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9th generation of P18 program picks 40 startups, 57% are from Puerto Rico

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Parallel18’s international acceleration program for startups, P18, announced the selection of the 40 companies that will be part of its ninth generation, headed by businesses established in Puerto Rico.

The initiative, part of the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust, offers entrepreneurs from around the world, access to high-quality business education, financing, and networking to help scale globally, while positions Puerto Rico as a strategic center for innovative technology-based business.

A total of 558 applications were received and whittled down to the 40 participants through a process made up of 60 judges and a committee that included men and women from diverse nationalities.

Fifty-seven percent of the selected companies are from Puerto Rico (23 in total), of which 14 went through parallel18’s pre-acceleration program, pre18. Companies from the United States (5), Mexico (3), Colombia (2), Argentina (1), Chile (1), Italy (1), Singapore (1), Jamaica (1), Canada (1) y South Africa (1).

The selected companies offer innovative solutions in industries such as education; fintech; healthcare and biotechnology; tourism; sports; e-commerce; IT and SaaS; agriculture and natural resources; snail mail; human resources; beauty and personal care; mobile and wireless services; and food and beverage.

The program will begin on Aug. 2nd and will work in a blended mode since the last generation was completely virtual due to the pandemic.

“We’re excited once again to welcome all these companies to our physical space and offer them our support,” said Sebastián Vidal, chief innovation officer at the Science Trust. “We see a prepared and mature new generation with innovative offerings and solutions.”

“This is the first time that most of the companies are local. The fact that 57% of the companies are from Puerto Rico fills us with pride, as it shows the maturity and preparation of these companies and that they are ready to grow globally and provide their products and services to more clients,” he said.

“This also shows that a lot of them come from pre18, so they already come with a more competitive and aggressive mindset for the market. This is also thanks to the constant and hard work of the entire innovation business ecosystem and its organizations,” Vidal said.

The selected companies will join more than 211 startups that have completed the program since it was founded in 2016. All companies accepted in the program will receive a $40,000 equity-free grant, counseling, and monitoring of goals for 20 weeks.

In addition, all companies will be able to access a network of investors, business partners, and contacts who work closely with entrepreneurs to address all key aspects of a company’s needs. They will also have access to the entire parallel18 community that is made up of all program alumni, a wide network of mentors, corporate clients, and investors.

“These 40 startups demonstrated how the business ecosystem is developing and growing on the island,” Science Trust CEO Lucy Crespo said.

“It’s incredible and at the same time encouraging to see that more than half of the companies are local, which shows the great quality of companies that we have and are committed to contributing and strengthening Puerto Rico’s economy,” she said. “I’m sure that each of these ventures will grow and scale, and we will be the facilitators for this to happen.”

Among the benefits startups obtained during the program, those who complete their participation in P18 and raise private capital, are eligible for P18Ventures and its Matching Fund. This sub-program focuses on helping startups create a solid investment strategy while connecting them with an already curated network of investors. The PRSTRT is the entity investing in this fund.

Another benefit for P18 participants is P18Connect, a corporate innovation program that promotes and links startups with large, recognized, and high-profile corporations to promote business relationships and collaboration between both parties.

According to the most recent Impact Report, 24% of parallel18’s graduates indicated that they manage to close business with corporate partners thanks to this program. This benefit provided by parallel18 has achieved more than three investment agreements and more than 150 unique interactions between corporate partners and companies.

Since it was founded in December 2015, parallel18 has received more than 4,500 applications from over 60 countries, and 211 companies have completed the program. 65% of the foreign companies that have participated in the program maintain operations on the island. On the other hand, 85% of the parallel18 companies continue to operate.

P18’s Generation 9 startups are:

  • Andeno, Puerto Rico, Fintech
  • Jetson, Puerto Rico, e-commerce/retail
  • Cuela, Puerto Rico, e-commerce/coffee
  • Kiwi Financial, LLC, Puerto Rico, fintech
  • Evocare, Corp., Puerto Rico, healthcare and biotechnology
  • Native Materials, Puerto Rico, e-commerce/construction materials
  • Seed Law, Puerto Rico, education/legal platform
  • Zen Team, Puerto Rico, fintech
  • BOON, Puerto Rico, e-commerce/insurance
  • NC Quality Parts, LLC – Piezas Rush, Puerto Rico, e-commerce/appliances parts
  • Pawls, Puerto Rico, e-commerce/dog products
  • Terrafirma, LLC, Puerto Rico, agriculture and natural resources
  • VitaRX, LLC, Puerto Rico, e-commerce/vitamins
  • Don Rifa, Puerto Rico, raffle platform
  • Piloto Mail, Puerto Rico, snail mail
  • Privacy Wall, Puerto Rico, mobile and wireless
  • Rum Ratings, Puerto Rico, food & beverage
  • Surgical Nutrition, Puerto Rico, healthcare and biotechnology
  • TALE+, Puerto Rico, healthcare and biotechnology
  • CelerOps, Puerto Rico, IT, SaaS
  • Maranta Power, Puerto Rico, beauty and personal care
  • RMZ Solutions, Puerto Rico, e-commerce
  • Pryze, Puerto Rico, human resources
  • Ensemble Space Labs, US mainland, IT, SaaS
  • Parasanti, US mainland, IT, SaaS
  • HOKALI, US mainland, sports
  • Wayru, US mainland, mobile and Wireless
  • Hire Llama, US mainland, human resources
  • CINCEL, Mexico, IT, SaaS
  • Cuéntame, Mexico, healthcare and biotechnology
  • Leadsales.io, Mexico, IT, SaaS
  • Komercia, Colombia, e-commerce
  • Shalder, Colombia, human resources
  • DeafTawk, Singapore, sign language platform
  • Güeno, Argentina, IT, SaaS
  • Wheel the World, Chile, tourism
  • Queritel, Ltd, Jamaica, IT, SaaS
  • LSTN.ai, Italy, IT, SaaS
  • Glow3D.com, Canada, e-commerce/3D photography platform
  • Zinacare, South Africa, healthcare, and biotechnology

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