Wireless sensors for soil, plant-based water filter for emerging markets and a mobile platform to borrow and share objects with your neighbors were among the 25 companies pitching to potential investors at Parallel 18’s Demo Day.
Demo Day is the culmination of Parallel18’s five-month program that brings startups from all over the world to Puerto Rico for mentorship, community engagement and business growth. The event that took place late last week was sponsored by T-Mobile and hosted by Seriously Creative’s founder Angiemille Latorre.
The companies pitched their improved, finely tuned businesses to interested investors from New York, California, Virginia and Texas.
Economic Development and Commerce Department Secretary Manuel Laboy was among the speakers of the event held at Sacred Heart University in Santurce.
He addressed the cohort and assured them that the government will act as a “facilitator to achieve your plans, achieve your goals”.
The official also hoped that Parallel18 and its participating startups will be able to “put Puerto Rico on the map in terms of innovation, growth and prosperity.”
As part of the Demo Day, the investors and the attendees voted for their favorite pitches of the event. Puerto Rican health tech company Abartys Health, founded by Lauren Cascio and Dolmarie Mendez, won the Investors’ Choice Award sponsored by San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel. Abartys Health is a centralized healthcare system that “streamlines services, communication and treatments” among patients, providers and insurance.
Meanwhile Brands of Americas, a marketplace for Latino diaspora all over the world founded by brothers Alan and Guarien Taveras, also from Puerto Rico, won the T-Mobile People’s Love Award. Brands of Americas has been operating for more than two years in Puerto Rico and saw its revenue spike since September, when they joined accelerator Parallel18.
Parallel18 is an economic development initiative that attracts early stage, high-impact startups that can scale from Puerto Rico to global communities, beyond the island, including mainland U.S., Latin America, and Europe. The third cohort will be announced in the coming weeks.