Applications for Gen3 closed on December 13th. Stay tuned for our next class!
Parallel18 is an economic development initiative that aims to attract and create high-impact startups that can scale from Puerto Rico to global communities beyond the island, including Mainland U.S., Latin America and Europe (hereinafter, also referred to as the “Program”). The Program’s mission is to expand the horizons of Puerto Rican entrepreneurs in the short term and create economic development in the long term. Parallel18 harnesses the uniqueness of Puerto Rico, including: a multicultural society and a connected diaspora throughout the world; convenient geographic location; lower cost of living and resources; and competitive taxation under US laws. All of these elements, combined with additional business incentives, have attracted well-connected and experienced business people to live on and work from the island.
The purpose of the Program is to attract, create and retain global impact business that can scale from the island of Puerto Rico, creating a positive cultural entrepreneurial environment that fosters global minded companies, as well as economical impact through the creation of sustainable companies in the long term.
Startups that apply must be incorporated in Puerto Rico or the United States. In the case that your company is not incorporated in any of these locations, the Program will support you in this process upon starting the Program. Only founders that own fifty percent (50%) or more of their startup may apply. The founder applying to the Program must be over eighteen (18) years of age, and the Program participants may not be more than three persons. Parallel18 reserves the right to use its discretionary faculty to accept team members below the age of eighteen (18) as extraordinary situations may arise.
The following categories will be considered:
The entity is the legal company duly specified in the application form behind the startup applying to the Program (hereinafter, also referred to as the “project”). The entity needs to be incorporated in the United States or Puerto Rico as a Corp. or LLC company. In the case that the company does not have this legal structure, Parallel18 will assist you to create one during the beginning of the program.
The beneficiary is a natural person, duly specified during the application form, who must act in name and representation of him or herself and of the executors, as the person responsible before Parallel18. The person designated as the team leader must participate in the program in Puerto Rico, during the entire period of the program, and be exclusively dedicated to the development of this project; likewise, the beneficiary will be the active and passive subject of all rights and obligations established in the grant agreement, including detailed reports on expenses and activities materialized by the beneficiary or third parties. If not a U.S. citizen, the team leader should have the ability to apply for a visa to enter the U.S.
Optionally, the participation of up to two natural persons who form part of the founding team and who are duly specified during the application process may be considered and are welcomed to join the program if they require to do so. If not U.S. citizens and team members plan to visit Parallel18, they should have the ability to apply for a visa to enter the U.S.
Those activities that enable the launch and scaling of companies with high global growth potential that use Puerto Rico as a platform to grow. Projects may not consist of consulting services traditional export companies, or lifestyle businesses, as these are not considered to be highly scalable projects or with high growth potential. Likewise, projects must be at least in a stage where the concept was validated and the company is prepared to scale operations, understanding these to be projects with less than three years.
The Program will include a variety of activities and/or events, which will be made available to participants of each project, and among which a distinction will be made between mandatory and optional activities.
During participation in the 5-month Program and during the term of execution of the project, the beneficiary must participate in the following mandatory activities:
The soft landing week is mandatory for the team leader only, nevertheless each of the team members are welcomed to participate. The week activities include:
You will be required to meet with mentors and people from the staff to analyze weekly progress and strategic plans, in order to facilitate the accomplishments of the goals by providing access to the right resources
Presentation of the company to a Program evaluators who will use the information gathered by mentors and program staff to analyze in detail the progress of the company during the first 2.5 months. If the company does not meet the standards of the progress compared with its performance, the goals that they set at the beginning, or comply with required participation and engagement, the Program is entitled to put an early end to the project.
A week for meeting investors, learning how to raise capital and, negotiate investment terms, among other fundraising topics.
Key public event to showcase accomplishments in the Program to local and foreign investors as well as the local business community.
Within the Parallel18 Program that are determined by the program to be mandatory, a circumstance that will be communicated with advanced notice to the team leader.
It the beneficiary does not participate in the activities and/ or events specified herein without previous authorization not to (excused), the Program may evaluate putting an early end to the Project, depending on the reasons.
