Contxto – Puerto Rican accelerator Parallel18 recently collaborated with Google Developers Launchpad to provide further support to Boricua startups. 

Together, both groups are placing bets on Puerto Rico’s growing startup ecosystem. Not only will resources go towards portfolio expansion, but also scaling the business.

“This alliance with Google Developers Launchpad allows us to instantly expand access to experienced speakers and mentors, who are key to being able to offer high-quality and relevant business development curriculum for entrepreneurs,” said Eduardo Padial, Operations Manager of Parallel18.

Google Launchpad in Latin America

As a Google subsidiary, the Google Developers Launchpad program is a global accelerator active in over 40 countries. Tailored to the local market, part of its mission is to promote startup ecosystems from outside Silicon Valley.

This involves working with smaller yet budding accelerators, such as Parallel18. Not only does it collaborate with other Latin American firms but also those from Africa, Europe, as well as Asia.  

“In recent years, we have worked to generate new bridges between Latin America and the United States,” said Kevin O’Toole, the global leader in strategy, operations and partnerships at Google Launchpad. 

In O’Toole’s opinion, the Caribbean island is an ideal launching pad for businesses wanting to enter the U.S. market. 

“Puerto Rico represents a gateway for entrepreneurs from all over the world who want to develop the Hispanic market in the United States. Thanks to Parallel18, the startups on the island and in all latitudes can now enjoy the benefits of our launchpad program.” 

According to O’Toole, startups outside of the Silicon Valley system will gradually become more influential over time. The fact of the matter is, though, that resources and support systems are not evenly dispersed. 

“Even though starting a business is easier now than ever before in history, access to successful methodologies, mentors, ecosystem experts, and best practices for developing companies continue to be disproportionately distributed,” added O’Toole. 

Connecting Puerto Rico and The Valley

Beginning in San Juan in 2015, Parallel18 is part of the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust. Both provide services to Boricua entrepreneurs hoping to boost visibility on the international scene.

Over time, it has aided over 200 startups from Puerto Rico, the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia with equity-free funding as well as soft-landing assistance. In the process, it has gained quite a bit of attention for its emphasis on innovation and technology. 

Moving forward, the “Parallel18 Powered by Google Developers Launchpad” initiative intends to connect the organization with more resources. With this comes access to Google Launchpad’s global network, including events, mentorship, as well as training.

Additionally, Parallel 18 will have access to data from Silicon Valley startup programs. This entails two decades worth of knowledge and best practices. Ultimately, this information could assist the Puerto Rican accelerator in scaling.

“Our graduates emphasize that the educational component and mentoring with local and international experts is the greatest value of our acceleration and pre-acceleration programs,” said Sebastián Vidal, executive director of Parallel18.

“By joining Google Developers Launchpad, we are redoubling our commitment to support entrepreneurs in their global expansion efforts.”