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Startups from 12 Countries Will Move to Puerto Rico for Parallel18 Program

By on July 30, 2016

SAN JUAN — Businesses accelerator  Parallel18 (P18) has announced it has selected 33 startups that will move to the island for five months to learn from business and technology experts.

Parallel 18A team of judges evaluated 507 applications via the YouNoodle platform to find the most innovative ideas and companies to take part in the second “generation” of the accelerator program, the published announcement explains.

P18 is one of the main programs from the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust, and was created in alliance with the Economic Development and Commerce Department and the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Co. (Pridco).

Puerto Rico and the United States lead the number of selected startups; followed by Argentina, Brazil, India, Mexico, Spain, Sudan, Belgium, United Kingdom, Chile and Colombia. Two of the companies registered in the United States have Puerto Rican founders: Revl Inc., from California and ALEX (Anyone’s Learning Experience), from Massachusetts.

Parallel18 Director Sebastián Vidal

Parallel18 Director Sebastián Vidal

The selected startups will move to the P18 offices in Santurce to participate in a 20-week curriculum led by entrepreneurs, investors and experts in business from all over the world. Thirty-six companies went through the first generation of the program.

Some of the industries represented in this round include e-commerce, health and biotechnology, renewable energy, computing, social entrepreneurship, education and mobile technology. Most of the startups develop software or apps, but almost a third works with physical products or hardware.

P18 offers a $40,000 grant, mentoring, support and training, and workspace for five months; as well as access to networks to help scale the businesses to international markets. Those who decide to stay in Puerto Rico once the program ends may be eligible for a fund of up to $75,000 to match investment raised from private sources.

The program selects up to 40 companies twice a year. These must meet basic criteria such as being innovative; have three years or less of established business practice; be past the concept stage and have validated sales or product in addition to being scalable globally.

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