Today feels like Christmas morning. The 4th cohort of Parallel 18 accelerator is here. 34 startups from 5 continents and 13 countries have arrived to scale their work and drive value to Puerto Rico over the next 5 months and beyond. This generation included, Parallel 18 has now worked with 140 startups and have created a tremendous impact on these companies and the ecosystem in Puerto Rico, driving over $7M in revenue to the economy in the first two cohorts alone. And I couldn’t be more excited.
The 69 startups part of the first two cohorts of Parallel 18 have driven over $7M in revenue in Puerto Rico alone.
My amazing experience participating in Generation 3 inspired to extend my stay here in Puerto Rico an additional 6 months after the smashing success and impactful experience I had with Generation 3 (shout out to you moderate WhatsApp group). 25% of the startups in Generation 4 are in the IT & Enterprise Software industry, representing 1 of 15 total industries that these companies operating in. From artificial intelligence to fintech to energy, health, social enterprise, tourism and beyond. I absolutely cannot wait to get to know and work with these world-changing entrepreneurs and feel beyond privileged to have been invited to stay part of the Parallel 18 community for this second cohort, leading their fellowship program, freelancing and continuing to write about the startups, mentors, and insights derived throughout this program.
As an entrepreneur enthusiast and being part of the entrepreneur selection process for this generation, I couldn’t hold myself to dive a bit deeper into the startups participating in this cohort. Though I can’t wait to work with each and every one of these companies and entrepreneurs, there are a few startups that have me particularly amped after my preliminary research. I know the suspense is killing you… here we go.
- re: 3d // Led by a badass leadership team of female powerhouses and formerly part of the renowned team at NASA, this 3D printing company creates the most affordable 3D printers in the world for people living in poverty. The Gigabot costs $8k – a seemingly high number, but not in the 3D printing industry. Especially when it comes with the fact that this machine can now create anything you want to sell in the world. More so, this 3D printing company is changing the world… they will launch their first 3D printer that can create products from trash. Yeah. That’s right. Recycling and new product creation in one bot. This is especially impactful in island ecosystems like Puerto Rico where waste management is an ongoing issue and challenge confined to a limited space and surrounded by water. Imagine a person being able to take trash and create surfboards. That is mindblowing.
- Atlas Wearables // Hailing from Austin, Texas, this company is shaping the future of wearables and fitness in a new trailblazing way taking the road less traveled than most IoT products. Their latest product – Shape By Atlas – gives you personal coaching and guidance based on the data generated by your fitness level and sleep. Imagine not just knowing the number of steps you have taken, but how to continue to improve that number of steps and continue to get healthier. Back their campaign on IndieGoGo and get your own…I just did and ordered one for both me and my Mom =).
- ICM Hub // Honestly, one of the under-the-radar everyday injustices we don’t take enough time to protest against is airline travel. Booking fees, bag fees, cancellation fees, bureaucracy. Last month, my flight to Haiti got canceled and in order to get a refund, I had to call 12 times, email them weekly and ultimately, send them a very annoyed Facebook message in order to get that much-deserved refund back. I mean the flight no longer existed and my travel agency intermedium was still holding me to the no refund policy they strictly adhere to. Bullshit. This startup is leading the artificial intelligence virtual assistant revolution and specializing in travel assistance and booking. I really cannot explain enough how f*cking excited I am to use it. Request access for yourself here.
- Host Tonight // Host Tonight is an Airbnb management service that enables people AirBnB’ing their place to chill out and rake in the profits without the hassle of booking confirmations, changing sheets or any of these nitty gritty logistics. It makes AirBnB’ing your place seamless for those of us interested in making as much as we can from our assets and not being as concerned with doing more chores for others than we need to do. In my opinion, anyone who AirBnB’s is already getting 110%+ profit considering they are making money off something they already own (finance experts, don’t break down my easy dummy logic..just embrace it ; -) Considering Transparent from Parallel 18’s Generation 3 – a company that makes rental data accessible to anyone including Airbnb themselves – was the winner of both the investor award from Demo Day and the entrepreneur voted “Most Want To Invest In”, Parallel 18 is doubling down on Airbnb startups’ success and hoping to catalyze Host Tonight’s success.
- Wisboo // This Argentinian company considers itself the “Shopify For Education”. We’ve all seen the uprise of online education hubs providing courses from sites like Coursera or Edx.org, but all these courses come from individuals or universities. Wisboo lets companies get a cut of this cash cow in letting professionals and startups create custom courses and sell them on their sites themselves.
- Woocar // Meet another Argentinian native startup: Woocar. They are somewhere in between your Bluetooth phone device and self-driving cars plus a fusion with a Fitbit like stats to track your driving habits. They are using this data to increase responsible mobility and acting as an interim between that safe self-driving future we don’t know how long we have to wait for, but knowing that 1.3M people die in car crashes a year means anytime waiting for that safer tech is a time too long. Woocar is the solution.
- Husky // Omg Husky. I’m psyched on this startup and not to mention the branding is sexy AF (which also mirrors that awesome AF service this company provides). Besides the fact that Husky tools are my absolute fave, this Husky company is far more impressive. They are a Brazilian fintech company making international payments easy – FINALLY. Having moved over $2M in payments already and working with big-ass companies such as YouTube, this fintech is the future.
- FairCoin // This company is the first company in P18 history to come from Canada and is one of a handful of Bitcoin startups forging fintech’s future. However, it’s not your average Bitcoin startup. FairCoin is on a mission to build a currency that is stable, global and incorruptible. Every success within the faircoin ecosystem raises the value of fair coins. Therefore, every member or company within the faircoin ecosystem has an incentive to help each other succeed. So naturally, the more good and talented people we have early on will help this movement succeed. Bitcoin for the people, by the people, and then some.
- E-Voting // IT IS HERE! Finally. E-voting offers a remote electronic voting solution through the Internet, with the highest security standard and a comprehensive service. We handle the entire voting process, freeing the organization and execution of elections for our clients: We accompany in the configuration, execute the election, give technical support to the voters and deliver the results immediately after the election ends. I consider this an astronomical step towards the future in which we can avoid long lines at the ballots and opt for online mediums to increase voting opportunity, turnout and access to all. F*ck ya!
- Textual Mind // This Puerto Rican company is f*ckin’ rad and doing something that hasn’t been done before. Technically an IT & Enterprise Software company, they are leveraging this technology in an entirely new space. What space? Automated regulatory compliance for the FDA-regulated industry. Usually, companies outsource getting through FDA compliance via costly consultants, wanting to expedite this lengthy process faster than they can with their limited resources. Textual Mind is one-upping this and using even smarter (and cheaper) technology to provide this service through artificial intelligence and #disrupting compliance consulting.
I can’t reiterate enough how excited I am to work with all 34 startups participating in Parallel 18’s generation four and don’t mean to play favorites giving a shout out to these 10, but just wanted to give you all a snapshot preview of this cohort’s awesomeness and I’ll be doing deep dive features on each on in the weeks to come. Stay tuned. Let’s do this.