Parallel 18

>Courtesy of Parallel 18/José R. Madera

As a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, parallel18, the international startup program based in Puerto Rico, launched a digital tool that connects its participant and graduate companies with investors and corporate partners from all over the world.

The Startup Directory is a novel initiative through which the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust’s (PRSTRT) program aims to streamline and automate the process by which their network of partners and investors interact with accelerator’s companies that are ready to receive investment and close deals. Due to its virtual nature, the tool will also help the program heighten its reach as it opens new channels to grow its investor and partner network. The directory is available here: https://startupdirectory.parallel18.com.

This digital tool works like an all-in-one that allows investors and corporations from anywhere in the world to connect with startups by filtering down their innovative solutions per industry, watching the pitch video, and finally getting in touch with the founder within the same virtual platform. This way, the person interested in connecting with a company can get an appointment in real-time.

The directory's pilot version will feature a curated list of 15 local and international startups with operations in Puerto Rico that have participated in parallel18’s accelerator, P18. The list will be updated every three months.

The first group consists of companies that dabble into virtual reality, data analytics, and startups focused on wellness. There are companies from Puerto Rico, Latin America, and the United States: Agtools (Puerto Rico), Omics Global Solutions (Puerto Rico), ElegirSeguro (Argentina), Guardian Systems (Puerto Rico), Fitverz (Puerto Rico), Outcome Project (Puerto Rico). EXCITED (Mexico), Abaxto (Peru), Survey Kiwi (Argentina), Listopro (Mexico), EduSynch (United States) Vozy, (Colombia), CamOnApp (Argentina), Brands Of (Puerto Rico), and BookSloth (Puerto Rico).

“With this pilot version of the startup directory we want to imitate or replicate the results that we obtain in parallel18 when we provide our face-to-face service and show our strengths through a virtual tool. The purpose of this platform is to provide a connection between companies, investors, and clients. Our goal is to eventually give exposure to the 200 companies that have participated in our P18 program,” explained Eduardo Padial, parallel18's director of Operations.

“The launch of this digital tool is P18's letter of introduction to the world. In it, we showcase the high quality of the startups that we support in our organization through the accelerator. We are very excited that the parallel18 team is looking for new opportunities for their startups to continue growing, even after completing the program; particularly because we know the impact that these businesses have on the development of Puerto Rico as a hub of technology and innovation,” said Lucy Crespo, CEO of the PRSTRT.

The group of startups in the directory is part of the same strain of more than 198 startups who graduated from the program that, from 2016 to 2019 have raised a total of $95 million in investment, of which approximately $14 million were in Puerto Rico.

"The idea behind it is to continue to offer our companies the best opportunities while adjusting to the realities of the pandemic. This tool will allow us to increase our network of local and global investors, who seek to invest in companies that fit the P18 startup profile," said Lucas Arzola, P18 Ventures Investments lead.

"This keeps promoting an environment where these connections, and eventually capital injections, are forged, but now in a digital environment," said Arzola, who explained that one of the main alluring aspects of parallel18’s startups to investors is the diversity shown by their teams and their business models.

Many of these startups also have a “business-to-business” approach. Part of the benefits of participating in P18 is that startups can present their value propositions to a corporate partners network that parallel18 has been curating since its inception in 2015. To consolidate these efforts, the program has P18Connect, its corporate innovation subprogram.

"For P18Connect, this tool will allow conversations between corporate partners and our startups to continue, and, as they connect, our alumni can help these big companies face the changes brought about by the pandemic. We understand that this effort will be of great benefit to those seeking services and solutions within their corporations, as well as for those that are looking to expand their client portfolio," explained Cristina Tamayo, Business Development manager at parallel18 who leads P18Connect.

For more details about the Startup Directory and parallel18 programs you can email cobi@parallel18.com or you can access the Startup Directory in the following link: https://startupdirectory.parallel18.com.

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