When people think of innovative ideas and entrepreneurial endeavors, places like Silicon Valley and New York typically come to mind. With more startup funding than anywhere else, it stands to reason that might think these two cities were the only place in the world with startups trying to change the world. However, it's important to remember that a burgeoning ecosystem has just as much potential as any tech hub; it just depends on who is supporting the effort. And in Puerto Rico, one startup accelerator is doing a lot of the heavy lifting.
Parallel18, a government sponsored accelerator program, has recently announced that two of their graduating classes have generated almost $14 million in sales, of which more than half was produced in Puerto Rico. This dedication to bringing tech hub caliber innovation to Puerto Rico is not just noble, it's also good for business.
“We are committed to the growth of Puerto Rico and will continue to work to attract U.S. talent to the island, retain local talent, and re-engage with the diaspora,” said Sebastian Vidal, executive director of Parallel18, in a press release.
The level of innovation is quite impressive among the startups involved. With products that include a coding-free and Lego/magnetic/Velcro compatible set of electronic building blocks, a DIY insect-based robot, and maker board pre-installed with Windows 10, Parallel18 has making good on their promise to prep today’s youth for the autonomous future of work.
“While we are looking for high-quality startups, they are also looking for us and are interested in Puerto Rico,” said Vidal. “We extend our gratitude to all the colleagues and members of the business community, investors, the academy and collaborators who share with us their enthusiasm and provide us with the knowledge to strengthen and continue to foster a corporate culture in Puerto Rico to turn it into an important innovation hub.”
Take a look at the US startups that moved to Puerto Rico and the local startups that have graduated the Parallel18 accelerator below:
Puerto Rican Companies
- Stark Controls
US Companies in Puerto Rico
Read more about other startup ecosystems on TechCo