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Ramphis Castro

Greater New York City Area

Ramphis career has been a serial entrepreneur and a pioneer in cross-platform native mobile technology. He is the founding partner of Mindchemy, which enables most of the relevant tech-entrepreneurship programs in Puerto Rico: Startup Weekend, Startup NEXT, Startup Digest, Hack Puerto Rico, CodeTrotters, Founder Institute, Lean Startup Machine, among others. He has served as policy adviser on entrepreneurship, technology, and economic development policy to leaders in Puerto Rico, Norway, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Guatemala, among others.

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Areas of Expertise

  • Lean Startup

    I can help startups work through their business model iterations. From customer discovery to validation, I have extensive experience supporting startups iterate through their models towards product/market fit.

    • Business
    • Strategy
    • Lean startups
    • business model innovation
  • IP Strategy

    I can support companies on all aspects of their intellectual property strategy - from licensing to enforcement with a focus on optimizing for investor value.

    • Business
    • IP Strategy
    • IP Licensing
    • IP Valuation

Reviews

  • MP
    Ramphis stands above the crowd as a visionary-in-action, creator of something from nothing. He has made his career a research project on value creation, from his time at Microsoft to launching his own startup, to leading the computer engineering institute, to becoming a patent attorney becoming a font of knowledgeable support for startups far and wide, he has blazed a trail of inspiration among colleagues. It is a privilege to count him as a business partner and friend.
    Marcos Polanco
  • PP
    Ramphis is a highly motivated person who puts all his heart into his work. He develops business ideas and implements them in a simple effective manner.
    private private
  • RA
    Ramphis is one of the few people I know who have true enthusiasm and commitment towards helping start-ups get on track. He has the talent of looking at a technology solution and turn it into a business model, and since he's formally trained in software engineering, business and law, his assessments are always full of priceless information.
    Ricardo Alcocer
  • JP
    Ramphis is definitely one of the few taking entrepreneurship to another level on the Island. We share the same vision of creating, uniting, and building a stronger community. His ambition and energy have made events like Startup Weekend Puerto Rico possible and successful. He's a perfect asset for any startup.
    José Padilla
  • IR
    What Ramphis does best is execute. When he promises something or has an idea, he puts it into action. When he knows he can help, he helps, in any way from making valuable introductions to lending support. He has led or been part of (and I've had the pleasure to work with him) at least two events that Puerto Rico hadn't seen before: Startup Weekend and TEDxSanJuan. He has created startups, and he excels in advising them too.
    Iván Ríos Mena

Investing Profile

Investor Overview
11+ investments
Invests $3,000 per company

My Interests

Health Sectors
Digital Health, Health IT
Markets, Health Indications, Health Issues
  • Health IT
  • Digital Health
Geographies
  • Global

Experience

  • UP Global Champion / NEXT Leader

    UP Global | November 2012 - Current

    Startup Next is the #1 global pre-accelerator program for early stage startups. Through the seven-week program, startup teams are prepared for accelerators through intense mentoring, expert speakers and peer collaboration. With a hands-on mentorship model, NEXT helps committed and promising early stage startup teams find the path to product market fit. NEXT operates in over 50 cities with more than 500 graduates, and is backed by Startup Weekend, Google for Entrepreneurs, Techstars, and the Global Accelerator Network. You can learn more at www.swnext.co

  • Visiting Professor

    Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico | July 2012 - Current

    I teach graduate students Electrical and Computer Engineering program on topics such as mobile software development, cross-platform mobile development, source-code translation, cross-platform compilers, memory optimization, etc.

  • Director

    The Founder Institute | June 2012 - Current

    Work with the Founder Institute to promote the organization, identify promising entrepreneurs, recruit local mentors and sponsors, and build the budding digital entrepreneurial ecosystem in Puerto Rico. The Founder Institute is a technology startup accelerator and entrepreneur training program currently on pace to launch over 800 companies per year in over 40 cities worldwide. The program identifies high-potential entrepreneurs using predictive social science testing, and then guides them through weekly company-building sessions featuring a network of over 1,500+ CEO Mentors. All program stakeholders, including the participating founders and CEO Mentors, share in the equity generated by companies formed in the program. In addition, participants get access to free and discounted services, and are not required to quit their day job. Founded in 2009, The Founder Institute aims to Globalize Silicon Valley by launching over 1000 meaningful and enduring technology companies per year in over 40 cities worldwide.