Optionally, the team leader or team member may participate in and/or carry out the following activities, unless these have been categorized as mandatory, as set out in the previous subsection:
Puerto Rican participants Official photocopy of national identification card, on both sides, and/or a simple photocopy of the page indicating the name, identification number and dates of granting and expiration of the ID. In both cases documents must be valid.
Foreign participants Official photocopies of the page indicating the name, identification number and dates of granting and expiration of the passport. In the case where these documents listed above are in the process of validation, a copy of the document that proves this condition must be attached.
The Program duration is 20 weeks and will be understood to have begun on the date established by Parallel18 as orientation day. This date will be notified once the companies are selected.
The Puerto Rico Science Technology and Research Trust will provide a grant, in other words, a transfer of money to the company's bank account for 40 thousand dollars delivered in two sets of 20 thousand each, subject to the participant’s compliance with the terms and conditions set forth herein. All disbursed and used funds need to be properly declared by showing corporate bank statements, and in certain cases an invoice of the service or product acquired, or a contract in the case of apartment rental or an individual hiring per the Program rules.
The Parallel18 team, along with the YouNoodle team, will review all applications to determine if they are a good fit for the program. Those that pass this screening round will advance to Judging.
We will facilitate a panel of international experts to evaluate the applications, giving them a score of 1 to 5 (with 1 being the minimum score and 5 the maximum score) on the following evaluation criteria:
A critical aspect of evaluating the project is how differentiated and innovative their product or service is.
All submissions should target a global market and also be clearly differentiated from competitors. Projects may be rejected if they are only considering one sole market.
For this program we are seeking companies that have gained some level of initial traction, and they are hoping to grow and scale with Parallel18.
The entrepreneurs and teams that we are seeking should be both accomplished and respected individuals along with having a strong and cohesive team.
We need to make sure that this team is dedicated to their business and not using this simply as an opportunity to travel. While at the same time, we want to make sure that this team is going to be an impactful member of this nascent startup community in Puerto Rico.
The Entrepreneurship Management will examine the extent of convergence of the project´s objective with the guidelines and objectives of the Program, verifying the consideration of Puerto Rico as a platform in order to access global markets, and the scalability of the project, among other factors. Likewise, compliance with the following requirements will be verified:
As a result of this analysis, Parallel18 will classify, on a justified basis, the relevance or irrelevance of the projects. If a declaration of "Not Relevant” is declared, the project will not continue in the evaluation process, with this decision communicated to the applicant within a period not exceeding 20 days, counted from the closing of the application period.
This program will be made available to interested parties in the form of application to a competition.
Communication about the opening of a call for applications will be conducted by means of a notice published in the program's website and the Puerto Rico Science Technology and Research Trust website.
Companies, along with the requested technical and economic documentation, may be entered solely through the electronic platform entry system available on the website www.parallel18.com
The accompanying documents must be text documents, spreadsheets or other files compatible with the system (such as doc, xls, jpg, pdf).
Each applicant may only apply once with one project per application period. Moreover, applicants may only apply twice with one project to Parallel18, considering the aforementioned limitation.
There will be 2-3 Phases of the Evaluation Process:
The Parallel 18 team, along with the YouNoodle team, will review all applications to determine if they are a good fit for the program, as defined in Section 5 above. Those that pass this screening round will advance to Judging.
We will facilitate a panel of international experts to evaluate the applications, giving them a score from 1 to 5 (with 1 being the minimum score and 5 the maximum score) on the following evaluation criteria: and the evaluation criteria is as follows:
(For more detailed description of Criteria, see Section 10)
During the evaluation period, an interview through video conference may be requested to applicants.
A local board composed of 10 members will make the decision of the final 40 companies selected.
Once the evaluation is concluded, the program will have 48 hours to inform the applicants about the final decision.
Upon approval of the company, the process of soft landing begins, which requires the execution of tasks by both the team leader and Parallel18.
