28 Puerto Rican startups ready to participate in 4th generation of pre18 program
Following five 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, selected 28 Puerto Rican companies that will participate on the fourth generation of the local pre-acceleration program pre18, starting Jan. 24, 2022.
With the slogan “Sácala del parque” (“Knock it out of the park”), 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,” said Juan Carlos Hernández-Torres, executive director of parallel18, the organization that includes both pre18 and p18.
“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,” he said.
The selected companies were: Abacrop; Assist787; Auditorium; Buzzzy; Candid Society; Ceyba; Citadoc, LLC; Channel; DABB; Divinissimo Gelato; Enspacio; EntrePanas; ESTHERkids; Find It; GAMA LLC; Hyperion; Maestros Express; Med-Fly; Meet your finance; Mente Serena; Mojito Dating; Okie Dokie Technologies LLC; Paralian LLC; RED Atlas; Spawn Camp; STREAM Technologies LLC; Temis; and Giftfully.
Each company will receive a grant of $20,000 equity-free as a support for their growth and scalability, business education, networking, and ongoing support from an expert and high-level team.
“Year after year, we prove that pre18 is an important initiative that contributes to the development of Puerto Rico’s economy,” Science Trust CEO Lucy Crespo said.
“The alumni not only stand out in their industry, but also revolutionize the market and make Puerto Rico an attractive destination within the ecosystem,” she said.
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 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 criteria led the way for the companies to eventually qualify for the international P18 program, nonprofit officials explained.
The goal is that the companies 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 said.
So far, 111 startups have successfully finished the pre18 program and 47 companies have been selected to participate in the international accelerator. Seedlaw, Evocare, Go Panza, Libros787, and PRoduce are some of the startups that have managed to scale globally after completing both parallel18 programs.