13 Puerto Rican start-ups take part in parallel18’s Gen. 8 cohort
Start-up accelerator parallel18 conducted its traditional DemoDay with a generation composed entirely of Puerto Rican companies that presented their business proposals and their achievements through the Zoom virtual platform.
This is the first generation whose curriculum was entirely virtual because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nonprofit confirmed.
This cohort’s roster of participants includes:
- Raincoat, an insurance policy maker;
- LabbGo, a platform for health services and logistics;
- Guardian Systems, a video analytics platform;
- Homebase, a market where users can find their next home;
- Fitverz, provides employees access to wellness programs by increasing their participation and tracking the impact on their performance and ROI;
- Tasty Smart, gluten-free and vegan cookies;
- Dealer App Center, an application for the automotive industry;
- Strain, an application for the cannabis industry;
- Beauty911, an on-demand beauty services at home;
- EventRay, a conference registration and virtual event platform;
- Barras Jabón Artesanal, a store targeted to soap lovers;
- Outcome Project, a data science company that provides solutions that transform complex data into an easily accessible, up-to-date metrics; and,
- The Pop’D Shop, natural sparkling fruit waters.
“The entrepreneurs of this generation have gone through exceptional times, adapting to it and continuing with their growth,” said Eduardo Padial, operations director at parallel18.
“This generation is very special because in addition to the fact that they are all Puerto Rican, many had to adjust to the pandemic’s new reality to operate and offer their services,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lucy Crespo, CEO of the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust, which founded parallel18, said, “In this Gen. 8 DemoDay, we met 13 visionary and resilient entrepreneurs, who kept their commitment to learn how to export and expand their business concept.”
“In a 20-week period, they faced challenges that other generations did not have, such as the pandemic we are experiencing. These challenges motivated their creativity and entrepreneurial spirit; and served as catalyst for setting new goals,” she said.
The second virtual DemoDay featured a dynamic format through which each participating startup had four minutes to present their proposals. They also had the opportunity to participate in a Q&A panel with mentor and investor, Gino Villarini, founder and president of Aeronet.
To support the participating companies, the event held the “People’s Love Award” counting on the attendees votes to grant cash prizes. The first prize was for Barras Jabón Artesanal, which won $2,000. The second prize went to Tasty Smart, and the third prize to Dealer App Center — each won $1,000.
“As Parallel18’s previous generations, this one has strong and resilient entrepreneurs facing a new reality, and that makes them unique and at the same time it makes our diverse family program stronger,” said Sebastián Vidal, chief innovation officer of the organization.
“These entrepreneurs value Puerto Rico as a growing market for their products and services while, at the same time, explore new opportunities outside the island to keep growing,” he said.