Research Hub: STREAM Tech: 28 Puerto Rican startups, ready to start pre18 program
This blog was provided by STREAM technologies Inc.
The top industries from the selected startups come from Education, Healthcare & Biotechnology, and E-commerce, while 50% are women-led entrepreneurs.
After 5 weeks of open calls and an extensive and competitive evaluation process, parallel18, an organization that belongs to the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust (PRSTRT), selected 28 Puerto Rican companies that will participate in the fourth generation of the local pre-acceleration program pre18, starting next January 24th, 2022.
With the slogan “Sácala del parque”, the pre-accelerator opened its call focused on closing the gap between business education and financing so that Puerto Rican entrepreneurs can dedicate themselves to their businesses full time. In addition, the chosen startups will be part of a hybrid format curriculum for 12 weeks.
“Pre18 becomes increasingly relevant for entrepreneurs on the island. The COVID-19 pandemic prompted a redesign of the ecosystem. With our pre-acceleration program, we can give entrepreneurs the tools and opportunities they need to go to the market and scale globally despite the current crisis. Our curriculum is the ideal complement for the resilience that distinguishes the local entrepreneurs”, stated Juan Carlos Hernández Torres, Executive Director of parallel18, the organization that includes both pre18 and p18.
On the other hand, Lucy Crespo, Chief Executive Officer of the PRSTRT, highlighted the role of parallel18 within the emerging market of Puerto Rico: “Year after year, we prove that pre18 is an important initiative that contributes to the development of Puerto Rico’s economy. The alumni not only stand out in their industry but also revolutionize the market and make Puerto Rico an attractive destination within the ecosystem.”
Furthermore, each company will receive a grant of $20,000 equity-free as a support for their growth and scalability, business education, networking, and continuous support from an expert and high-level team.
During the selection process, a panel of international judges shaped by entrepreneurs, mentors of the organization, and other leaders of the ecosystem, evaluated over 150 applications, keeping in mind the traction, scalability, and the innovative element of each idea.
The selected companies come from the following industries: agrotech, e-commerce, SaaS, Education, Healthcare, Biotechnology, Food & Beverage, Real Estate, Fintech, Legal Services, and more.
From a local launch to global scalability
The applicants had to meet the basic requirements of the program: have an innovative component in their ideas, a scalable product, and a developed Minimum Viable Product of their service. These criteria, lead the way for the companies to eventually qualify for the international P18 program.
The goal is that the pre18ners participating in the program will eventually be able to complete a full acceleration cycle through both programs so that their ideas scale the market and are competitive within their industry.
“The objective is that, at the end of the three months of the intensive curriculum, the companies have a global perspective that allows them to start thinking about their projects internationally. From Puerto Rico, they can be launched into broader and international markets that present the island as a center of innovation,” Hernández Torres highlighted.
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