The Endeavor Puerto Rico team is part of a global network of Endeavor locations across more than 30 markets with great demand for high-impact entrepreneurship. Together with the support of some 400 colleagues from across the world, the local team is determined to transform the island’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, based on its belief in the potential of local entrepreneurs to make a global impact. The Endeavor Puerto Rico office aims is to introduce top entrepreneurs into this global movement, so they may scale up their companies worldwide.
Erika Medina-Vecchini is the Managing Director of Endeavor Puerto Rico. Her mission is to serve as a catalyst to sustainable economic growth by identifying, connecting and mentoring the best entrepreneurs in the island with global scale-up capacity.
After five years in New York City, Erika returned to Puerto Rico in 2017 to join public service, determined to help boost the local economy. As Chief Business Development Officer for Puerto Rico’s Department of Economic Development & Commerce and Industrial Development Company, she focused on strengthening the island’s economic value proposition, attracting new investment and diversifying Puerto Rico’s economic activity. She also became the main liaison to the fast-growing entrepreneurial ecosystem and investors, promoting cross-sectorial collaboration and supporting programs, tax incentives and startups enhancing innovation in the Island.
With a Bachelor Degree in Public Communication from American University in Washington DC, Graduate Studies in Public Policy from Columbia University in New York City, and over 15 years of global experience in strategy, marketing, and business development, Erika is fully committed to leveraging Endeavor’s global network to engage entrepreneurs in thinking global and position Puerto Rico as a competitive destination to do and grow businesses. Born and raised in the Caribbean but with a universal soul, Erika leads Endeavor’s 32nd market, destined to be home of the most successful and impactful entrepreneurs in the Americas.
Entrepreneur, Selection and Growth
Alejandro Manzanares is a Senior Associate at Endeavor Puerto Rico. A business, policy, & city enthusiast, Alejandro joined the Endeavor Puerto Rico team recently. Before joining Endeavor, Alejandro worked for V2A, a boutique management consulting firm in Puerto Rico. Previously, he worked as Team Leader for Gustazos.com, the largest daily deal website in the Caribbean, where he was heavily involved from its origins and held critical business development positions in expanding markets such as Panama, Dominican Republic, Canary Islands, Orlando & Miami. Alejandro is also the Co-founder of Merodea.com, the first local multi-brand fashion e-commerce website. He is also a Hive Global Leaders program participant, StartingBloc social innovation fellow, and was selected as a Global Shaper in 2015, an initiative of the World Economic Forum.
He attended the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico in San Juan and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He later obtained a Master’s in Public Administration from Northeastern University in Boston, MA.
He is active in numerous charitable organizations, fundraising efforts, and community development projects in Puerto Rico.
Verónica Llama is a Marketing Associate at Endeavor Puerto Rico, where she strives to put Endeavor on the map by encouraging people to discover the organization’s mission to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem and impact economic development.
Prior to Endeavor Puerto Rico, Verónica served as co-administrator of the Bahía Urbana outdoor venue in San Juan and excelled as Project Manager for such events as Heineken Jazz Fest, Rio Mar Member & Guest golf tournament, KQ Sunsets concert series and many others. She also had an important role as a member of the Marketing and Communications team of the PGA TOUR’s Puerto Rico Open in 2018 and 2017. Full of energy and ambition, her aspiration to work in the most important stadium in Puerto Rico, Coliseo de Puerto Rico José Miguel Agrelot, led her to join the operations team of the Monica Puig Invitational tennis tournament.
A former member of the Student Council, she graduated with honors from the University of Sacred Heart in Puerto Rico with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and a minor in Marketing. As part of her undergraduate studies, she completed a semester at The University of Tampa, where her passion for writing led her to become a content creator for student publication The Odyssey Online. Verónica aspires to build the Endeavor movement’s influence through the different social media platforms as well as traditional media channels.
Endeavor Puerto Rico’s Board Members represent a diverse group of business leaders and entrepreneurs committed to supporting our mission and driving our growth.
José R. Stella is currently Co-CEO and Co-Founder of QMC Telecom International Holdings LLC, a multinational provider of wireless infrastructure. Prior to that, he was the CEO and Co-founder of VIU Media until the sale of the company to Lamar Advertising (NASDAQ:LAMR) in 2006. At the time of the sale, VIU Media was Puerto Rico's largest locally owned outdoor advertising company.