After the execution of the contract between the U.S. entity and Parallel18, the total amount of the funds will be delivered in two sets of 20 thousand dollars each, one set in the beginning of the program and the second set after the participant has successfully complied with the required criteria for the midpoint evaluation of the program. The grant can only be deposited in a Puerto Rico based corporate bank account, which is required to be opened by the company at the beginning of the Program.
Of the total amount delivered, the company can spend up to $5,000 in indirect costs and miscellaneous expenses and up to $5,000 in housing expenses. The requirements of expenses are specified in number 16.5. Accounts eligible for financing.
The conditions for Parallel18 to deliver the grant shall be as follows:
Parallel18 reserves the right to verify that the technical and legal information declared is valid and, in the event that any serious unconformity is found, in addition to suspending the delivery of the grant or early termination of the project, it will, if applicable, prosecute civil complaints or report criminal activities to authorities against the possible configuration of any actionable actions under Puerto Rico and federal law.
Continuity in the delivery of funds shall be subject to the evaluation made by Parallel18 of the project’s progress and to budgetary availability of funds.
Parallel18 may suspend payments temporarily or permanently if it finds that the project is not being carried out in a satisfactory manner or that the beneficiary has failed to fulfill his or her obligations in whole or in part. In these cases, Parallel18 shall impose the measures it deems appropriate to correct the deficiencies detected, or to terminate the project early.
Prior to the total processing of the resolution putting an early end to the project, Parallel18 may order the team leader to refrain from making further expenditures from the delivered grant. In this case, it may accept expenses associated with activities undertaken up to the date of communication of said order.
Parallel 18 shall provide due notice to the project once suspension of payments and of expenses has been chosen as the course of action.
Costs associated with development of the project may be included in the following accounts:
Includes the salaries or fees of technical and/or professional personnel directly associated with project activities, including the entrepreneurial salary that participants may receive in accordance with what is specified in the legislation in force.
This refers to direct spending associated with project execution, such as: administrative support staff, material office lease costs, national and international fares, medical insurance for participants, issuance of guarantees, product development, visits to potential clients and / or providers, activities relating to the promotion and publicizing of the product / service, processing of visas for participants, and internet services.
Refers to the purchase of durable goods (property, plant and equipment assets) necessary for the implementation and achievement of the expected results of the project.
The following expenses are not eligible: airfares for persons not involved in the project, alcohol, leisure activity expenses or anything else that is not directly related to the Project.
With the funds provided by Parallel18 for the project, the following items are not eligible for financing:
For purposes of account reporting, a pecuniary or cash Contribution will be defined as the expenditure of funds due to project execution. In other words, the use of pre-existing facilities, infrastructure, human resources, etc. of the contributor do not correspond to this concept.
Expenditures charged to Parallel18 must be reported based on actual costs, at the price actually paid, duly supported with reliable documents that verify the amount.
Notwithstanding the latter, Parallel18 will verify that the amount claimed as a contribution to the project is consistent with the objectives and activities reported.
Expenses incurred in the name of the beneficiary and executors (other participants) that are designated in the application will be accepted. Costs of a Limited Liability Company whose owner is the beneficiary, or of a company in which the beneficiary has a shareholding of at least 30% (thirty percent), will also be accepted, as long as said company:
These circumstances will be verified by Parallel18, for which purpose the beneficiary must submit, within 10 days prior to the first expenditure expected to be paid by the company or partnership, the following documents:
Expenses incurred in the execution of the project from the date of communication of the approval decision may be accepted, as applicable, at the risk of the beneficiary. Therefore, the lack of formalization of the grant agreement will not result in either compensation or reimbursement.
Parallel18 holds the authority to track the activities of the beneficiary, of the other participants and of third parties hired, without any prior notice. To this end, in the case of hiring activities with third parties, the power of monitoring and control shall be recorded in the contracts entered into by the beneficiary with such entities, with the beneficiary being responsible for breach of its obligations in the event of omission, and if difficulties arise from it for conducting the monitoring duties detailed above. Nevertheless, Parallel18 does not assume co-management or co-execution of the project, with project execution remaining the sole responsibility of the beneficiary.
