Help Rebuild Puerto Rico One Woman at a Time! Fund a team of female innovators to come to Raleigh for training

PR2NC Social Good
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Project Ends on February 28, 2018
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Project Description

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Puerto Ricans are struggling to rebuild after Hurricane Maria. Here in Raleigh, NC the entrepreneurial community is ready to support Puerto Rican innovators to create high impact, long-lasting solutions!  Do you want to join us

Here’s how: PR 2 NC brings female entrepreneurs from Puerto Rico to Raleigh, North Carolina for four weeks in January 2018 to work with an international team of female innovators on rebuilding projects for Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rican Entrepreneurs will return to Puerto Rico to implement the projects and create a new PR 2 NC sister city collaboration between San Juan and Raleigh to cultivate additional projects. The innovators are provided with:

  • The Basics: Housing, reliable technology, workspace at HQ Raleigh, and living stipend
  • Essential Kăt’ l īz’ ers: Training/skill building, mentoring, and advising
  • Womenpower: Project support from advisors and student team from US, China, Argentina, Australia & Mexico in Leadership exCHANGE’s Women & Innovation (Kăt’ l īz’ er)
  • Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: Establishment of PR 2 NC partnership between HQ Raleigh and San Juan’s co-working space Parallel18 to establish on-going platform for additional partnerships

End result: This project galvanizes female innovators from multiple countries to help rebuild Puerto Rico One Woman at a Time!  AND, the female innovators will be ready to compete in April forParallel18’s  Pre-18 Accelerator that provides 20k in grant funds with an opportunity to go on to compete for another 40k in grants. Let’s catalyze these women! 

Funding Provides 

  • Airfare for 2-4 Female Innovators from Puerto Rico
  • Housing for Puerto Rican Innovators
  • Programming/Training for innovators
  • Membership and conference room space at HQ Raleigh for Puerto Rican Innovators

Could we exceed our initial funding request? The more funding, the more innovators and project team members we can bring!!!! 

WHY? A COMMUNITY IN NEED!   On September 16, 2017 the Category 5 Hurricane Maria devastated the island of Puerto Rico, affecting 3.4 US Citizens.

  • Fatalities nearing 500 people
  • 50% of the island still without power
  • There’s not enough water or food on the island
  • Most hospitals are running on generators with limited fuel
  • Alternative energy solutions, access to drinking water, food supplies logistics, agriculture, connectivity  are in need of significant improvement on the island

Hurricane 3

“Make no mistake — this is a humanitarian disaster involving 3.4 million US citizens.” Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Ross

WHAT CAN BE DONE?   The Dedication of Social Innovators and Entrepreneurs

“I’m exhausted and managing burnout symptoms but I can’t stop to take a break.” Christine Nieves, social entrepreneur.

After Maria, with its electrical power and communication infrastructure compromised, the local entrepreneurial community struggles to work on innovative solutions to the devastating impact of the hurricane.  Early stage startups in the island are determined to keep going, but they are vulnerable, with little access to cash flow.  To mitigate this, we need to come up with new ways to help them weather the -literal- storm. It is both an urgent challenge but also a potential tremendous opportunity to disrupt the status quo and create new innovative and long-lasting solutions.

“Entrepreneurs in Puerto Rico are already stepping up to the plate after Maria, and taking matters into their own hands for the benefit of their companies and their island. Life after the hurricane in Puerto Rico is not comfortable, but here’s what I keep telling myself, the Parallel18 team, and the local startup community: now, more than ever, let’s not only be hopeful but also work hard towards a future where the world can benefit from impactful solutions developed in Puerto Rico.” Sebastian Vidal, Executive Director Parallel18, leading co-working space for innovators in the capital city San Juan.

WHY Bring Female Innovators to Raleigh?

Did you know Raleigh/Durham is home to a thriving ecosystem of female innovators from multiple industries?  One of the fastest growing cities in the US, Raleigh is a melting pot of people and ideas! Most important, Raleigh is full of innovators who are passionate about creating collaborate communities for high impact! When we see a fellow innovator in need, we help!  The host of the program, Leadership exCHANGE, has 19 years of experience catalyzing the skills and talents of change agents, including running women & innovation programs in Panama, Prague, and Raleigh.  Our co-partner for the project, HQ Raleigh, is the largest co-working space for startups and social entrepreneurs in Raleigh, making it the perfect home for these innovators to work on their projects.  We also have ThinkHouse, a renovated boarding house walking distance to HQ Raleigh, that is perfect to house innovators and project team members.  We have a personal connection to Puerto Rico. Christine Nieves, Puerto Rican social entrepreneur featured in our video, is an instructor for Leadership exCHANGE’s Leadership & Innovation Program.  We have been in contact with Christine since the hurricane and have been consulting with Christine and fellow innovators at Propell18 San Juan about what type of project would be most useful to innovators in this time of need.  

In Sum: Raleigh happens to be a community of some pretty kickass female innovators! And we’d like to empower our fellow women innovators in Puerto Rico.  We’re passionate, collaborative, and ready utilize our infrastructure and womenpower! 

14 de julio de 2017 San Juan Puerto Rico. Demo Day generacion 3 de Parallel 18 . Actividad se llevo a cabo en el teatro Emilio S. Belaval de la Universidad del Sagrado Corazon . En la foto Jossie Arroyo de Bien Cool . (photo by: Jose R. Madera)


The Team

iFundWomen Team Photo

Magdalyn Duffie: Founder, This Ole Thing Design (love our amazing logo? Mags designed this!) 

Lucila Dotto: Department of State Fellow (Young Leaders of the America Initiative), Co-Founder of AGC Consultora Argentina

Heather McDougall, Ph.D.: Founder, Leadership exCHANGE, Co-Founder e51

Liz Tracy: Executive Director, HQ Raleigh

Key Partners

Leadership exCHANGE is a social enterprise founded in 1999 with the mission to train the next generation of leaders, global citizens, and change agents.

HQ Raleigh : The largest co-working space in Raleigh (400+ companies and 4 buildings) focused on developing a community of high-impact and high-grossing startups and social enterprises.   Certified B-Corp.