Technology

This Startup Accelerator is Tripling Its Investment in LatAm Founders

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The Parallel18 (P18) international accelerator program will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this year by giving away ten $150,000 USD grants to their tenth cohort (GenX) of science and tech startups. 

Backed by parent organization Puerto Rico Science, Technology, and Research Trust (PRSTRT), P18 normally awards smaller grants of $40,000 USD to 40 startups for a 20-week accelerator program, so this tenth-anniversary special edition of the P18 program (P18 GenX) marks a milestone for the island’s tech ecosystem by offering founders deeper financial traction on their journey to scale globally.

P18 GenX aims to provide underrepresented Latin founders with access to a diverse accelerator aimed at empowering them through education, business connections, investment opportunities, and a continuously expanding community network that spans over 200 local and international companies. After ten years of taking companies to the next level, 85% of P18-funded companies continue to operate to this day.

A mesh of cultures and business opportunities

Puerto Rico sits square in the middle of the Caribbean. Its culture and language are distinctly Latin, but it also enjoys many benefits of being a US Territory (the biggest being: no federal income tax). The island’s location allows access to both the US and LatAm markets, meaning startups in the tropical paradise get to do business in dollars and network with corporations spanning Silicon Valley to Wall Street, and all the way down to the stormy tip of Patagonia.

P18’s new $150k round of funding means GenX founders will be able to spend more time innovating and building their products and less time scrounging up capital. When awarded funding, founders are cut a $125k day one of a 20-week program built to provide them with the resources they need to grow and structure their companies while networking with potential corporate clients, globally.

The second payment of $25,000 comes on a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) uncapped with a Most Favored Nation (MFN) provision. The MFN provision will take on the terms of the lowest cap SAFE, or other favorable terms, between the acceptance to the program and the company’s next equity round.

Juan Carlos Hernández
Executive Director at Parallel18

The conditions to receive funding require applicant companies to be under three years old and with validated innovative products generating revenue on the market. Most importantly, each company must have at least two founders living and working with the startup full-time, in Puerto Rico, who are capable of explaining how they will incorporate their business into the island’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to scale their business.

Finally, to allow PRSTRT to continue expanding the entrepreneurship programs in the island to reach new generations of entrepreneurs, the terms for accepting the money, founders are only expected to pay back the fund 1% of the value of their company’s shares at the time of its acquisition or IPO (Initial Public Offering). 

P18 GenX – Apply Now

Founders interested in applying must fill out the application form before midnight, (AST/UTC-4). Then, via a competitive process of internal and external evaluation via selection committees and personal interviews with the startup’s founders.

P18 will select and announce the official cohort for GenX by mid-May this year, with the 20-week intensive program slated to begin in late June. 

Disclosure: This article mentions a client of an Espacio portfolio company. 

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