  • Founder

    HackPR | December 2012 - Current

    Launched the first hackathon in Puerto Rico, and multiple subsequent events to foster the creation of a vibrant, hacker community constantly at the bleeding-edge of technology. It is now a wholly student-run non-profit organization in Puerto Rico dedicated to bringing hackathons, tech-talks and other technical events to the island to boost the professional growth of developers. HackPR organizes a hackathon of the same name in which anyone can come to learn about programming, improve their skills or show off their abilities in a very technical environment.

  • Advisor

    Piloto 151 | August 2013 - Current

    Piloto 151 is San Juan's first creative co-working space, located in the heart of the Old City. Our mission is to create a collaborative environment where entrepreneurs and startups can work, collaborate and grow together. We strive to make the Piloto151 experience a productive and enjoyable one and invite you to be a part of our community.

  • Adjunct Faculty

    National Science Foundation | June 2015 - Current

    The NSF I-Corps program is a truly innovative approach taken by the NSF to foster entrepreneurship among the scientists it funds. I-Corps is based on Steve Blank's Lean Launchpad hands-on, experiential approach to helping startups/entrepreneurs "discover" their business models using business model design, customer development, and agile development principles: http://bit.ly/NSF_ICorps As an adjunct, I helped coach a fantastic set of NSF startup teams as they learned to apply the Lean Launchpad methods to their startup ideas.

  • Judge

    Start-Up Chile | July 2014 - Current

    Start-Up Chile is an innovative program of the Chilean Government to attract world-class early stage entrepreneurs to start up operations in Chile for a few months in return for $40K of seed funding (no equity). Over the past 3 years, the program has impacted 160,000 Chileans, with startups raising over $95MM after the program. It is a groundbreaking initiative of the Chilean Government, created by the Ministry of Economy, executed by CORFO via InnovaChile, that seeks to attract foreign, high-potential entrepreneurs to come to Chile to bootstrap their businesses with the end goal of converting Chile into the innovation and entrepreneurial hub of Latin America. This is a general mission of the recently inaugurated government and is the primary focus of the Ministry of Economy.

  • Kauffman Fellow, Class 19

    Society of Kauffman Fellows | June 2014 - Current

    The Kauffman Fellowship is dedicated to the world of venture capital and the cultivation of new high-technology, high-growth, high-impact companies. Thirty fellowships are awarded each year, joining partners at venture capital firms around the world into a close network of trusted contacts. To date, Kauffman Fellows have made over $6 billion in venture capital investments, sparking growth in hundreds of new enterprises and creating tens of thousands of jobs.

  • Adjunct Professor of Computer Science / Entrepreneurship

    University of Puerto Rico | August 2011 - Current

    - Implemented the first Lean Startup entrepreneurship course in the Caribbean modeled after Prof. Steve Blanks Lean Launch Pad course in Stanford. The course covers business model design, customer development, and agile development methodologies. The process has created four potential high-growth startups. My research focus is on the effectiveness of high-growth entrepreneurship models on Puerto Ricoʼs disadvantaged youth. - Teach Software Engineering to senior Computer Science students.

  • Facilitator/Organizer

    Startup Weekend | July 2011 - Current

    I help reign in all the madness surrounding the coordination of the local Startup Weekend in Puerto Rico. Our aim is to give aspiring or current local tech entrepreneurs a chance to build a company over a weekend. No talk, all action. Startup Weekend is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities. Come share ideas, form teams, and launch startups.

  • Ex-Oficio Member (Past President)

    Institute of Computer Engineers | September 2005 - Current

    Served as the liaison for the Board with the rest of the College of Engineers and Land Surveyors of Puerto Rico, as well as the membership. Served as Director, Secretary, Vice President, and President.

