The Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust invested $225,000 in four startups through the follow-up fund parallel18 Ventures, created to speed up the growth of promising young companies that complete parallel18’s acceleration program and raise additional capital.
This round, the funds were awarded to four companies from Puerto Rico, Colombia and Canada that were part of Generation 5, which completed the accelerator program in December 2018.
The fifth round of parallel18 Ventures included Go Panza and Molcajete Foods (Puerto Rico), Vozy (Colombia), and Adventure Bucket List (Canada).
Parallel18 Ventures is a follow-up fund designed to co-invest in promising startups that complete the acceleration curriculum. With the program, the Science Trust matches private capital raised by the entrepreneurs in exchange for stocks or convertible notes.
As a condition to receive the funds, each startup is required to keep operations in Puerto Rico and hire at least three full-time employees on the island. In the past three years, parallel18 Ventures has deployed $1,115,000 in 16 companies that have raised an additional $15 million from local and foreign investors to scale their businesses.
The Science Trust recently received a $609,135 grant from the Economic Development Agency that will be channeled through parallel18 Ventures to launch the Investor Bridge Project. This initiative will enhance Parallel18’s investment support infrastructure and capital access to Puerto Rican startups.
“Parallel18 Ventures and the new Investor Bridge Project are important elements to continue strengthening Puerto Rico’s innovation ecosystem. With these initiatives we are working to solve one of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs in the island, the lack of alternative funding for high-tech companies, that is key to allow their full development and the future contribution to the island’s economy,” said Science Trust CEO Lucy Crespo.