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Parallel18 celebrates pre18 startups’ progress at DemoDay

Twenty-two innovative Puerto Rican companies complete the mentorship program.

The Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust’s program, Parallel18, held the DemoDay for its pre18 pre-acceleration program’s sixth generation, where 22 local startups showcased their products, services and achievements after a 12-week mentorship.

The trust is a nonprofit established in 2004 to position Puerto Rico as a recognized center of innovation. Its Parallel18 entrepreneurial program has been supporting startups through education, funding and networking since 2015.

The Puerto Rico Museum of Art event served to celebrate the emerging companies, which unveiled their products and achievements to an audience of partners, mentors and potential investors.

During the pre-acceleration program, startups from the sixth generation of pre18 received specialized mentoring in areas such as legal, financial, brand development, digital marketing, and capital raising. All participating companies in pre18 received a $25,000 grant to advance their ventures.

Throughout the program, the startups were mentored in such business-related areas as legal, financial, brand development, digital marketing and capital raising. They were awarded a $25,000 grant to advance their ventures. 

“Additionally, they established valuable business connections and actively participated in giveback initiatives for the community,” the trust noted in its media release.

Notably, 42% of the companies feature female entrepreneurs. These Puerto Rican companies represent a wide variety of sectors including artificial intelligence, consumer goods, food technology, online auctions, agrotech, logistics and supply, health care, e-commerce, education, real estate, human resources, business automation, and legal technology. 

The entrepreneurs come from such municipalities as Aibonito, Añasco, Barceloneta, Bayamón, Caguas, Carolina, Dorado, Guaynabo, Ponce, San Juan and Toa Baja. 

The cohort included Eessii, Agro Lab PR, Active Arena, Balanceada, Boribids, Homemash, WAOK, IncentivesPRO, Intelicargo, La Quinta Nube, Lavanda Holistic Clinic, Let’s Fuel, Mofongo Jobs, My Cloud Menu PR, Laia (Nabori Labs), Next Cycle Foods, Pairon, Rent Smart, Tribuna AI, Tugurú, Verte, and WUJU.

“We are delighted with the progress of these companies. Our goal was for all of them to be in the market at the end of the program, and not only did we achieve that, but many experienced significant growth. This demonstrates the potential and quality of our entrepreneurs,” said Dr. Héctor Jirau, executive director of parallel18.

The trust’s CEO, Lucy Crespo, added: “The commitment and determination demonstrated by these startups reflect the entrepreneurial vitality of Puerto Rico. Seeing how these 22 companies have flourished and prepared to expand into other markets fills us with pride knowing that the support provided has been fundamental to their development.

“We reaffirm our commitment to continue supporting these entrepreneurs, ensuring that they continue to contribute to the economic growth of our island and beyond.”

The event showcased several special awards. The Deca Analytics Foundation Award, worth more than $21,000, was given to WUJU. To support the growth of new businesses, Aeronet and Co.Co.Haus contributed scholarships and memberships. Aeronet’s High-Speed Award, which includes a one-year internet connectivity scholarship, was given to AgroLab, a platform supporting farmers.

Co.Co.Haus, a collaborative workspace in Santurce and partner of parallel18, presented one-year Co.Cina memberships to both Mofongo Jobs and EESSII, each valued at $6,000. In addition, Hello Media offered Let’s Fuel a three-month billboard advertising certificate worth $10,500.

The People’s Love Award, determined by public vote, acknowledged AgroLab. The company received $1,000 and business mentoring from Banco Popular, a principal sponsor of the event.

In total, 184 Puerto Rican companies have benefited from pre18, with 53 moving on to the international P18 acceleration program.

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