The window to apply for a spot at pre18’s second generation is closing tonight at 11:59 p.m., organizers said.
The initiative is a pre-acceleration program for innovative Puerto Rican companies, launched by parallel18 (P18) the global startup accelerator that operates since 2015 as part of the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust.
The pre-accelerator is also backed by Popular and the Center for a New Economy, through the Puerto Rico Recovery Fund.
Pre18 is an economic development project that helps innovative businesses in Puerto Rico —that are in early stages and have global potential — reach the market. After receiving 307 applications for its first generation, which involved companies in industries such as of logistics, agricultural technology, tourism, e-commerce, and fashion, among others, the initiative returns and will select up to 40 startups for its next cohort.
The startup interested in joining the program must send their application through the YouNoodle platform. Once selected, the companies will participate in a program that includes lectures, mentoring and follow-up for 12-weeks. They will also receive a $20,000 grant divided into two payments of $10,000 each.
The business development curriculum will be offered by local and international mentors, so the sessions will be in English or Spanish. Another program advantage is that at, the end of the 12-week period, the 20 companies with the best performance will go straight to the last phase of the selection process to enter the seventh generation (Gen.7) of parallel18.
The second generation of the pre-accelerator comes under the slogan “Puestos Pa’l Negocio,” which refers to Puerto Rican entrepreneurs willing and determined to develop the project’s innovative components in order to export them from the island. The idea is that these Puerto Rican businesses achieve a global reach.
To be eligible, companies must have been established on the past three years (including 2019) and have at least a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and a business model ready to develop.
Puerto Ricans in the diaspora are also welcome to apply, the accelerator’s representatives said.
The projects do not have to be incorporated, but if accepted, it will be required that at least one founder is present for the duration of the program and that the company’s business plan includes leaving operations on the island.
The program requires that, during the 12 weeks, one of the founders works full time on the project and comply with the program’s required activities. For this, founders can use part of the grant for salaries.
The application must be completed in English, as the evaluation will be carried out by international judges. For further details and questions, visit pre18’s website.