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High-Tech Business Incubator Vitec2 Expands
Grants are available for development to commercialization of final product or service
By MARIALBA MARTINEZ
September 16, 2004
Vitec2, the Mayaguez-based technology business accelerator, is working with onsite and virtual tenant programs to help them through different levels of their development, manufacturing, financing, and commercialization processes.
To this end, Vitec2 will distribute the $1 million granted by the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Co. in seed money for matching fund loans to selected tenants involved in the development of new computer and information technologies.
Vitec2 is the continuation of Puerto Ricos first business incubator, Vitec, established in 1999 by the University of Puerto Rico to encourage high-technology enterprises. It was renamed Vitec2 in 2003 after the incubators management was transferred to the Puerto Rico TechnoEconomic Corridor (PRTEC).
"We no longer believe that high-technology enterprises must necessarily develop in traditional industrial parks," said Vitec2 Managing Director Hector Carlo. "High-technology projects can take place anywhere. Whats important is that they obtain the necessary skills to successfully commercialize their final product in a financially sound environment."
PRTEC Executive Director Nelson Perea, a member of Vitec2s board of directors, supports Vitec2s goals. PRTEC, an organization whose work promotes economic development in the islands western region, will assist in the integration of new business enterprises into the islands technology sector.
Current Vitec2 tenants are Infotech, Caribbean Thermal Technologies, Tecnium, and CS Group. The organizations first virtual tenant is Comoca, a voice-over Internet technology development company established in Mayaguez. Having previously formed a similar company on the U.S. mainland, Comoca is taking advantage of some programs under Vitec2 since it doesnt need to be physically present at the incubator.
"This is a perfect example of the kind of mix of clients we would like to have," said Carlo. "Comocas previous experience in developing its own company elsewhere means it doesnt need our expertise in management, for example. But because we helped it connect with the University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, the company has hired more than 10 engineers and is taking advantage of the universitys technology. In turn, it has referred several projects to us in the course of the companys marketing efforts."
Vitec2 has been influential in the development of several ventures such as Virtual Educational Resources Network Inc., a company that creates multimedia educational solutions.
This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.