Parallel18 (P18) announced Tuesday the launch of its fourth open call, directed to innovative projects with a global vision that have a functional prototype, and are in the process of scaling their sales or operations.
The accelerator selects up to 40 startups from all over the world, which receive a $40,000 grant; mentorship and workspace for five months in P18’s office located in Santurce. In addition to making available to the entrepreneurs an extensive network of corporate contacts, mentors and investors.
Companies interested have to apply online on or before May 8th at midnight, P18 officials said.
“A year ago we received our first generation of startups with an idea of what the P18 value proposition would represent in the global entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Sebastián Vidal, executive director of P18.
“The experience of almost 100 companies that have been through the accelerator showed that the elements that stand out are the access to mentors and quality resources, and the location of Puerto Rico with respect to the markets of the United States and Latin America,” he said.
“The level of satisfaction of the entrepreneurs who have completed the program makes them recommended it to their peers, helping to raise the profile of Puerto Rico as a center of innovation,” Vidal added.
P18 is an international accelerator for innovative high-impact ventures that see Puerto Rico as a platform to expand their business to new markets, particularly the United States and Latin America. Since its launch in December 2015, 98 startups from more than 15 countries have participated in the accelerator. In its past three calls, P18 received 1,415 applications from more than 45 countries.
“P18 played a crucial role in the expansion of Abartys Health. The advice of its internal work team and external mentors has been a fundamental part of our growth stage,” said Dolmarie Méndez, CEO of Puerto Rican company Abartys Health, participant in the second generation of the accelerator.
“Having been part of P18 allowed us to see way beyond the goals we had when we started, which let us create new standards and surpass the objectives we set during the program,” she said.
“In P18 you have a reality check of what you are able to do and how far we can go with the product, the business model and the right equipment,” Méndez said.
The health technology startup had a team of only three people when it was admitted to the accelerator last August. Today, Abartys has 13 employees, most of them programmers, and it keeps growing.
P18 offers a grant of $40,000 for each startup, plus coaching and training with world-class mentors, and workspace in Santurce for five months. Participants also have access to contact networks to achieve internationalization goals. One of the additional benefits to the participants is P18 Connect, a program that links startups with recognized and high profile corporations to promote business relationships and collaboration.
The startups that complete the acceleration program and keep operations in Puerto Rico are eligible for Parallel18 Ventures, a follow-on fund of up to $75,000 as a matching to the investment they raise. In the first generation, the companies that received the fund were Burea, Pair and Cinemad, while the second round is in the process of evaluation.
P18 selects up to 40 companies twice a year in a competitive process, in which about 100 international judges evaluate them. To be eligible, startups must be innovative; have three years or less of establishment, have passed the concept stage, and have sales or a validated product; in addition to being scalable globally.
During the open call, the P18 team will hold orientation sessions at different points of the island. The information of the dates and places will be posted on its Facebook page.