Prior to becoming President of VIU Media, he was the Co-Founder and President of Quest Management Corporation, a private equity group formed to identify, acquire, and operate a company in Puerto Rico.
Previously, Mr. Stella worked at KPMG Peat Marwick in the middle-market M&A Advisory Group. He also worked for UBS in Zurich and Chase Manhattan Bank where he worked in Corporate Finance. José received, along with his business partner, the 2004 Ernst &Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Puerto Rico.
Throughout the years he has served on several boards of directors. Mr. Stella graduated high honors with a B.A. in Economics, Finance and Investments, from Babson College and graduated cum laude with an MBA from University of Michigan.
Lisanne Dorion has over 25 years working in the international business arena. Her early career was with Bacardi International Limited’s global legal team working on licensing, production, and transactional matters in Europe and Asia. Eventually becoming Vice President Legal and Global Director of Intellectual Property for the Bacardi International. During her tenure at Bacardi she worked on matters throughout Europe, Latin American, Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific.
Building on many of the challenges and opportunities that working at Bacardi afforded her, Lisanne eventually returned to private practice and academia in the USA. For over a decade Ms. Dorion has been a Faculty Advisor for the Tuck Business School’s Global Consultancy On-Site Program. Ms. Dorion most enjoys this program as she is able to contribute not only to the experiential education of MBA students, but also provide value and insights to industry leading companies worldwide.
Lisanne continues her pursuit of challenges and experiences outside of the office as well. Whether piloting a helicopter or winning the 2006 4Desert’s World Women’s Championship title or representing the USA before the Queen of England in international equine endurance, Lisanne is constantly refining her belief that obstacles are not just something to overcome, but a chance to create an amazing outcome.
María Luisa Ferré Rangel is the president of Grupo Ferré Rangel, a diversified family holding company with leading operations in media, real estate, health services, telemarketing and distribution in Puerto Rico, the United States and Chile.
As president of Grupo Ferré Rangel, Ms. Ferré Rangel has guided and continues to lead the company’s development, growth and diversification strategies outside Puerto Rico and oversees the continuous leadership of the core businesses in the Island. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Banco Popular de Puerto Rico since 2000, where she is Chairperson of the Compensation Committee and member of the Trust and Governance Committees.
Ms. Ferré Rangel is an active advocate and supporter of community organizations and non-profit institutions. She is President of the Board of Directors of the “Museo de Arte de Ponce”, one of Puerto Rico’s most prestigious and internationally recognized museums. Since 2011, she has been a member of the Latin American & Caribbean Fund Committee of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She is also Vice President and Director of the Ferré Rangel Foundation, a philanthropic entity created by the Ferré Rangel family to channel donations to educational programs. She actively participates in several other non-profit institutions, such as, the Multisensory Reading Centers for Puerto Rico, which provides access to effective instruction in reading, spelling and writing for struggling readers.
Ms. Ferré Rangel graduated Magna Cum Laude from Amherst College in Massachusetts with a BA in History and Hispanic studies and obtained a Masters of Science Degree with honors from Boston University. She is married and has three children.
Mike Soto founded the Center for a New Economy (CNE) in 1998, and since then, has steered CNE into becoming one of the most credible and influential voices in Puerto Rico. Since 2014, CNE has been recognized as one of the Top Think-Tanks to Watch by the Global Think Tank Report of the University of Pennsylvania.
Mike has served as member of the Community Innovator's Lab at MIT in Boston, Massachuse8s, and the YouthSave Advisory Board at the New America Founda=on in Washington, D.C. In 2008, he was selected as an Aspen Ins=tute Ideas Fellow.
Mike’s was an editor of, The Economy of Puerto Rico: Restoring Growth, published by the Brookings Ins=tu=on in 2006 and selected that same year as a Notable Book by the American Library Association. He has been a columnist for El Nuevo Día, Puerto Rico’s largest circula=on daily, since 2003, and was the host of a weekly news radio program on economics for several years.
