Frequently Asked Questions
What is pre18?
pre18 is a program dedicated to help early stage, innovative Puerto Rican startups that have global potential, to get to market. #PalMundo
Are parallel18 and pre18 the same thing?
No, parallel18 is a 20 week program that focuses on global companies that already have customers, sales or a MVP. Pre18 is a 12 week pre-acceleration program that prepares companies with a developed project or an initial MVP of their software or hardware project to get to market. The goal is that, at the end of the program, the selected companies are generating sales. Both programs accept up to 40 companies per group.
How many companies are accepted to pre18?
pre18 will accept up to 40 Puerto Rican companies.
What does pre18 offer?
The program offers a US$20,000 grant for those companies that are accepted. In addition, it provides a pre-acceleration curriculum that offers mentorship, goal monitoring and follow up so that the selected companies that meet the goals established by the program.
Who can apply to pre18?
- Those Puerto Rican that have been established in the last three years.
- Innovative projects with the potential to get to global markets (that want to grow outside of Puerto Rico.)
- Software projects (applications, e-commerce or any digital service) must have an MVP with a business model.
- Hardware projects (physical products) must have an initial model or be ready to produce a prototype.
What kind of entrepreneur are we looking for?
A Puerto Rican that wants to hustle and that is ready to work full time and to what it takes to go global.
In what stage does my business needs to be?
Your project must have a functional beta if it’s an app, e-commerce or some sort of software product. If it’s a physical product you must have an initial prototype.
Who will see my application? Is the information confidential?
In addition to the parallel18 team and YouNoodle, only the judges and the selection committee will have access to your application. All data is completely confidential.
How do you choose participants?
The selection process is similar to the one we follow in parallel18. Once the open call closes, a team members of P18 and YouNoodle make an initial evaluation to determine the startups that do not qualify. The ones that qualify will be evaluated by a group of international judges that will use a point system to conduct their analysis. None of the people who participate in this judging round are Puerto Rican. The companies that have the best score will be evaluated by a local selection committee that ultimately decides the companies that get in.
- Product or service (25%)
- Positioning and market fit (25%)
- Team qualifications and experience (25%)
- Team focus and dedication (15%)
- Impact in Puerto Rico (10%)
Do I need a video presenting my project?
Yes, you must prepare a 3-minute video explaining your company or project in English. The video must answer the following questions:
- What problem are you solving?
- Why are you the perfect team to make this startup successful?
- How would pre18 help you grow?
The video must be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo and must be public and without any password.
What are the program dates?
The program starts in April 16th, 2018 and ends in July 6th, 2018.
Can I apply if I have a restaurant?
Although we recognize the value of every business, pre18 does not accept service companies or concepts that are under a franchise model.
Can I pay myself a salary with the pre18 grant?
Yes, subject to what’s established in the terms and conditions of your contract.
Does my company need to be incorporated?
No, it’s not necessary that it is incorporated when applying to pre18, but it must be incorporated to get the funds if accepted.
Do I need a recommendation letter?
Recommendations are not mandatory, but we believe it’s important to see that more people believe in what you’re doing. This is why we encourage you to ask a collaborator, customer or former employer to complete the recommendation in the application.
How much time does the program requires?
The program requires a minimum of six hours a week for the following activities:
Mondays: KPI meetings, 45 minutes at a previously allotted time
Wednesdays: mentor talk from 10:30-12:00
Fridays: mentor talk 10:30-12:00
Additional activities can be added. These will be subject to the performance and development plan of the company.
Can non-profits apply?
No, pre18 only works with for profit companies.
I am a Puerto Rican entrepreneur who is part of the diaspora, can I apply?
Yes, the important thing is that you’re able to come to Puerto Rico for the 12 weeks that the program lasts and that your development plan includes leaving operations in the island in the long term.