This post was originally published on the Hopp.vc website Here.

Starting a company?  Need funding? Want an all-expense-paid trip to Puerto Rico? Yeah, we thought so! Join @Hopp.vc and ATO Ventures for an epic, all-expense-paid, four-day extravaganza, where you will get to Pitch and Play with other inspiring founders in our tropical island Paradise.

Overview

ATO Ventures is a pre-seed and seed-stage Venture Capital fund based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We fund startups from around the world in the very earliest stages, before they launch! Since these companies have yet to make their way into the spotlight, we find most of them via word-of-mouth and social media… or rather, that’s how they find us! 

The Pitch & Play in Paradise event is, quite simply, an opportunity for us to connect with promising startups we might otherwise never see. If you are a founder, or are thinking of starting a company, we want to hear from you!  

Follow @Hopp.vc on Instagram to learn more about the trip and how to raise funds for your startup!

Submit your Startup at ATOVentures.com and be sure to check the box that says “I want to be considered for Pitch & Play in Paradise.”

Details

We’ll choose four entrepreneurs (two from PR and two from outside of PR) to join us for a four day, ATO Ventures power session during which founders will have the opportunity to perfect their pitches, prepare for Market Validation Testing and experience all Puerto Rico has to offer in business and in fun.

The selected startups will receive an ALL-EXPENSE-PAID, 4-DAY TRIP to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

When is the trip?** What’s the agenda? What will you learn? Will you get funding as well?  I will answer all these questions and more in my stories on Instagram @Hopp.vc, so follow along and ask away.

** NOTE: We had previously posted on Instagram the the event would be in May. Due to the current lockdowns, we are postponing the trip, but IT WILL HAPPEN! We will announce new dates as soon as possible.

In the meantime GO TO ATOVENTURES.COM/SUBMIT TO APPLY.

Why Puerto Rico?

I chose to live in PR because I love it here. I chose to start a venture capital fund in PR because it makes sense.

The startup ecosystem in Puerto Rico is in the earliest stages and expanding at a phenomenal rate.  Several factors are fueling the growth, from a higher quality of life at a much lower cost than other tech hubs such as San Francisco, LA, and NYC, to the promise of founders keeping 30-50% more of their wealth upon exit thanks to some very interesting tax incentives.

What’s more, we have an incredible, highly educated, bilingual talent pool ready and willing to stay or return to the island as more opportunities become available.  I have had no trouble finding talent for my companies or my portfolio companies.

The one thing that we need on the island, to add to our phenomenal talent and the growing number of startups, is more capital. While there were a few Private Equity funds, real estate funds, and hedge funds when I first decided to move here, there weren't any true venture capital funds. 

Although I will be the very first person to tell you that the venture capital model doesn't make sense for most startups, it has a proven track record for growing innovative technology companies that can scale and, along with them, the ecosystems that surround those companies. Having lived my entire adult life starting and investing in Silicon Valley startups, I happen to know quite a bit about venture capital. ATO Ventures is my way of contributing to the growth and development of the PR venture and tech ecosystem.