He is currently the Yale Alumni Schools Director for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the Baldwin School of Puerto Rico, an Emeritus Member of the Advisory Council for the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico, and the Chairman of “Espacios Abiertos”, an organization dedicated to growing civic capacity and promoting transparency in Puerto Rico. Mike has a B.A. from Yale University and a Juris Doctor from Vanderbilt University.
Ignacio Alvarez has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Popular, Inc. since July 1st, 2017. Prior to his appointment as President and CEO he served as President and Chief Operating Officer.
Previously, he was one of the six founding partners of the law firm Pietrantoni Méndez & Álvarez LLP.
Recognized by Chambers Global as “one of the best lawyers in Puerto Rico,” Álvarez was an integral part of the firm’s success for 18 years. Among his main practice areas are: banking, corporate and commercial law; corporate and public finance law; securities and capital markets.
Álvarez was born in Havana, Cuba in 1958; graduated from Georgetown University, Magna Cum Laude, 1980; Harvard Law School J.D., Cum Laude, 1983; and admitted to the Bar in Florida and Puerto Rico in 1983.
He was an Adjunct Professor and Lecturer, University of Puerto Rico Law School, from 1988 to 1992. He has been a member of the Board of Regents of Georgetown University since October 2008.
Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn co-founder
Diego Piacentini, Amazon SVP
AOL Brand Group CEO
Allen & Co
Endeavor offers its entrepreneurs access to a world-class network of talented individuals and organizations that mentor them to think bigger, make better business decisions and multiply their impact.
Endeavor connects entrepreneurs with personal mentors who provide ongoing one-on-one support. Mentors are selected from Endeavor’s active global network and are matched based on the entrepreneur’s goals, needs and interests. Mentor relationships are continuous and provide entrepreneurs with inspiration and support.
Endeavor Puerto Rico’s Mentors comprise a carefully curated group of leaders whose combined backgrounds and skillsets help steer high-impact entrepreneurs towards global-scale success.
Jorge Luis Rodríguez González was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Jorge has over 29 years of experience in the areas of industrial automation and technology regulatory compliance for the Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices industry. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School “Owner/Presidents Management Program” (OPM38), holds a Master in Business Administration from the University of Puerto Rico (Summa Cum Laude) and a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from Syracuse University. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Control Systems in the State of Indiana and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Jorge is the Founder and CEO of PACIV, an industrial automation solutions engineering firm. Jorge founded PACIV at a friends apartment’s room with a $5,000 investment and today it’s a global leader in industrial automation solutions to the Life Sciences’ industry with offices in Puerto Rico, United States and Ireland and over 100 engineers. PACIV clients include the largest Life Sciences’ companies in the world such as Abbvie, Alexion, Amgen, BMS, Gilead, J&J, Lilly, Merck, Pfizer, Roche, etc.) as well as other multinational clients in related industries. Prior to founding PACIV, he worked for over 8 years as a control system engineer in various positions within Westinghouse Electric, Eli Lilly & Co. and J&J Janssen.
Jorge is ultimately responsible for PACIV’s strategic objectives, including the creation, planning, implementation, and integration of the strategic direction and overall success of PACIV. He has been responsible for building the platforms and processes for growth in all offices, including experiencing all the growing pains of that. He is also focused in ensuring the organization's leadership maintains constant awareness of both the external and internal competitive landscape, opportunities for expansion, customers, markets, new industry developments and standards. Most importantly, Jorge is ultimately responsible for the well being and best possible working environment of the associates and exceeding all expectations of our clients worldwide.
PACIV has been recognized as a Harvard Business School case study, 20 Best Employers in Puerto Rico and Eli Lilly & Co. Global Supplier of the Year. Jorge has been recognized as a Most Distinguish Graduate by the University of Puerto Rico, Caribbean Business’s “40 under 40” business leaders in Puerto Rico, “Puerto Rico Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce, and “Puerto Rico Young Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Sales & Marketing Executives (SME) of Puerto Rico.
Jorge has been a board member of various non-for-profit organizations including the “Puerto Rico Supreme Court Foundation”, “Fondita de Jesus” and “Fundación Chana y Samuel Levi”. Jorge is an active member of YPO and the Puerto Rico College of Surveyors and Engineers.
During his tenure at PACIV he has also participated in multiple entrepreneurial programs such as the MIT Entrepreneurship Development Program, Grupo Guayacan Business Accelerator and MIT Glab. Jorge has also provided multiple seminars, workshops and mentoring to start-up companies.
