ACCELERATE VI, Territory’s First Tech Accelerator Program, Launches with 2019 Cohort of Eight Startups

Published Wednesday, October 16, 2019


ACCELERATE VI, Territory’s First Tech Accelerator Program, Launches with 2019 Cohort of Eight Startups

The University of Virgin Islands Research and Technology Park (RTPark) is pleased to offer, ACCELERATE VI, a program targeted for local, high growth startup founders that will provide participating, early-stage companies tools to grow and scale in the U.S. Virgin Islands 

ACCELERATE VI is the RTPark’s initiative to develop and attract young technology firms through a three-month, intensive business acceleration program.   Accelerator participants will work in a supportive atmosphere amongst peers, instructors, and invited guests. The program is designed to develop the muscle-memory necessary to perform confidently and swiftly in the context of high-risk, high-reward decisions. 

ACCELERATE VI, the first initiative of its kind in the territory, will complement and support the overall mission of the RTPark to grow and attract technology firms in order to build a more resilient economy for the territory. More specifically, the goal of ACCELERATE VI is to focus on growing and expanding local VI technology firms, which translates into tangible benefits for the local economy. 

Benefits of the ACCELERATE VI: 

  1. Access to Capital
  2. Mentorship
  3. Office Space
  4. Partnership Credits (hosting, marketing, etc.)
  5. Curriculum / Education
  6. Export Promotion and Technical Assistance
  7. Legal Office Hours

The RTPark and ACCELERATE VI is pleased to announce the first cohort of the program which consist of eight companies—six of which are local firms.  The companies in the 2019 Cohort of ACCELERATE VI: 

  1. GRIND Basketball- Sports Tech 
  2. Harbor Shoppers- E-Commerce 
  3. Qore- Financial Technology 
  4. PromoJuice- Media & Promotions 
  5. ShoreIQ- Web Development 
  6. OFT Labs- Health & Wellness 
  7. FarmPod- Sustainable Agriculture 
  8. Avera- Health & Wellness 

The 12-week program will conclude with a “Demo Day” event open to the community to attend.  Members of the cohort will be pitching their companies in a “Shark Tank” style-format.  The ACCELERATE VI Demo Day event will take place on October 24, 2019 at 5:30 pm in the Conference Room of the Company House Hotel. 

Peter H. Chapman, the RTPark’s executive director, said ACCELERATE VI represents an exciting and much needed paradigm shift for the RTPark which recently established a more aggressive business model and has now implemented a signature program for helping promising local and non-local tech firms fulfill their potential to move to the next level.

“Accelerate VI, I believe, will have an outsized impact on the Virgin Islands entrepreneurial ecosystem, primarily because of the comprehensive array of services we’re providing, as well as the caliber of tech sector founders and other stakeholders we’ve lined up to support different elements of the program,” Chapman said.  Thus, with this launch, we can now confidently and legitimately describe the RTPark as a holistic tech-based economic development organization.”

Chapman added that he was extraordinarily proud of Eric Sonnier, the RTPark's Director of Business Attraction and Entrepreneurship, for designing the accelerator program and marshalling the resources and partnerships necessary for implementation.

Sonnier said that ACCELERATE VI’s work to develop local tech firms and cultivate local talent provides a crucial foundation to diversify the territory’s economy, while making the Territory more resilient. 

“Technology firms represent the future of the national and international economy. They spur innovative industries and a knowledge-based economy that will position the territory as a competitive leader in the Caribbean as communities compete for the world’s top tech firms and talent. In partnership with our stakeholders, ACCELERATE VI and the RTPark are committed to develop and cultivate the best and brightest among us to help the territory meet this challenge,” he said. 

For more information on ACCELERATE VI and the first cohort of participants, visit www.acceleratevi.com

For more information about the RTPark, visit www.uvirtpark.net  

To RSVP for ACCELERATE VI Demo Day, visit https://bit.ly/2MIJovc.

Client Testimonials

Our firm, The RainTree Group, came into the UVI RT Park program in 2018.  We didn't have much experience in the USVI and followed the advice of the wonderful RT Park staff and other RT Park tenants.  The application process was transparent and straightforward.   The simple concept of the Park is mutual benefit - your company gets some tax incentives that allows you to grow your business more quickly and the USVI and UVI gets additional tax base, employment opportunities, and scholarships for deserving students.  The business environment and life in the USVI is slower paces and less stressful as the mainland, and without question the biggest business hurdle is communications, so find an office location where you have investigated the broadband options. Come and join us, you won't regret it!

James Salter, VosCom dba The RainTree Group

There are many unique treasures to living here. I’ve discovered a passion for mountain biking. My children have learned to sail. With a small community, you get to know people quickly. We found they went out of their way to make us feel welcome. When considering the move, a top concern was the children’s education. We found a quality school our kids love, with a dedicated faculty. In fairness there is an adjustment period. You learn to navigate island life, master shipping logistics, get to know a new culture, and take in some of the most beautiful ocean views in the world.

David Thompson, Exigo

We have been part of the RT-Park program for almost three years now.  The application process was straight forward and we had plenty of dialogue and feedback prior to our approval.  My only regret is we didn’t do this sooner.  It is satisfying  knowing that we are partners with UVI and enabling the education of the next generation .  We also love living in the USVI.  People are warm and welcoming and the pace of life is amazing healthy.  Most days it feels like a working vacation.

Andy Hemmert, President , HRMT, LLC

In January 2012 my business was underway as a Tech Park entity. It has been a wonderful seven years. The Tech Park has always been supportive, easy to do business with, and is making a positive impact on the islands. The Tech Park organization is professional and efficient. They have created a friendly business environment that has been a pleasure to work within and a great experience overall. I would encourage any eligible entity to consider joining us in the Tech Park.

Louise Stapleton, LNL Publishing