Why these Philly companies love Puerto Rico’s Parallel 18 accelerator

¿Cómo se dice “tech startup” en español? Apply to the government-backed accelerator by Dec. 13.

Inside Puerto Rico-based accelerator Parallel 18. (Courtesy photo)
Correction: This story has been edited to better reflect the nature of Wholesale in a Box's business model. (11/300/16, 2:45 p.m.)

In the Isla del Encanto, there are two companies with Philly ties feeding off some savory entrepreneurial mofongo.
Everwatersa water filter company currently kickstarting its latest product, and Wholesale in a Box, a Philly-based company that helps makers and designers get their work into brick-and-mortar stores, are currently part of Puerto Rico-based accelerator Parallel 18, which is looking for its third generation of startups. 
“P18 is an incredible community: besides the extremely knowledgeable mentors and resources available for startups, the organization is fast-moving and helps startups get traction where it matters,” Everwaters cofounder Adrian Lievano told us in an email. “Plus, the weather is incredible.” (Lievano got his undergrad and masters degree in mechanical engineering from Penn and was running his business out of New York before the accelerator. It’s not clear yet where he’ll land after.)
And though yes, la playa is indeed a part of the narrative to hook entrepreneurs, there is also a nifty financial upside to the five-month program, namely tax incentives that are unique to Puerto Rico and some grant money that comes along with being selected to the program (more on that later).

For Wholesale in a Box cofounder Etan Brandt-Finell, the accelerator is, in one word, “awesome.” The entrepreneur mentioned access to the coworking space in San Juan and advice from mentors as his favorite perks. Brandt-Finell used to run member experience at the now-defunct Impact Hub Philadelphia.
But also, that $40,000 equity investment grant can’t hurt. Throughout the program, the 40 selected companies will each receive two $20,000 payments by way of the Puerto Rico Science Technology and Research Trust.
Read up on the terms and apply to join Parallel 18’s third generation by Dec. 13.


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