Jorge has lived in multiple states across the US (NC, MD, PA, IN, NY) and countries (UK, Italy, and Ireland). He enjoys spending time in the outdoors including road biking, mountain biking, surfing, hiking, jogging, and skiing.
Emilio Fuentes recently served as Senior Director of Citrix System leading the World-Wide Managed Services organization. In this role Emilio was responsible for running a remote delivery group serving Enterprise customers primarily in the Americas and Europe. Emilio joined Citrix as part of Citrix acquiring Knowlity Corp in 2012. He was founder and president of Knowlity Corp. As president of Knowlity he was responsible for strategic direction, sales and operations of the company. Emilio founded Knowlity in 2002 with the mission of creating an IT consulting firm with deep knowledge in virtualization technologies and a relentless focus on customers satisfaction. The acquisition of Knowlity by Citrix represents the first time a local IT consulting firm is acquired by a public company listed in the NASDAQ exchange. In his tenure at Knowlity Emilio worked tirelessly to build a culture of exporting services and creating long-lasting customer relationships.
Before Knowlity, Emilio was Manager of Consulting Services for Citrix Systems, the same company that acquired Knowlity in 2012. As Manager, he worked on jump starting the services business throughout Latin America. He joined Citrix from Innovex Group, a South-Florida customer software development firm where he led back-end system developments for several customers in the South-Florida market. Emilio’s first technology related job was Andersen Consulting, now Accenture.
Emilio graduated in 1997 from the Chemical Engineering department at the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez Campus. In addition to his work-life he deeply believes in social responsibility and paying it forward. Emilio is a board member of Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and mentor for several programs at Grupo Guayacan. He is happily married to Yilma Quiñonez since 1999, they have to kids, Martin Emilio 14 years old and Amanda Lucía 11 years old.
Mr. Ortiz is a Managing Director and Co-Founding Partner of MoonSail Capital a San Juan based private equity firm focused on making investments in lower-middle market founder and family-owned businesses. Mr. Ortiz was previously a Principal at Palladium Equity Partners, a $2 billion AUM private equity firm based in New York.
Prior to joining Palladium, Mr. Ortiz was an Associate with Advent Morro Equity Partners in San Juan where he invested in opportunities in healthcare services, business services and manufacturing. He began his career at Banco Popular de Puerto Rico where he was part of an internal M&A group executing principal investments and acquisitions of financial services companies in the U.S. and Latin America.
Mr. Ortiz earned a BS from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Mr. Ortiz is a Board Member of the New America Alliance and the Foundation for Puerto Rico.
Mr. Somoza is currently Co-CEO and Co-Founder of QMC Telecom International Holdings LLC, a multinational wireless infrastructure provider. Prior to that, he was the CEO and Co-founder of VIU Media until the sale of the company to Lamar Advertising (NASDAQ:LAMR) in 2006. At the time of the sale, VIU Media was Puerto Rico's largest locally owned outdoor advertising company.
Prior to becoming CEO of VIU Media, Mr. Somoza was the CEO and Co-founder of Quest Management Corporation, a private equity investment company formed to identify, acquire, and later operate a desirable going concern in Puerto Rico. Previously, Mr. Somoza worked at the Chase Manhattan Bank and at CS First Boston where he was actively involved in structuring over $1.2 billion in lead managed bond and asset backed financings for both government and private issuers in varied industries.
Throughout the years he has also been directly involved in the development of several successful residential and tourism real estate projects, including the Rincon Beach Resort, a 120-room beach front hotel on the west coast of Puerto Rico. Along with his business partner, Mr. Somoza is the recipient of the 2004 E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Puerto Rico. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of Alpha Credit in Mexico and throughout the years has served in several other boards. Mr. Somoza holds a B.A., magna cum laude, in Economics and Political Science from Yale University and an MBA from Stanford's Graduate School of Business.
Endeavor’s community of 1,700+ founders have been selected from 70,000+ screened. The entrepreneurs in Endeavor’s network have successfully scaled their businesses and created significant wealth and job opportunities in nearly every industry and region around the world. These could be your peers, get to know them!
"Ebay" of Latin America
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