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Parallel18 launches Puerto Rico’s 1st life sciences incubator: BioLeap 

The Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust, together with its acceleration program, parallel18, announced the launch and application process for BioLeap, an incubator specializing in assisting life sciences projects. The program aims to increase economic development through innovation and entrepreneurship in areas such as biotechnology, artificial intelligence-driven medical technologies and genomics.

The incubator’s curriculum is designed to bridge the gap between local scientific research and its commercialization while fostering a local and inclusive ecosystem. The application period is open until Feb. 29. The application form can be found here

BioLeap will offer participants access to educational and relevant resources for commercializing life sciences projects, including technical assistance, capital and coworking space.

Parallel18 provides an environment where entrepreneurs can structure their businesses, launch working prototypes and develop patentable technologies with the goal of global commercialization, executives said.

“Our mission is to drive visionary projects from the laboratory to the market, accelerating research towards tangible solutions,” said trust CEO Lucy Crespo.

“In a field where promising ideas often struggle to navigate the complex and lengthy journey from concept to market, BioLeap steps in as a catalyst to transform this process, offering strategic education, resources and a collaborative ecosystem. We want to empower researchers and entrepreneurs to take their innovative technologies to another level,” she stated.

The incubator is the result of a $648,000 Build to Scale grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) earlier this year, as reported by News is my Business.

The program supports organizations that foster technological entrepreneurship and boost economic growth, trust officials said. The grant is aimed at accelerating tech and scientific entrepreneurship, and improving access to business assistance and capital.

“The awarding of this grant by EDA is an opportunity to continue diversifying the entrepreneurial support we provide as an acceleration hub,” said Héctor Jirau, executive director of parallel18.

“The creation of BioLeap will focus business education efforts in areas such as biotechnology, artificial intelligence in medical technologies, medical devices, diagnostics, genomics and more. As a scientist, I’m proud to be able to support the life sciences sector in Puerto Rico alongside the wonderful team at the trust. It’s an initiative of great impact for the health sector, the first of its kind on our island,” he said.

Noé Crespo, associate director of BioLeap, added: “The program will provide access to education with the necessary resources to establish startups focused on life sciences. BioLeap is not just an incubator, it’s a vital force driving the emergence of Puerto Rico as a global center for life sciences innovation, creating a ripple effect of progress, economic growth and improved outcomes,” he said.

BioLeap participants will also gain from collaborative connections and support from other trust subprograms such as the Technology Transfer Office, the Grants Program, the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer matching grant programs, and Colmena66. 

BioLeap will offer 12 weeks of education and mentoring that will teach participants about entrepreneurship and the nuances of doing business in the life sciences industry. Following each cohort, a 14-week period of technical assistance is provided.

During that time, alumni will continue to receive mentoring in finance, operations, grant writing, marketing and communications, along with support in research and development, corporate connections, access to capital and more.

They will also be guided through a structured path connecting them to parallel18’s pre-acceleration (pre18), acceleration (P18) and post-acceleration (Xpand) initiatives, ensuring an integrated learning and development experience.

The application period remains open until Feb. 20. Those interested can apply via the following link.

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

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