Monday, January 17, 2022

28 Puerto Rican startups, ready to start pre18 program

By on December 20, 2021

Parallel 18

The top industries from the selected startups come from Education, Healthcare & Biotechnology and E-commerce, while 50% are women-led entrepreneurs. 

After 5 weeks of open calls and an extensive and competitive evaluation process, parallel18, an organization that belongs to the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust (PRSTRT), selected 28 Puerto Rican companies that will participate on the fourth generation of the local pre-acceleration program pre18, starting next January 24th, 2022. 

With the slogan “Sácala del parque”, the pre-accelerator opened its call focused on closing the gap between business education and financing so that Puerto Rican entrepreneurs can dedicate themselves to their businesses full time. In addition, the chosen startups will be part of a hybrid format curriculum for 12 weeks.  

“Pre18 becomes increasingly relevant for entrepreneurs on the island. The COVID-19 pandemic prompted a redesign of the ecosystem. With our pre-acceleration program, we can give entrepreneurs the tools and opportunities they need to go to the market and scale globally despite the current crisis. Our curriculum is the ideal complement for the resilience that distinguishes the local entrepreneurs”, stated Juan Carlos Hernández Torres, Executive Director of parallel18, the organization that includes both pre18 and p18. 

On the other hand, Lucy Crespo, Chief Executive Officer of the PRSTRT, highlighted the role of parallel18 within the emerging market of Puerto Rico: “Year after year, we prove that pre18 is an important initiative that contributes to the development of Puerto Rico’s economy. The alumni not only stand out in their industry, but also revolutionize the market and make Puerto Rico an attractive destination within the ecosystem.” 

Furthermore, each company will receive a grant of $20,000 equity-free as a support for their growth and scalability, business education, networking and continuous support from an expert and high-level team.    

During the selection process, a panel of international judges shaped by entrepreneurs, mentors of the organization and other leaders of the ecosystem, evaluated over 150 applications, keeping in mind the traction, scalability and the innovative element of each idea. 

The selected companies come from the following industries: agrotech, e-commerce, SaaS, Education, Healthcare, Biotechnology, Food & Beverage, Real Estate, Fintech, Legal Services, and more.  

From a local launch to global scalability 

The applicants had to meet the basic requirements of the program: have an innovative component in their ideas, a scalable product, and a developed Minimum Viable Product of their service. These criterias, lead the way for the companies to eventually qualify for the international P18 program. 

The goal is that the pre18ners participating in the program will eventually be able to complete a full acceleration cycle through both programs so that their ideas scale the market and are competitive within their industry. 

“The objective is that, at the end of the three months of the intensive curriculum, the companies have a global perspective that allows them to start thinking about their projects internationally. From Puerto Rico, they can be launched into broader and international markets that present the island as a center of innovation,” Hernández Torres highlighted. 

At the moment, 111 startups have successfully finished the pre18 program and 47 companies have been selected to participate in  the international accelerator. SeedlawEvocareGo PanzaLibros787, and PRoduce are some of the startups that have managed to scale globally after completing both parallel18 programs.  

For more information about the programs, send an email to cobi@parallel18.com or visit the website www.elboricuaselasinventa.com . 

Official list of the selected companies: 

Startups Industries 
Abacrop Agrotech 
Assist787 SaaS 
Auditorium Education 
Buzzzy Marketplace 
Candid Society E-Commerce 
Ceyba SaaS 
Citadoc, LLC. Healthcare & Biotechnology 
Channel Media & Advertising  
DABB FoodTech 
Divinissimo Gelato Food & Beverage 
Enspacio Design & Manufacturing 
EntrePanas Food & Beverage 
ESTHERkids E-Commerce/Clothing 
Find It Real Estate 
GAMA LLC Healthcare & Biotechnology 
Hyperion Fintech 
Maestros Express Education 
Med-Fly Healthcare & Biotechnology 
Meet your finance Education 
Mente Serena Healthcare & Biotechnology 
Mojito Dating Social Media 
Okie Dokie Technologies LLC Healthcare & Biotechnology 
Paralian LLC Tourism 
RED Atlas IT & Enterprise 
Spawn Camp Gaming 
STREAM Technologies LLC Education 
Temis Legal Services 
Giftfully E-Commerce