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3 co.’s join Science Trust investment portfolio with $100K in seed capital

Puerto Rican startups Konti, Libros787 and PRoduce have joined the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust’s investment portfolio, receiving a total of $100,000 in seed capital through their participation in Xpand, a parallel18 post-acceleration program.

These ventures now form part of the Trust’s portfolio of 82 companies.

“PRoduce has always had the clear purpose of replacing imports to not only contribute to the local economy, but also generate value and social impact on our island. Xpand was not only interested in the profitability and growth of PRoduce, but through this investment acknowledges the great social impact generated by our initiative. We deeply thank Xpand for believing in our vision of business success that benefits many,” said Crystal Díaz, co-founder of PRoduce, a platform that facilitates the delivery of fresh Puerto Rico produce, which received $50,000.

The investment opportunity that came up through the Xpand program arose to address the scarcity of seed capital for high-growth companies. So, Xpand will continue offering investment opportunities for up to three local businesses participating in its fourth generation, organizers said. 

“Xpand gave us a refreshing perspective when facing the challenges that arise at the stage we are at as a business. The resources and mentors were always high caliber, as were the other entrepreneurs who participated in the program,” said Carlos Goyco, CEO of Libros787, a digital platform that sells Puerto Rican and Latin American books.

“This investment adds to our first round of capital fundraising, which represents a big step forward for Libros787. With this funding, we will be able to achieve several important objectives that we identified to continue expanding the products and services that we offer,” he said. The company received an investment of $15,000.

The trust has invested about $3.5 million in its portfolio of startups, primarily participants of the P18 international acceleration program, it stated.

Meanwhile, Konti, a business that builds modular spaces for resilient and sustainable communities, was granted $35,000 in seed capital.

“We’re extremely grateful for the opportunities provided by the Xpand curriculum in parallel18, in which we managed to generate a strategic expansion plan for the next year that will position us on the road to export in the next five years,” said Carla Gautier, founder of Konti.

“In addition, officially formalizing a relationship with the Trust through this investment provides us with invaluable support. It’s an interesting time to invest in green technologies and we are very grateful that they have decided to join us against the tide to change the perspective of construction in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean and turn it into one focused on regenerative construction,” she said.

“This investment will help us boost our marketing strategies in Puerto Rico and the United States, to attract more customers with the goal of doubling the number of projects in the next year, and the development of our projects to prepare for the export of our product and services in the future. We appreciate the opportunity and the confidence in our team to really achieve a disruption in the industry,” Gautier added.

Xpand seeks to support up to 30 advanced growth co.’s
The post-acceleration program, sponsored by Banco Popular, is calling for advanced-stage Puerto Rican companies to join its fourth cohort. The extended eight-month program offers networking, workshops, mentorship and vital resources, targeting companies with over three years in business, aiming for accelerated, sustainable growth and international market entry.

The initiative will select up to 30 companies.

“For the Trust, it’s very relevant to continue supporting local companies in advanced stages of growth. We recognize that this post-acceleration program provides entrepreneurs with the necessary tools to export their services off the island and, in turn, advances Puerto Rico’s economy and development,” Science Trust CEO Lucy Crespo said. 

“Xpand is a living example of how we fulfill the mission of training Puerto Ricans towards a sustainable economy,” she said.

“Programs like Xpand make it easier for participating companies to achieve robust and sustainable business growth. We’re honored to continue supporting the initiative and the achievements obtained,” said Camille Burckhart, chief information officer at Popular Inc.

Eligibility for the program requires previous acceleration experience or generate more than $250,000 in sales, be exporting their product or service or have the infrastructure to start doing so, have a minimum of two people dedicated exclusively to its operation and who can be part of the program, among others.

“In this fourth edition, some changes were made for the benefit of the participating companies, such as a more extensive and comprehensive curriculum. With this approach, we will provide support that ensures the continuity and progress of each company involved,” said Héctor Jirau, CEO of parallel18.

“Likewise, Banco Popular remains a very relevant resource for our entrepreneurs, since they offer financing and, in this edition, they will select a company that will receive a seed capital prize valued at $15,000. We’re very grateful to have the support of a leading entity in the business ecosystem,” he said.

Since 2022, Xpand has assisted 35 Puerto Rican companies with networking, digital platform access valued at more than $350,000 and up to $100,000 in seed capital for three companies.

Once the program is completed, participants can apply to the Ventures Matching Fund for co-investment opportunities, with an annual capacity exceeding $225,000.

Applications are open until March 8 via the following link.

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

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