International startup accelerator Parallel18 (P18), based in San Juan, has selected 24 startups for its sixth international cohort that starts Jan. 16th.
The companies present innovative solutions in industries such as education, transportation and logistics, finance and fintech, gaming, health and biotechnology, energy environment and cleantech, food and beverage, e-commerce, entertainment, marketing and branding, IT and SaaS.
The selected companies represent nine countries. Puerto Rico leads the group with seven startups, followed by the United States (4), Argentina (3), Chile (2), Mexico (2), Colombia (2) , Uruguay, Costa Rica, and Ireland with one each.
At least one founder of each company will participate in person during the 20-week business acceleration curriculum, that is offered at the offices of P18 in San Juan.
P18 is one of the programs of the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust, created in alliance with the Department of Economic Development and Commerce and the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company.
“This was a very rigorous and intense selection process, but we are beyond excited with the results. We have startups from nine countries, including Uruguay and Costa Rica, which will be introduced to Parallel18 for the first time,” said Sebastián Vidal, P18’s executive director.
“We also feature startups from our pre18 program and we are very happy to get to witness how these companies have grown and will continue improving over the course of the regular program,” he said.
“Even though this will be our smallest cohort in number, we are confident this will become a solid generation with companies of the highest quality. For me and my team this is a motive of celebration because it confirms we are sending the right message regarding what the program is aiming for and how we add value to the global startup community in making Puerto Rico an innovation hub,” Vidal said.
“The great results of the previous five generations of parallel 18 have shown that we are at the perfect moment to promote entrepreneurship as an important economic development tool. Parallel18 is one of the pillar programs for the Puerto Rico Science, Technology & Research Trust and we are more than pleased to see the diversity in industries and the quality of the startups we receive at each new generation,” said Science Trust CEO Lucy Crespo.
Since its inauguration in April 2016, 189 companies have participated in the 20-week long program, delivered from the P18 offices in San Juan by local and international mentors, among those successful entrepreneurs, investors and experts in diverse business topics.
A team of international judges evaluated the 283 applications sent through the YouNoodle platform, in search of the most innovative companies to be part of the program.
P18 is an international accelerator for innovative entrepreneurs that can leverage Puerto Rico as part of their scaling strategy. It offers a $40,000 grant, training with high-caliber mentors and office space in San Juan for five months, as well as access to a network to achieve internationalization goals.
The companies that stay in Puerto Rico once the program is over are eligible for the follow-up funding of Parallel18 Ventures, that matches up to $75,000 in private capital. P18 selects up to 40 companies twice a year. The basic criteria for selection are: innovation; under three years of establishment; traction; and scalability.
The selected startups are: Explority, Dokimi Inc., Gluetech Inc., and Savor, from the U.S. mainland; CINCO, Organic Power, LLC, OGMA Language Studio, Uva Group LLC, Isleñas, Accountberry, and Pinta from Puerto Rico; Kids Corp, EnvioPack, Elegir Seguro, and Zenrise from Argentina; Hometuls and DataWifi.co from Colombia; Hackmetrix and YU-TRACK, from Chile; BUSSI MOBILITY and Facturendo, from Mexico; Unicorn Games from Uruguay; Processim Labs from Costa Rica; and, Pago from Ireland.