How does Parallel18 work?
Parallel18 is an intense five-month acceleration program, that hosts two cohorts a year of up to 40 startups each. Companies that participate in the program will receive a US $40K, delivered in two sets of US $20K. During the 20 weeks of the program, startups get strong mentorship, access to our investor network, and business connections with big companies in Puerto Rico. In exchange, entrepreneurs will engage with local universities and schools to teach and mentor students on a regular basis. When they finish the program, alumni have the chance to apply for the follow-on matching fund P18Ventures.
When can I apply to Parallel18?
Applications open twice a year. To learn about application or announcement dates, stay tuned to our social media platforms and web page or email us at email@example.com.
Who can apply to Parallel18?
Anyone who’s over 18 years of age and has a startup ready to scale. These companies have to have some traction (sales or users), be in operations for three years or less, and a C-level founder must be willing to come to Puerto Rico for 20 weeks. The founder who comes in as the team leader must have equity in the company and must dedicate full-time to the startup. The companies must be incorporated in Puerto Rico or the United States (authorized to make business in Puerto Rico.) If your startup is not incorporated in any of these places, the program will provide you the contacts of service providers who can help you in this process.
What type of entrepreneur is Parallel18 looking for?
Parallel18 is looking for global minds who want to expand their business in and from Puerto Rico. We are looking for globally oriented startups that are easy to scale. Companies need to have traction and must have less than three years of operations. It is critical that the founder of each startup participating in the program is willing to live in Puerto Rico for 5 months. Founders must be willing to participate in a collaborative environment and to comply with the program specifics.
Can my startup be based in Puerto Rico at the time of application?
Yes, the startup can be based in Puerto Rico or in any other country at the time of application. The startup must have three years of operations or less.
What do I need to apply?
Projects must be at least in a stage where the concept was validated and the company has enough traction to be able to scale operations. These projects must have three years of operations or less. To apply you need to fill out the application form on the YouNoodle platform. Applications open twice a year.
Who is going to review my application to Parallel18?
Parallel18 has a multi-step judging process. After applications are closed, the P18 team does an internal screening to understand which companies comply with the program’s basic requirements. Those who advance to judging will be evaluated by more than 100 international judges recruited by the parallel18 team, using criteria provided by the program. Each startup is reviewed by at least three judges. Finally, a Selection Board, composed by players of the Puerto Rico entrepreneurial ecosystem, selects the up to 40 startups that participate in each cohort.
Who is going to have access to my application?
The parallel18 team, the YouNoodle team, the international judges and SelectionBoard will have access to your application. All documents are kept completely confidential and are not shared with external sources.
What are the evaluation criterias?
Applications will be evaluated on the following:
- Product or Service (20%)
- Traction (20%)
- Market and Competitive Positioning (20%)
- Team Mix, Qualification & Experience (20%)
- Engagement with Puerto Rico (20%)
All of them are explained in detail in our Terms and Conditions.
I’m launching a restaurant, can I participate in Parallel18?
Although we wish you all the luck in the world, we don’t accept startups focused on small businesses, import/export, and franchises.
Do I need to be fluent in Spanish?
No, we speak Spanglish! All of the Program communications will be in English and, being a bilingual country, lots of people speak or understand English. We are still a Spanish-speaking country though, so learning the basics is always recommended. If your first language is Spanish, we highly recommend that you learn English given that all activities will be in this language.
Do I need a recommendation letter?
We strongly suggest having recommendations in your application. However, they are not required. They should be written by an investor, mentor, academic or entrepreneur who can talk about the team’s talent and experience. Invite your recommender in the form and YouNoodle’s system will then send an email with a unique notification to that person. Make sure to tell your recommenders to check their junk mail, just in case the request was sent to that folder. The person that is writing the recommendation letter will be able to access the application form. He or she will have to answer the following questions:
- How do you know the team?
- Do you think this team will be able to successfully execute their startup? And why?
This person will also be able to view it, but not edit the application. The applicant will not have access to see the answers to the recommendation letter. You can submit a maximum of 3 recommendations.
Do I need to pitch a video?
That’s right! You must prepare a 3-minute pitch video about your startup in English, in which you present the founding team. The video should answer three main questions:
- What problem are you solving?
- Why are you the perfect team to lead this project?
- How will Parallel18 impact your startups?
You must provide a direct YouTube or Vimeo link of your pitch video. Make sure it is not password-protected. Remember to present the founding team in person in the video.
Will my airplane ticket be covered by Parallel18?
Yes, only the beneficiary and founders identified on the application will be able to use grant money to reimburse their tickets.