Parallel18, the economic development initiative that attracts high-impact startups to scale from Puerto Rico to global communities, is marking its third anniversary with a rundown of achievements and results.
The accelerator is the main entrepreneurship program of the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust and has the support of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce.
Paralell18 aims to position Puerto Rico as a hub to develop innovative businesses with global potential.
“Three years ago we launched an idea, and, like any startup, we wondered how it would go,” said Sebastián Vidal, executive director of P18. “Today we can say with great satisfaction that the success of P18 has been extraordinary and we’re proud of all these achievements, for all the entrepreneurs that have been part of our programs and more important for the economic development and the business ecosystem of Puerto Rico.”
As of today, P18 has accelerated 189 startups in five generations and in Pre18 (Puerto Rican startups program launched after Hurricane María) with more than 3,000 applications from more than 20 countries.
Of these, the survival rate (still in operation) is 94 percent, which shows the achievement of the program, he said.
Likewise, P18 Ventures has invested $900,000 in 12 P18 companies that are committed to hiring employees in Puerto Rico, a direct impact to the island’s economy. P18 has the support of 34 corporate partners; and has also established a successful community program: GiveBack, with 12,448 people impacted.
“The creation of Parallel18 is aligned with the mission of the Trust to promote innovation and economic development in Puerto Rico,” Science Trust CEO Lucy Crespo said.
“During these three years, we have received innovators from all over the world, we have strengthened the entrepreneurs here and the results speak for themselves,” she said. “I am very satisfied with the achievements and how P18 has become an important engine for the economic development of the island.”
Second edition of Pre-18
The Pre18 program was created as a result of Hurricane María with the aim of supporting local innovative startups with global potential. For that edition, a total of 307 applications were received from companies in Puerto Rico and the diaspora, of which 40 projects were accepted.
All of the companies completed the three-month program and a total of 16 Pre-18 companies were accepted in generation five of P18’s international acceleration program. Of the participating companies, 42.5 percent are run by women.
The application process begins in March and to participate in this new edition, the projects must be based on innovation with three years or less of established and with potential to reach international markets.
The participant must also have a basic version that works or be ready to start producing the prototype. Those interested in receiving guidance can register their data at www.elboricuaselasinventa.com.
Starting in January 2019, P18 will host educational workshops throughout the island to help interested entrepreneurs strengthen their projects before the application period.