Parallel18’s pre18 local program open calls for its fourth generation

With the slogan “Sácala del Parque”, the pre-acceleration program pre18, part of the non-profit organization parallel18, opened calls for local companies interested in participating on its fourth generation.

Startups interested will have until October 12th to summit the online application form. The program, part of the Puerto Rico Science, Research and Technology Trust (PRSRT), is looking for local innovative startups with global growth potential while providing a $20,000 equity-free fund that will help them launch on the market and prepare them to scale globally.

In addition to receiving the grant, each startup should commit to participate in an intensive 12-week educational and entrepreneurship program. They will receive one-on-one mentorship, networking with corporate clients of the program, counseling, and constant monitoring from professionals of many industries and the entrepreneurship ecosystem.

“As a result of the pandemic, we are aware that in Puerto Rico there’s been a rise of local entrepreneurs because, with the global crisis, they had to reinvent themselves. Some lost their jobs and others discovered the possibility to innovate on such critical times. This is why we want to provide the opportunity for local companies to, as we say on the island, ‘sacarla del parque’ (hit a home run) and help them set a bigger and global mindset for their startups. Also, we want to give them the best resources and mentorship at a high level to achieve global growth”, said Sebastián Vidal, Chief Innovation Officer of the PRSRT.

Among the requirements to apply to the program is having a basic version of the product or service. In the case of the software, the product must have its functionalities ready for a pilot test or to demonstrate to its audience. For a physical product, the startup must provide a 3D printed prototype or final drawings for its production. Also, the selected companies must be in business for less than a year. The business needs to have the ability to grow rapidly and be able to export. Therefore, technology-based companies or companies that have a unique component that distinguishes them are excellent candidates.

“At the Trust, we encourage entrepreneurs from the different regions of Puerto Rico to apply to the pre18 program. We acknowledge the diversity of innovative ideas that inhabit the island. Through crisis, opportunities arise and with this pre-acceleration program we help entrepreneurs to grow and boost the local economy. Our goal at the Trust and parallel18 is to promote innovation and provide the right tools needed for the economy to continue thriving”, emphasized Lucy Crespo, Chief Executive Officer of the PRSRT.

In addition, the companies selected must have at least one team member participating full time in the program. At the moment, 111 startups have been part of the past generations programs and 47 have continued to the advanced and international program p18.