Parallel18’s Gen5 DemoDay showcases 28 local, int’l startups
Molcajete, Elemétrica, Esnú, Libros787, Dame un Bite, Guilty, among another 22 companies presented their business ideas at parallel18’s Gen5 DemoDay held at the Francisco Arriví Theater.
Startups from Puerto Rico, the U.S. mainland, Argentina, Ecuador and Colombia presented concepts to experienced investors in search of a boost to their ideas.
“We’ve been doing DemoDays for three years; and more than 200 companies have accelerated their businesses thanks to these events,” said Sebastián Vidal, executive director of Paralle18.
“This new generation includes a variety of startups that will revolutionize from the way we shop at the supermarket to the way we impact customer satisfaction. From Colombia to Canada, with this Generation 5 it is proven that we are impacting the whole world and that we have achieved a lot in three years,” he said.
Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust CEO Lucy Crespo, said, “This generation exhibits characteristics that come from the Pre18 generation. Their ideas are the product of listening to the consumer and identifying needs that turn into a business opportunity through an innovative solution.”
“And that is what we promote in the Trust: innovation and technology at the service of the public to accelerate the economy,” she said.
Among the investors who participated in this 5th edition were: Kai Bond, Lead Invest for Catalyst Fund, a venture capital fund that invests in founders; Adam Keynes: an entrepreneur, founder and administrative partner of the venture capital firms Bizrupt and Mind The Gap Angel Investor; Carolina Huaranca: the only Peruvian-American director in a venture capital firm. She has been recognized by Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP) as a Latina leader and winner of the Cosmo Latina Fearless Award along with Jessica Alba.
Also participating were Jessica Sheft-Ason, angel investor, e-commerce veteran and co-founder of Potluck; John Ason, an angel investor for over 21 years who specializes in early stage pre-revenue companies; Sam Wurzel, angel investor and vice president of online content and corporate development at Alium. Wurzel participated in Y Combinator with his startup Optoparts, before being acquired; and Bennett Surajat, general partner of Leadout Capital, an early stage investment fund. Its focus is the pre-seed and seed stage, with an emphasis on differentiated support for the talented and resilient founding teams in the early stages of the company’s construction.
These investors used their knowledge to ask questions to the presenters; and selected the best ideas to award the prizes of this DemoDay Gen5. They will also make available their network of contacts to the entrepreneurs to advance their businesses.
HiveCube, a modular housing company, received the People’s Love Award sponsored by T-Mobile. This prize was voted on through a digital platform. As part of the benefits for the company, T-Mobile will provide wireless communication for one year free of charge.
“T-Mobile believes in promoting economic development and a key element to achieve this is entrepreneurship,” said Frances Rodriguez, public relations manager at T-Mobile.
“The company has a very close relationship with parallel18 since its launch. Nothing fills us with greater satisfaction than promoting these startups and equipping them to continue their business operations,” she said.
Meanwhile, Alexandra López-Soler, Evertec’s senior VP of marketing, communications and innovation, said “Evertec is born from innovation, from the idea that innovation and technology can make life easier, create more efficient companies, fill gaps and solve global problems.”
Evertec awarded two prizes. The winner of the Evertec Innovation Award that bestows $10,000 was the company PRatian, dedicated to biodegradable spheres that reduce the consumption of water and nutrients in crops. The Evertec Choice Award was awarded to DebMedia who also received $10,000. This company provides a software solution for companies that optimize the customer experience.
Finally, the Investor’s Award that received $500 in an Amazon gift card was awarded to Caban Systems, which designs and manufactures renewable energy.
The companies that will participate in the sixth generation of Parallel18 will be announced soon, executives said.