What is the Acceleration Program?
The startup.pr Acceleration Program is a 20 weeks program aiming to help innovators in the early stages by providing them seed funding to escalate and accelerate their based- technology businesses.
Among other benefits, the program offers:
- The opportunity to have access to seed funding of up to $40,000 to develop projects that accelerate or escalate a based- technology startup. There is $95,000 available that will be distributed among selected projects.
- Access to seminars focused on business expansion and technology development to the entire cohort.
- Access to highly qualified business consultants, engineers, and scientists.
- The opportunity to connect with potential investors.
- Startup.pr accepts proposals from any part of Puerto Rico.
- The program will not fund Research projects or advanced startups.
- The startups must complete their project plan within 20 weeks.
- Projects should have a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) with market traction and scale potential tested in any Idea Validation Program or the real market.
- Projects must develop commercial activity in Puerto Rico in the short and medium-term.
Project selection is based on the following criteria:
- Team qualification. Must demonstrate a strong team capability with the unique skills to solve a problem. You will need to demonstrate that you or members of the team have technical and management skills knowledge to develop the project.
- The program requires at least one of the company founders participate full time in startup.pr in Puerto Rico.
- Scientific merit and originality.
- The team has a clear plan to continue growing beyond startup.pr Acceleration Program.
- The product or service has a competitive advantage.
- The revenue source is clear and feasible.
- The admission process starts by submitting an application, download it (MS Word or PDF). The detailed proposal should contain a comprehensive information on the project including project management qualifications and experience, proponent’ qualifications and a detailed budget.
- Pre-selection process: The startup.pr will review all applications. Top-ranked applications will be pre-selected for the Startup.pr Technology Acceleration Program. Pre-selected applicants will receive a notification by email on January 26, 2021.
- A call for pre-selected teams will be scheduled to evaluate the eligibility of their team members on February 1, 2 and 3 of 2021.
- Mandatory 10-minute Pitch Presentation: Pre-selected applicants are expected to present a 10-minute pitch to the Startup.pr Evaluation Committee on February 9 and 10, 2021 at the time specified in the official invitation sent by email. Applicants who fail to show up on time will NOT be accepted into the Technology Acceleration Program.
- Selection Process: Based on established guidelines, the startup.pr Evaluation Committee will select the projects that will be invited to participate of the Technology Acceleration Program. Selected applicants will be notified about the final decision and further instructions by email no later than February 11, 2021. The Program is expected to start on March 9, 2021.
Startup Puerto Rico is a program that calls those entrepreneurs from other countries interested in developing their innovative initiatives in Puerto Rico. This program aims to attract the best talent from all over to promote the development of solutions to the challenges of today from a global perspective. Applicants must meet the established characteristics of the project.
Who are invited to submit?
Entrepreneurs and innovators whose initiatives are in an early development stage and that are interested to develop them in Puerto Rico.
Is national origin a constraint?
No, applications are accepted from all over the world regardless of the applicant’s nationality or if the proponent is a person or an entity. However, proposed projects must be developed in Puerto Rico.
How are original ideas protected?
All shared information is protected by a Non-Disclosure Agreement and a Conflict-of-Interests Declaration to ensure the integrity and transparency of the process.
Do the applications require a complete business plan?
It is not necessary to submit a business plan as part of the application.
How the proponents contribute to the project?
It is required that proponents make a contribution. It is not necessary to be tangible resources or a disbursement. The amount and manner of making the contribution is determined on a case by case basis.
How long should the project extend?
The project duration must not to exceed five (5) months.
What are the project selection criteria?
The applicant should demonstrate that both technical and economic merits of the project justify its development. Project selection criteria include:
■ Scientific merit and originality
■ Economic and market feasibility
■ Intellectual property creation potential
■ Applicant’s qualifications
■ Socio-economic impact of the project
■ Associated risks to the project
Who evaluates the proposals?
Proposals are evaluated by specialists in different areas. Prior to the evaluation process, each evaluator signs a Non-Disclosure Agreement and a Conflict-of-Interest Declaration to ensure the integrity and transparency of the process.