The pre18 program, one of the entrepreneurship support initiatives of the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust, announced its traditional Applicathon: individualized sessions to help businesses complete the pre18 application.
The event will take place virtually on June 26-27 and July 3-4 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants will have 30 minutes to review their application with members of the parallel18 team to clarify questions and strengthen the application.
To separate a 30-minute slot, entrepreneurs must access the Pre18 Applicathon event on Facebook and then click on the “tickets” button. Puerto Rican companies interested in optimizing their product to reach the market, or increase sales, have until July 6, 2020 to submit their applications.
Questions must be completed in English, as they will be evaluated by international judges, program organizers said.
Pre18 seeks “to close the gap between business education and financing through a $20,000 grant, mentoring, workshops, and high-quality talks. The content of the talks is also segmented into concentrations aligned with the industries in which the selected companies are active,” executives said.
For 12 weeks, beginning in November, up to 40 Puerto Rican companies will participate in the preparatory curriculum that also includes access to an extensive network of corporate contacts for business development. In addition, pre18 offers continuous support and goal monitoring under the guidance of an expert entrepreneurial team.
To be eligible, companies applying to the program must be Puerto Rican and have a unique innovative or proprietary component that distinguishes them from what already exists in the marketplace. One of the main requirements of the pre-accelerator is that businesses have a basic working version of their product.
Likewise, the company’s solution must be able to sell outside of Puerto Rico and grow quickly. Thus, the following do not qualify for the program: physical stores, food-trucks, consulting or marketing services, projects in a conceptual stage, or any business that depends on people without incorporating some type of automation.
“We wanted to make the valuable resources of our parallel18 accelerator available to entrepreneurs through this effort, clarifying questions and facilitating the application process, to help them take advantage of this opportunity to be selected for the third generation of pre18,” Science Trust CEO Lucy Crespo said.
“The pre18 program is the Trust’s response to candidates with an entrepreneurial mindset and with the vision of growing and exporting their product,” she said.
Sebastián Vidal, executive director of parallel18, said more than 70 companies have completed the pre-acceleration process after two generations, namely: GoPanza; Produce; Libros787; FitWallet; Amasar; and Sirena Patterns.
“We urge you to take advantage of this applicathon effort to help them begin this exciting route to entrepreneurship,” he said.