Bravo Family Foundation (BFF) announced that a recent initiative to bring Silicon Valley investors to Puerto Rico to meet local technology companies has produced significant capital raises for two startups affiliated to the organization’s Rising Entrepreneurs Program (REP) business accelerator.
The Foundation facilitated pitch presentations and individual meetings between select REP founders and several prominent U.S.-based venture capital firms. In attendance were senior investment professionals from firms including Softbank, Salesforce Ventures, G2 Venture Partners, Amity Ventures, Lux Capital, 305 Ventures. Participating REP startups included Uva, CINCO Engineering, Fitly Health, Kiwi, Raincoat, Beauty 911, Skootel, and Viva Latam.
The initiative resulted in Softbank and 305 Ventures investing in local startups Raincoat and Beauty 911, with combined commitments exceeding $1 million.
“It is important for entrepreneurs in Puerto Rico to have access to venture capital firms that can drive growth at a larger scale. This initiative provided some of our highest-traction REP founders the experience to meet, pitch and learn from these funds, an experience which is fundamental for the strengthening, developing, and scaling businesses from Puerto Rico,” said Orlando Bravo, founder, and president of the Board of Directors, of the Bravo Family Foundation, and founder and managing partner of global private equity firm Thoma Bravo.
“Thanks to the Bravo Family Foundation, we can take Beauty 911 to even greater heights. The access and level of mentorship we received through the Rising Entrepreneurs Program uniquely prepared us for this opportunity and enabled us to secure a critical injection of capital as we look to grow”, said Carmen Medina, co-founder of Beauty 911, which is currently actively raising an additional round of capital to scale further.
Beauty 911 is a marketplace and network for professionals offering in-home beauty services that has a long-term goal of expansion across Latin America and the continental United States.
Similarly, Raincoat CEO Jonathan González said “this was an incredible opportunity to meet with world-class investors with international track records and an interest in Puerto Rico.”
“This experience forced us to answer difficult questions and significantly strengthen our value proposition. I believe the Bravo Family Foundation’s efforts are an important step forward in reducing the funding gap many businesses from the island experience,” he added.
Raincoat is an advisory firm specializing in scaled parametric insurance.
Rising Entrepreneurs Program
The Rising Entrepreneurs Program (REP) is a startup accelerator that promotes the growth of high-potential technology startups using capital and a proprietary curriculum developed in partnership with Thoma Bravo firm. REP also offers highly personalized mentorship aimed at preparing founders to successfully scale their businesses locally and internationally.
“The level of talent, commitment and desire of the founders and teams that have participated in the Rising Entrepreneurs Program fills us with pride to see the growth through the program. We continue to bet on Puerto Rican talent and offering them the tools and access to scale globally,” said Blanca Santos, executive director of the Bravo Family Foundation.
The program provides young, purpose-driven entrepreneurs with the knowledge, capital, and connections they need to successfully launch, manage, and develop a technology company in Puerto Rico and abroad.
The program's curriculum addresses the fundamental concepts necessary to manage, develop, and scale a business. Concepts include how to strengthen work plans and how to optimize a product or service.
Participants receive support from the Rising Entrepreneurs Program team, local business leaders, and mentors from the private equity firm Thoma Bravo.
New Cohort Application Round Launches in October
REP programs will start accepting application for its fifth cohort October 1st, 2022. The program has already graduated three cohorts with 34 participating companies, some of which have received investment from renowned international investment firms and already export their products or services.
Meanwhile, this September, BFF will announce the three winning teams who will be awarded an additional subsidy. BFF selects finalists based on their technical skills, innovation and growth-oriented business model, market proof, and commitment to creating a positive impact on the island, etc.
For more information on program selection criteria, key considerations, requirements and compliances, visit www.bravofamilyfoundation.org.