  • Founder / Curator

    TEDxSanJuan | January 2011 - Current

    I recruit and lead the team responsible for the logistics of an independently organized TED event. The event combines TEDTalks and live speakers to spark deep discussions and connections around ideas worth spreading. We will have our first event on November 2011.

  • Co-Founder

    TainoApp, Inc | June 2011 - Current

    Software technology company focused on developing a self-publishing service for pushing online content to multiple mobile application platforms to help high-traffic bloggers and online news media without IT budgets to increase traffic and advertising revenue through native-applications using proprietary middleware technology. TainoApp is a platform that allows content publishers and businesses of all sorts to reach the entire mobile-device market with native mobile applications without the complications of developing individual mobile apps for each mobile operating system (OS).

  • Co-Founder/Partner

    Mindchemy | January 2010 - Current

    Mindchemy is an entrepreneur support organization that executes on building pieces of the tech-entrepreneurship ecosystem to accelerate the growth of startup scenes around the world. Based in Puerto Rico.

  • Co-Founder

    Startups on a Global Stage | April 2010 - April 2011

    Startups on a Global Stage is an American Idol for entrepreneurs, and our vision is to liberate the business aspirations of the best, young talent in Puerto Rico. It is an event series that enables local entrepreneurs to pitch successful angels, venture capitalists and mentors from around the world. We utilize two-way video streaming technology to habitually expose entrepreneurs to industry-leading resources. We post events @ startups.eventbrite.com.

  • Principal Technology Advisor

    Relisc Corporation | May 2010 - May 2011

    We provide outsourced-CIO services for clientʼs technology needs. We aid clients in the proposal, selection, and implementation of technology projects. We help clients formulate plans for the strategic use of technology to improve business operations.

  • President/Founder/Chief Software Engineer

    Simple Corporation | May 2006 - December 2009

    Responsible for the overall business and technology direction of the company. Responsible for interfacing with the user(s) and sponsor(s) and all other stakeholders in order to determine their (evolving) needs to be realized in software.

  • Software Engineer

    Rock Solid Technologies | July 2004 - May 2006

    I developed software as part of the software engineering team on projects aimed at government agencies and multiple private industry verticals.

  • Program Manager Intern

    Microsoft Corporation | June 2003 - August 2003

    Program managers are customer focused, working to ensure that the products Microsoft produces will delight users and enable them to do their best. Program management is also an opportunity to flex technical muscles: your technical decisions and direction are what drive products and features through to completion. Working across multiple groups with marketing and sales personnel on the customer end, program managers translate customer requirements into product features and create functional specifications. On the implementation end, they prioritize and deliver on those features, working closely with key technical resources, such as software development, testing, documentation, localization, tech support, and more. Program managers typically have a software development background. This technical expertise is blended with evangelism, empathy, conflict negotiation skills, and a passion for driving projects through to completion.

Education

  • Kauffman Fellows

    Class 19 | 2014 - 2016

  • Stanford University

    Certificate in Entrepreneurship Education - Lean LaunchPad for Educators | Entrepreneurship | 2013 - 2013

  • Harvard University - Kennedy School of Government

    Executive Education - Certificate in Public Private Partnerships | (P3) | 2010 - 2010

  • University of Ottawa

    J.D. | Winter Program - Bioethics, Legal Ethics, and Legal Theory on High-Technology Ap | 2010 - 2010

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Sloan School of Management

    Executive Education | Entrepreneurship Development | 2009 - 2009

  • Universitat de Barcelona

    J.D. | Summer Law Program - International and European Law | 2009 - 2009

  • University of Puerto Rico School of Law

    JD | Intellectual Property Law, International Public and Private Law | 2006 - 2010

  • University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez Campus

    Bachelor of Science | Computer Engineering | 1999 - 2004

  • CROEM - Centro Residencial de Oportunidades Educativas de Mayaguez

    High School Diploma | 1998 - 1999