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Parallel18, Banco Popular launch post-acceleration program for startups

Parallel18, a business startup program created by the nonprofit Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust (PRSTRT), has partnered with Banco Popular of Puerto Rico to launch Xpand, a post-acceleration program for local companies. The initiative is designed to help growth-stage businesses access resources beyond those provided in the incubation and acceleration phase, supporting further growth and expansion into new markets.

The program is aimed at addressing the gap in available resources during the growth stage for innovative Puerto Rican startups that are successfully scaling, but face certain challenges when establishing themselves in new markets and raising capital.

The four-month curriculum will focus on raising capital, networking opportunities and growth into new markets. To participate, startups must have been operating for more than three years and generate more than $250,000 in annual gross income.

“Some companies have a hard time finding support programs focused on their specific operational needs, as they require more tailored assistance to grow their business. With the post-acceleration curriculum, each participant will achieve their goals and become an attractive startup that can raise capital,” Héctor Jirau, Parallel18’s executive director, explained in the published call for interest.

Xpand launched its pilot program last year, and 17 local companies finished the curriculum. Each participant received 40 hours of mentorship from 19 resources that imparted sessions focused on finance, capital raising, exportation, product development and manufacturing.

As Xpand alumni, participants will have complete access to parallel18’s investment network, along with more than 600 corporate partners. The startups will have the opportunity to raise capital from local and international investors, with parallel18’s Talent App and coworking space available for their use.

In addition, the entrepreneurs will be connected with Colmena66, the research trusts’s sister program and business support network that links some 260 local organizations, providing business owners with information on their industries based on market research.The call for the second Xpand cohort closes on March 10. The application can be found on the Xpand website, while further information is available via email.

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

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