Wireless sensors for soil, plant-based water filter for emerging markets and a mobile platform to borrow and share objects with your neighbors were among the 25 companies pitching to potential investors at Parallel 18’s Demo Day.
Demo Day is the culmination of Parallel18’s five-month program that brings startups from all over the world to Puerto Rico for mentorship, community engagement and business growth. The companies pitched their improved, finely tuned businesses to interested investors from New York, California, Virginia and Texas.
The Department of Economic Development and Commerce Secretary, Manuel Laboy, was among the speakers of the event. He addressed the cohort and assured them that the government will act as a “facilitator to achieve your plans, achieve your goals”. The secretary also hoped that Parallel18 and its participating startups will be able to “put Puerto Rico on the map in terms of innovation, growth and prosperity”.
As part of the Demo Day, the investors and the attendees voted for their favorite pitches of the event. Puerto Rican health tech company Abartys Health, founded by Lauren Cascio and Dolmarie Mendez, won the Investors’ Choice Award sponsored by San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel. Abartys Health is a centralized healthcare system that “streamlines services, communication and treatments” among patients, providers and insurance.
Meanwhile Brands of, a marketplace for Latino diaspora all over the world founded by brothers Alan and Guarien Taveras, also from Puerto Rico, won the T-Mobile People’s Love Award. Brands of has been operating for over two years in Puerto Rico and saw its revenue spike since September, when they joined accelerator Parallel18.