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Parallel18 acceleration program marks 10th cohort awarding $150K grant

Parallel18 will celebrate the call for its 10th generation (Gen. X) by awarding a $150,000 grant while announcing that only 10 companies will participate in the international acceleration program.

The call is already underway and the startups applying must “demonstrate their innovative ideas, have a global vision, traction to scale into global markets” and must fill the application before April 25th at midnight, the nonprofit stated.

The grant will be disbursed into two payments. First, $125,000 that startups will receive during the 20-week program. The companies will receive this amount in exchange for a promise or commitment to donate to the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust 1% of the value of the company’s shares at the time of its acquisition or IPO (Initial Public Offering).

The second disbursement of the grant will be for $25,000 on a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) uncapped with a Most Favored Nation (MFN) provision. The MFN will take on the terms of the lowest cap SAFE, or other favorable terms, between the acceptance to the program and the company’s next equity round, parallel18 Executive Director Juan Carlos Hernández said.

“Accelerators are pivoting and parallel18 is leading the way too. As we celebrate our tenth cohort, we wanted to do something different. With that in mind, we are awarding the largest grant ever and reducing the number of participants to offer a specialized and tailored program experience for them,” he said.

“This new agreement with the companies will allow founders to take advantage of launching and scaling their company to other markets; they will avoid being pressured into continually raising funds and accept less favorable terms,” Hernández said.

“On the other hand, with the donation commitment that we require from each startup, we inspire and educate entrepreneurs to be an entity of good while encouraging them to lead social changes. This share will go directly to the Science Trust to continue expanding the entrepreneurship programs in the island,” he added.

During the program, the entrepreneurs will be provided with resources that can help them monitor the growth and structure of the companies to ensure a successful scalability to other markets, while connecting them with potential corporate clients.

“Most of the time, underrepresented founders are rejected due to racial bias and discrimination. Our goal is to promote a diverse accelerator for entrepreneurs from all over the world and empower them through education, business connections, investment opportunities, and offer them a community that goes beyond the generation in which they participate while, at the same time, it transcends the physical space,” Hernández said.

The international program has some basic requirements: the companies must have an innovative component; have three years or less in operations; their products must be validated and generating sales in their markets; at least two founders need to be working full-time with the startup and they are required to live on Puerto Rico; and they should develop a plan that explains how they will incorporate into the island’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to scale their business.

The official cohort will be announced mid-May and the 20-week intensive program will begin by the end of June. The parallel18 team will be offering a virtual informative session on March 28, for which those interested may register here.

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

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