Parallel18, an international accelerator for high impact innovative enterprises that want to scale their businesses from Puerto Rico, announced Wednesday it has selected 37 startups that will move to the island for five months to accelerate their companies and learn from business and technology experts worldwide.
A team of global judges evaluated 507 applications via the YouNoodle platform to find the most innovative ideas and companies to come and take part in the third generation of this unique program. The globally diverse cohort includes companies from Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Spain, Peru, Italy and Colombia.
The 16 chosen from the U.S. mainland are: Remidi; Bowery Real Estate; Livewire; Startup Threads; Outsite; Umbo; Groundbreaker; Humblee; Fletch; Loomia; Cleancult; Transparent; Ctzen; Claimbot; MakersValley; and Chui.
Representing the rest of the world are: Yaydoo (Mexico); Nausdream (Italy); Weeshing (Chile); Quiena (Argentina); Labora Today (Colombia); Soy Macho (Mexico); Tiny Bytes (Chile); Flimper (Argentina); HoyPido (Argentina); Buenchef (Argentina); Entrenarme (España); Tullpi (Peru); FrescaPesca (Chile); and CLINC! (Argentina).
P18 is one of the main programs from the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust, and was created in alliance with the local Department of Economic Development and Commerce and Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO).
Once again, Puerto Rico and the United States lead the number of selected startups; followed by Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Spain, Peru, Italy and Colombia. As with Gen1 and Gen2, one of the companies, Claimbot, was founded by a Puerto Rican living in the U.S, who saw in P18 an opportunity to scale from the island.
“With each new group, our initial P18 tenet is validated: that Puerto Rico has the potential to be an attractive platform for innovative, globally ambitious companies,” said Sebastian Vidal, executive director of P18.
“In this third generation, 45 percent has already raised at least $100,000 in capital and 87 percent is in advanced stages, with functional products or escalating its sales in new markets,” he said.
Since the its inauguration in April 2016, 64 companies have participated in the 20-week program dictated in P18’s Santurce office with the intervention of local and international mentors, among them successful entrepreneurs, investors and experts in diverse businesses.
A panel of international judges evaluated the 507 applications sent via YouNoodle platform in search of ideas and innovative companies to become a part of the program. Some of the verticals represented include e-commerce, finance, media and advertising, tourism, IT, education and mobile technology, among others
“This was our third application process and both the quality and level of innovation of the enterprises continue to grow. And what excites us the most is that the same applies to the Puerto Rican companies, that generation after generation, have demonstrated their competitiveness and showed an outstanding performance among its world counterparts,” Vidal added.
P18 is an international accelerator for high impact innovative enterprises that want to scale their businesses from Puerto Rico. It offers a $40,000 grant, mentoring, support and training, and workspace for five months; as well as access to valuable networks to help them scale into international markets.
Those who decide to stay in Puerto Rico, once the program ends, may be eligible for a follow-on fund from Parallel18 Ventures, of up to $75,000 to match raised private capital. The first three companies to benefit from the fund were Burea, Pair and Cinemad, who also committed to create at least five jobs in the island in a period of two years.
The program selects up to 40 companies twice a year. They must meet these basic criteria: be innovative; have three years or less of established business practice; be past the concept stage and have validated sales or product in addition to being scalable globally.