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26 Puerto Rico startups to participate in pre18’s 5th cohort

Nonprofit organization parallel18, affiliated to the Puerto Rico Science, Technology, and Research Trust, announced the 26 local companies that were selected to participate in the pre-acceleration program pre18 that will begin Jan. 23, 2023.

The fifth cohort of Puerto Rican startups will receive entrepreneurial education, mentorships, and business connections that can help them potentially grow and scale within their markets during the 12 weeks of the program.

Participants will receive a $25,000 grant, along with entrepreneurial education and mentorship opportunities for 12 weeks that will help them launch into the market. Of the companies accepted, seven come from the incubation program Fase1.

The 26 companies that will be part of Gen. 5 are: Urbital, Mikokos, Quibble, Tuto Edu, Quote Correct, Inmigración Virtual, Berrify, Caribe Drones, UpShip, Jaltea, Meliora Centrum, Health 4 Pets, Zheimer Puzzle, Detax, Construye tu Libro, School Management System, Dblocks, Oteogo, OneGig, ShopperFix, Prep App, PonFlow, MFixers, Guarike, Pop Insured, and DronGo.

Startups Caribe Drones, Jaltea, Meliora Centrum, Oteogo, Prep, PonFlow, and DronGo were part of the first cohort of the business incubator Fase1; which is also part of the Science Trust and the Puerto Rico Housing Department’s Small Business Incubators and Accelerators Program, under the CDBG-DR program.

“The parallel18 local pre-acceleration program is crucial at the stage in which the selected companies are. We have prepared a curriculum that will provide entrepreneurs with the necessary tools to help them launch their product or service; while they get the necessary traction so that they can then expand into other markets, with the potentiality of applying to the next level in our innovation program, which is our P18 international accelerator,” said Héctor Jirau, director of Operations and Investment of parallel18.

“We’re very excited to welcome these new startups and provide them the access to the proper knowledge and structure so that they can contribute to the economic development of our island,” he said.

Meanwhile Science Trust CEO Lucy Crespo said “we have adjusted to the economic reality that Puerto Rico is currently facing. That’s why the Trust increased the amount of the grant that each company will receive.”

“The financial aid, along with the education and mentoring they will receive from the parallel18 team, will help them grow their businesses and develop them successfully. We continue to be highly committed to the entrepreneurship pillar of the organization; because it is proven that the companies that have benefited from our programs have been successful both locally and internationally,” Crespo said

“In addition, we’re very proud to acknowledge that seven of the participating startups were part of the first generation of the Fase1 incubator. This allows us to help the entrepreneur from very early stages and see them grow successfully,” she said.

During the selection process, a group of international judges including leaders of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, entrepreneurs, and mentors of the organization evaluated over 220 applications, considering each applicant’s scalability, traction, and the innovative component of each idea.

Also, the companies that applied to be part of pre18 had to meet the basic requirements: have an innovative solution, have a scalable product or service, and at least have the minimum viable product (MVP) of their product or service along with a launching to market plan. These criteria guide each company to eventually meet the requirements of the international program P18.

Meanwhile, the fifth generation has companies from many industries, among them: agrotech, insuretech, fintech, Edtech, e-commerce, healthtech and legal services.

The goal is that the startups that will participate in the preparatory curriculum can complete a full acceleration cycle through both programs pre18 and p18, so that the companies can scale in the market and become more competitive within their industries.

Currently, 138 startups have graduated the pre18 program and 50 of them were admitted to the international acceleration program. Some of the alumni that have successfully completed both of parallel18 programs are: RedAtlas, Abacrop, Evocare, Libros787, and PRoduce.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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