“Six months ago we didn’t know what was going to happen,” said Sebastian Vidal, P18’s executive director, to the audience gathered at the Emilio S. Beleval Theater at Sacred Heart University on March 23.
Last September, parallel18 Gen.4 had to go in hiatus after Hurricane María ravaged the island. But the entrepreneurs came back and, those that never left were able to transform a life-shattering challenge into life-changing success.
“Today we witness a resilient group who proved to be HurricaneStrong,” continued Vidal, in his Parallel 18’s Fourth Generation DemoDay introduction. Or as he has dubbed them, Hurricane Generation.
But the hurricane did not defined this DemoDay. Women entrepreneurs, Puerto Rican and Puerto Rico-based startups set the tone for the four hour-long event were a vast array of industries were represented. Among them: e-commerce, health and biotechnology, financial technology, education, the hot ticket A.I., and others.
The lively audience cheered throughout the presentations for the founders pitching. Like Atlas Wearables, a biotechnology company that goes beyond traditional fitness tracker and it is now venturing to other types of tracking, like livestock; BackStartup, a startup for startups, that provides automated back office and legal services and CloudBoost, an enterprise software that allows app creation to be done in an hour.
In an almost poetic twist, the pitch portion of the event was closed by re:3D, a company that faced three hurricanes (Harvey, Irma and María) last year. After Hurricane Maria, the team stayed on the island helping recovery efforts with its technology that utilizes plastic waste for 3D printing. re:3D is also the inaugural global winner of the WeWork Creator Award.
Before presenting the DemoDay award winners, Hillman Investment founder and judge at #P18DemoDay Candice Matthews said, “to be here and realize that Puerto Rico never closed for business and realized that all of you thrived has been amazing. We’re excited to spend our investment dollars and capital on your companies. This is one of the best demo days, hands down, that I’ve been to and the concentration of investment opportunities… I’ve never seen anything like this.”
The Investors’ Choice Award went to Husky, a B2B for international payments that has been consistently growing. StageBoom was voted by the audience and viewers as the T-Mobile’s People’s Love Award winner.
The Puerto Rican startups that presented on stage were: BrainHi, an A.I. receptionist in the healthcare industry and creators of Ada Monzón’s AdaBot; ParkNet, hardware and software for control access systems; Señor Paleta, the craft paletería with a Caribbean twist; Bonjour Ana, a personal assistant for everyday needs at home and the office; StageBoom, a digital platform to book, hire and pay musicians; EntregaMeds, which delivers medications to offices and worksites, and TextualMind, an A.I. and blockchain automated internal auditor.
If you want to see more of this or past Demo Days, follow the hashtag #P18DemoDay on main social platform and to watch it again, go here.