Parallel18, a San Juan-based international accelerator for high impact innovative enterprises that want to scale their businesses from Puerto Rico, selected 33 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 second generation of this unique program. The globally diverse cohort includes companies from Sudan, Belgium, Brazil, India, Mexico and others.
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, Brazil, India, Mexico, Spain, Sudan, Belgium, United Kingdom, Chile and Colombia. Two of the companies registered in the United States have Puerto Rican founders: Revl Inc., from California and ALEX (Anyone’s Learning Experience), from Massachusetts. (See the complete list at the end of this release.)
“We’re happy to open our doors to young Puerto Ricans who are coming back to develop their business in the Island and who want to contribute in creating a new economy based on innovation,” said Sebastian Vidal, executive director of P18, on Thursday.
Just like the 36 companies that made the first generation, the group of selected startups will move to the P18 offices located in Santurce to participate in a 20-week acceleration curriculum dictated by successful entrepreneurs, investors and experts in business from all over the world.
Some of the industries represented in the second generation include: E-commerce, Health and Biotechnology, Renewable Energy, Computing, Social Entrepreneurship, Education, and Mobile Technology, among others. Most of them develop software or apps, but almost a third of them works with physical products or hardware.
“The second generation maintains a high quality in terms of the startups selected and the teams behind them. I’m very excited of having such a diverse group, in nationality as well as the kind of projects, since that enriches the acceleration process and the startup community in Puerto Rico,” 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 of up to $75,000 to match investment raised from private sources.
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.
The second generation of startups participating in the program are: from Puerto Rico, Brands of Puerto Rico, Aseguratec; PowerSiesta, Abartys Health, Revuelo, and Stark Controls; from the U.S. mainland, Revl (California), AkibaH (California), Everwaters (New York), GreenTowers (Pennsylvania), Quotanda (California), TeliportMe (California), UXCam (California), ALEX (Massachusetts), and Wholesale in a Box (Pennsylvania); worldwide, Owl Bionics (Sudan); CourseNinja (India); Worker Safety Solutions (India); Turbulent Hydro (Belgium); DooWap (United Kingdom); Mencanta (Spain); Pycno (Spain); Be Better Hotels (Argentina); WoowUp (Argentina); EcomExperts (Argentina); LOOKEA (Argentina); Tem Açúcar? (Brazil); Plataforma Saúde (Brazil); Timokids (Brazil); SayYeah (Mexico); InstaFit (Mexico); Guarnic (Chile); and Morton & Bedford (Colombia.)