New Life Sciences Startup Incubator Launches in Puerto Rico, a Cradle of the Biotech Space

StartupBeat Team
By StartupBeat Team January 25, 2024

Puerto Rico is well known for its scenic beaches, lush jungles and friendly and animated people. Lesser known is that Puerto Rico is also a historical powerhouse in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. 

The island is the fifth largest area in the world for pharma manufacturing, and large companies like Novartis, Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squibb and others have had operations in Puerto Rico. 

So it comes as no surprise really that Puerto Rico would be home to a brand new, state of the art incubator for life sciences companies. 

This week, the Puerto Rico Science Technology and Research Trust (PRSTRT), along with its acceleration program parallel18, announced the launch of BioLeap, an incubator specialized in assisting life sciences projects to increase economic development through innovation and entrepreneurship. The incubator focuses on key areas such as biotechnology, AI-driven medical technologies, genomics, among many others.

“Our mission is to drive visionary projects from the laboratory to the market, accelerating research towards tangible solutions,” said Lucy Crespo, CEO of the PRSTRT.

Lucy Crespo, CEO, PRSTRT

“In a field where promising ideas often struggle to navigate the complex and lengthy journey from concept to market, BioLeap steps in as a catalyst to transform this process, offering strategic education, resources, and a collaborative ecosystem.” 

According to a company statement, BioLeap’s curriculum aims to close the gap between innovative local scientific research and its commercialization, while advancing the establishment of a local and inclusive ecosystem. 

The directors have also announced they’re taking applications for the program from now until February 29. 

Startups that are accepted into the program will receive 12 weeks of education and mentoring aimed at teaching participants about entrepreneurship and the intricacies of doing business within the life sciences industry. 

Additionally, the incubation program will include an additional 14-week period of technical assistance once each cohort ends. During this time, the alumni will continue to receive mentoring and guidance in the various aspects of their business, including finance, operations, grant writing, marketing and communications, as well as assistance in research and development, corporate connections, access to capital and more.

BioLeap, via parallel18, also provides founders with access to capital, a co-working space for the team, and other technical assistance. Founders will also be connected with parallel18’s wider network of startup founders and investors. 

“We want to empower researchers and entrepreneurs to take their innovative technologies to another level,” said Crespo.