The beneficiary must comply with the calendar of monitoring meetings provided by his or her technical executive, and with the delivery of reports (progress and/or final reports) in accordance with the schedule established in the respective grant agreement. These reports shall contain at least the identification of the activities implemented and results obtained.
The grant agreement will consider at least the delivery of a final report of activities and expense reports made within 2 weeks after the expiration date of the term for project execution.
Notwithstanding the latter and in accordance with the nature of the project, the grant agreement may provide for the delivery of progress reports, the number and timing of which will be determined by Parallel18 taking into account the characteristics of the project, the activities of the latter, the results and Parallel18’s own budget availability.
The number and timing of progress and/or final reports may be modified by Parallel18, upon a founded request by the beneficiary, or of its own accord, before the deadline has passed for said delivery.
Parallel18 may request extraordinary progress reports for the periods determined in light of monitoring of project activities, with no amendment of the grant agreement being necessary in this case.
Parallel18 shall approve or provide comments to the progress reports, extraordinary reports and final reports within a term of 10 days after material reception of these, or from the date of the on-site review, as applicable.
In response to a request by Parallel18 for documentation, modification or supplementation of reports, the Beneficiary must comply with such a request within the 3 days following.
Parallel18 will require changes in the expiration date of the guarantee, if applicable, if the beneficiary submits the report outside the deadline.
Reports that do not contain all the information requested or do not attach all supporting records that are required for both technical and financial analysis, or that do not attach a legible copy of these, shall be construed as not filed. Parallel18 shall notify the beneficiary within a period of 5 days from receipt of the report, establishing a term not exceeding 5 days from receipt of the notification to submit the report in order.
Without prejudice to the other grounds for early termination set forth in these requirements, Parallel18 may adopt such a decision in the following cases, applying the sanctions detailed below:
Parallel18 may impose an early end to the project on its own initiative or at the request of the team leader in the following situations:
If requested by the beneficiary and accepted by Parallel18, it shall be understood that the project has been finished early, from the date of the request.
The beneficiary must deliver a Final Report of closure, within a reasonable period to be set out in the Resolution of early termination, which shall not exceed 30 days from the complete processing of the same. The beneficiary shall return the balance from the grant that has not been paid.
Parallel18 may put an early end to the project if the beneficiary fails to comply through negligence or lacks due diligence of his or her obligations. The following situations may constitute breach of the contract:
In the reports of financial accountability:
In this case, the recipient must repay the entire grant received, expressed in on the date for which Parallel18 informed the early termination of the project through a written notice. The refund will be made within FIFTEEN (15) days of the notice of early termination to the beneficiary. Parallel18 shall make effective the guarantee deposit constituted only if the beneficiary does not make restitution within the agreed-upon deadline.
The participants warrant and represent to Parallel18 as follows:
The participants shall be considered as having the legal status of an independent partner vis-à-vis Parallel18, and nothing contained in or relating to their grant shall be construed as establishing or creating an employer/employee relationship with Parallel18.
Parallel18 shall not be responsible for any loss, accident, damage or injury suffered by the participants, arising during or as a result of the grant, including travel, whether sustained on Parallel18’s premises or not.
The waiver by either Parallel 18 or any participant of any provision or breach of these terms and conditions and, if selected, contract shall not prevent subsequent enforcement of such provision or excuse further breaches.
The participants hereby indemnify and hold Parallel18 harmless from and against the full amount of any and all claims and liabilities, including legal fees and costs, which are or may be made, filed or assessed against Parallel18 at any time and based on, or arising out of, breach by the participants of any of its representations or warranties under these terms and conditions and, if selected, contract, regardless of whether such representations and warranties are explicitly incorporated here in or are referred to in any attached Appendices.
The participants shall not assign, transfer, pledge or make any other disposition of the Contract or any part thereof, or any of their rights, claims or obligations under the Contract except with the prior written consent of Parallel18.
Questions may be addressed in English or Spanish to the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org