Our 8th year as an international acceleration hub has begun! As we celebrate the new year, we want to also embrace what’s to come in 2024: a new incubation program, a bigger parallel18 team, and our eagerness to seize opportunities that can make the Puerto Rican ecosystem thrive.
To our community: we invite you to scroll down and read more about what’s to come in this new year!
BioLeap: a program that jumpstarts Life Sciences projects
Since the beginning, parallel18 has the mission to provide an innovative hub that bridges the gap between entrepreneurs and the many resources they may need when scaling their startups. In the Life Sciences sector, this barrier can be perceived when scientific research entails the challenging path towards commercialization– and that’s where BioLeap comes to the equation!
BioLeap is a Life Sciences innovation incubator program that’s part of the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust (PRSTRT) and supported by parallel18 to increase economic development through innovation and entrepreneurship in the life sciences sector in key focus areas such as biotechnology, AI-driven medical technologies, genomics, and more.
Furthermore, the subprogram, led by the Program Director Noé Crespo, links cutting-edge local scientific researchers with relevant tools that can facilitate the commercialization of their projects, thus advancing the establishment of a local, inclusive innovation ecosystem.
Some resources include technical assistance, access to capital, and a co-working space. This initiative facilitates our mission to provide a supportive environment where Life Sciences entrepreneurs can structure their businesses, launch a functional prototype, and develop patentable technologies with the goal of commercialization for exports worldwide.
As we officially launch this incubation program, the application process opens in January 22nd! For now, join BioLeap’s community to stay updated and learn more about the basic criteria.
Our pre-acceleration program starts the year with 25 local startups!
The sixth cohort of pre18 is about to begin! A group of 25 local startups will receive a $25,000 grant, entrepreneurial education, mentorship and networking opportunities for a period of 12 weeks to boost their market entry.
The companies that will be part of the sixth cohort are: 2040, Abogii, Agro Lab PR, AlphieSoft, Balanceada, Boribids, Homemash, Hospital Administration, IncentivesPRO, Intelicargo, La Quinta Nube, Lavanda Holistic Clinic, Let’s Fuel, Mofongo Jobs, My Cloud Menu PR, Nabori Labs, Navistrak, Next Cycle Foods, Pairon, RentSmart, Terminal 34, Tribuna AI, Tugurú, Verte, and WUJU.
From this list, the companies Agro Labs, Balanceada, Intelicargo, Mofongo Jobs, Nabori Labs, Next Cycle Foods, RentSmart, and WUJU recently graduated from Fase1 Intensive; the sister incubation program of the entrepreneurship pillar managed by the PRSTRT with CDBG-DR funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Xpand: our post-acceleration program opens its call for its fourth generation
At parallel18, we want to promote Puerto Rican companies in an advanced growth stage so that they reach their greatest potential inside and outside the Island. Therefore, if you are a Puerto Rican founder of a company with three or more years in operations, Xpand is for you!
Our post-acceleration program, sponsored by Banco Popular, will open its call on February 4th for the fourth generation of local companies seeking to raise capital, export their products/services and expand into new markets.
Xpand, which is also part of the Puerto Rico Trust for Science, Technology, and Research (PRSTRT), facilitates the growth and development of Puerto Rican companies by providing individualized technical mentoring, educational workshops and connections with ecosystem leaders to achieve their export goals of products/services outside the island.
In this fourth edition, some changes were made for the benefit of participating companies — such as a longer and more complete curriculum that will last a period of 8 months (previously, it lasted 16 weeks).
Up to 30 companies will be selected for the fourth generation. These are some of the benefits you will receive:
- Investment of $100,000 in seed capital — Interested founders must request the investment from the evaluation committee and are not committed to accepting it. The capital will be awarded to a maximum of three outstanding companies that successfully participate in the program. Selected companies must demonstrate commitment to the program, have an increase in their comparative performance at the beginning of the program and a perspective of accelerated growth during the 30 weeks of participation, while impacting Puerto Rico’s business ecosystem and the economic development of the Island.
- Access to parallel18’s investor network as well as the organization’s network of corporate partners. In addition, they will be connected with investment funds inside and outside of Puerto Rico and other financing alternatives, according to their need.
- Access to the parallel18 Talent App; a local talent base of more than 300 professionals available full-time, freelancing and internships.
- Each company will be able to join parallel18’s “perks” program, which has products and services valued around $350,000 (USD).
- Access to the “co-working” space at parallel18.
- Participants, once the program is completed, will be able to apply to the parallel18 Ventures Matching Fund, an initiative designed to co-invest in prominent companies — with an annual disbursement capacity of more than $225,000 (USD).
The Xpand program will open its call from February 5 to March 8. If you are interested in applying, join the community here.