Applications Now Open for Spring 2020 Cohort of Accelerate VI

The startup accelerator aims to build a pipeline of promising early-startup companies and provide them with the tools they need to grow and scale from the U.S. Virgin Islands Saint

Published Thursday, February 6, 2020

Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands February 6, 2020 - The University of the Virgin Island’s (UVI) Research and Technology Park (RTPark) announced today that applications have now opened for the Spring 2020 cohort of Accelerate VI, a startup accelerator creating a tech-based ecosystem in the Virgin Islands for entrepreneurs to thrive and grow. The program seeks to attract companies within the Territory as well as ambitious entrepreneurs around the world.

Now in its second year, Accelerate VI is designed to further the development and growth of early-stage technology ventures. Seven startups will be selected to participate in a rigorous, 12-week program on Saint Croix starting on April 13. Each participating startup will receive access to capital, in-depth mentoring and training from a community of seasoned and experienced entrepreneurs, complementary workspace, international development resources, and partner perks anchored by a specialized curriculum centered around growing a sustainable business in the Caribbean and beyond.

Accelerate VI applications are open to all persons who are 18 years or older with a technology-enabled company. Applicants may only submit one application per cohort and must adhere to the following criteria:

  • Are registered or willing to be registered to do business in the US Virgin Islands
  • Past idea stage: MVP (Minimum Viable Product), beta or launched
  • Have the ability to scale into national/ global markets
  • Technology-focused company with proprietary software (No Service Providers)
  • Raised or received less than $2,000,000 in total investment (e.g., equity, convertible notes, government grants, academic grants)
  • Commitment to Accelerate VI programming attendance policy

Startups from the following sectors are strongly encouraged to apply however all sectors will be considered: Sustainability Solutions and Renewable Energy, Financial Tech, Health Care/Medical Device Technologies, and Sports Tech.

“Accelerate VI  has had such a positive impact on our first cohort of seven startups and has allowed the RTPark to become a leading resource of support for the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the U.S. Virgin Islands,” says RTPark Executive Director Peter Chapman. “We are excited to welcome more tech-startups to the program and our growing tech hub in the Territory.”

With a goal of generating long-term economic growth on the islands, RTPark was founded in 2002 as an economic development organization operating under a legislative mandate and policy guidance from UVI, the only Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in the Caribbean. Serving as the Territory’s center for technology and knowledge-based businesses, the RTPark empowers companies to integrate and contribute directly to local education, workforce development, and skills enhancement while enabling them to benefit from USVI tax incentives. The 2019 launch of Accelerate VI is just one of the RTPark’s latest  initiatives to attract and integrate new businesses into the fabric of the Territory.

“There’s an abundance of talented individuals in and from the Territory who are working on innovative tech and tech-enabled ideas. We want to work with, support and empower these founders with the resources they need to excel,” adds RTPark Director of Business Attraction and Entrepreneurship Eric Sonnier. “Coming off of the success of our inaugural cohort, we are looking forward to growing our community of entrepreneurs and continuing to be a catalyst for Caribbean innovation.”

Startups interested in participating can learn more and apply at http://bit.ly/AccelerateVIsp20 . The deadline to apply for the spring cohort is March 8. Interested entrepreneurs can direct questions to Entrepreneurship Associate Amanda Spann at Amanda.Spann@uvirtpark.net.

To learn more about RTPark or Accelerate VI, please visit Uvirtpark.net and AccelerateVI.com and respectively.

For media and partnership inquiries or interview requests, please contact RTPark Business Intelligence & Marketing Manager Sydney Paul at Sydney.Paul@uvirtpark.net.

Client Testimonials

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

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

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