Xpand opens call for 3rd generation of growth stage companies
Parallel18, the entrepreneurship pillar program of the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust, together with Banco Popular of Puerto Rico, has announced the open call for the third generation of the post-acceleration program Xpand.
The program seeks to promote growth and development of Puerto Rican companies by providing them with the necessary tools to raise capital, export and expand to new markets, officials said.
Through a personalized mentoring and training approach, Xpand has supported 26 companies in the past two generations of the program. Interested companies may apply until June 25.
Xpand seeks to close the gap in available resources during the growth and expansion stage for innovative Puerto Rican companies that have been successful and seek to grow but face challenges when it comes to scaling up, identifying new markets for export and raising capital to continue driving growth.
The post-acceleration curriculum will last four months and will focus on capital raising, business connections, growth and market expansion. Companies interested in participating must have more than three years of operations as well as an annual income around $250,000.
“We’re very excited to reopen this call for this third generation. Our program has proven its effectiveness in providing entrepreneurs on the island with the necessary skills and resources to take their businesses to the next level,” said Héctor Jirau, executive director of Parallel18.
“We thank Popular once again for their support in continuing to strengthen the business ecosystem of Puerto Rico. We continue to provide a space for business education so that our companies can grow in terms of investment and into other markets,” he said.
Meanwhile, Science Trust CEO Lucy Crespo said, “The Trust, through its entrepreneurship pillar, continues to empower company founders to grow and contribute positively to the island’s economy. Xpand gives them the necessary tools in business education and connections that every company needs to grow. We urge local businesses that meet the requirements to apply to the program.”
Xpand seeks Puerto Rican companies with a solid business model and strong growth potential. The selected companies will receive 16 weeks of access to a broad network of mentors and industry experts, as well as workshops and specialized events that will cover key topics such as financing strategies, product development and exporting.
“Popular’s support for this program responds to our commitment to the economy, the business ecosystem and the development of local talent,” said Camille Burkhart, digital strategy-innovation officer for the Technology & Operations Group at Banco Popular.
“We know what it means for a business to grow and for this reason, we also play an active role as mentors in this process for the benefit of the participants. We are happy with the results of the first generations of the program, and we’re excited to support more companies as part of this call,” she said.
Companies will also have access to benefits such as access to the network of more than 600 Parallel18 investors as well as the network of corporate partners of the organization. Similarly, they will be able to connect with investment funds inside and outside of Puerto Rico and explore other financing alternatives, and may tap into the Talent App, a local database of more than 1,300 professionals available full-time, part-time, freelancing and for internships.
Each company will be able to join the Parallel18 perks program, which has digital platforms valued at some $210,000, and may access the resources and business support network of Colmena66, a sister program of the Trust.