One of Puerto Rico’s most recent startup success stories is that of Abartys Health. In April, the startup looking to solve the global healthcare crisis raised $1.45 million.
Co-founded by two single mothers, CEO Dolmarie Mendez and COO Lauren Cascio, Abartys Health’s vision is to automate the healthcare market by modernizing the patient-provider data delivery system and standardizing the use of predictive machine learning.
Mendez has been recognized by Caribbean Business as “Women Who Lead” and “40 under 40,” and Cascio was recognized as Caribbean Business’ “40 under 40” list, and she was a finalist for Forbes’ “30 under 30” in healthcare.
Abartys Health, Puerto Rico-born with a Global Vision to Fix Healthcare
Guaynabo-based Abartys Health has a global vision and is looking to change healthcare worldwide.
Abartys Health has quickly to become one of the premier global leaders in their space by allowing patients to access their healthcare data when they’re on-the-go via the web or smartphone.
Its mission is to solve the global healthcare crisis with smarter, faster care achieved by use of a unique, centralized data hub that allows medical record portability and universal patient identification.
Since entering the market two years ago, Abartys has developed InsureLynk for insurance companies, ProviderLynk for health care providers, and PatientLynk for health care patients. Their technology platform provides an easy-to-access hub for healthcare data between patients, physicians, and health insurance providers.
- InsureLynk is a centralized data hub that tracks real-time statistics about membership, provider management, population and more so that insurers can access the information they need at a moment’s notice.
- ProviderLynk is a centralized patient database that is used by providers, labs, hospitals, and clinics to access patients and insurance data.
- PatientLynk is a centralized data delivery system for all personal healthcare records, insurance documents, and physician history.
The healthcare startup born and raised in Puerto Rico is committed to its core and foundation – some of the working capital has already been allocated to hiring, in order to enhance its executive structure and team member experience. The company will continue to recruit talent throughout 2018.
Abartys Health has created a system that allows seamless data flow and communication between insurers, doctors, and patients – working to reduce the $750B annual loss in the US healthcare market.
The company is positioned to be a major player in the insurance technology revolution and provides service to global health insurers, pharmaceutical companies, and large employers. Beyond the company’s current operations, Abartys is aggressively exploring the future of technology in healthcare.
Long considered an antiquated industry resistant to change, healthcare is beginning to feel the effects of developments in artificial intelligence and data accessibility. Abartys is pushing the envelope on how population data is managed and utilized in the insurance industry.
The company believes the end result will be a lower cost of care, patients with full access to their own medical records, and irreversible movement towards transparency and efficiency in an industry in dire need of technological progress.
Benefits of Building a Startup in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is a very startup-friendly island with access to networking, capital, and tremendous tax incentives in addition to being a beautiful place to live and work.
According to Cascio, Puerto Rico is a great place to build a startup because of its tax incentives, a great talent pool combining young, agile startups with well-established corporations, and access to capital highlighted by the island’s government-backed, leading accelerator, Parallel18.
Parallel18 Accelerator and Access to Capital
Abartys Health is a graduate of the government-backed Parallel18 Accelerator, which offered $40,000 in grants to some 40 startups in its fourth edition last year.
Startups that complete the acceleration program and keep operations in Puerto Rico will be eligible for Parallel18 Ventures — a follow-on fund of up to $75,000 as a matching to the investment they raise.
“Parallel18 was amazing!” said Cascio, adding, “they were on our follow-on,” referring to Abartys’ latest round of funding which was led by Puerto Rico-based Parliament Capital, with follow-on by Parallel18.
Abartys Health won Parallel18’s Demo Day Investor’s Choice in 2017 and won SXSW Release It in the same year.
It was at Parallel18 that the co-founders first met their future investors, Parliament Capital, and Cascio says that they were very comfortable working with Parliament and that it has a good board members to work with.
“Everyone is cheering for each other,” said the Abartys co-founder, addeing, “the government, Parallel18, and multinationals all make great partners.”
Tax Incentives for Startups in Puerto Rico
Among the many benefits of starting-up in Puerto Rico are the “unparalleled tax incentives,” says Cascio. If you are a founder that is willing to keep operations on the island, the government has your back.
Being a commonwealth of the the US, Puerto Rico has all the systems and regulations that the US has, but with special legislation that particularly favors businesses.
According to puertoricotaxincentives.com:
“Puerto Rico corporations are treated for federal tax purposes as foreign corporations and are not generally subject to U.S. corporate taxes. Individual bona-fide residents of Puerto Rico are not subject to federal taxes on income derived from Puerto Rico sources. In addition, Puerto Rico has provided incentives for manufacturing operations for over four decades. Products manufactured in Puerto Rico will carry the Made in USA label.”
Premier Offshore has a lengthy list of tax incentives and laws in Puerto Rico on its website, which also states, “Move a business to the island and pay only 4% in tax, move yourself to Puerto Rico and pay zero in capital gains, set up a bank or hedge fund and pay only 4% tax, etc. The list of tax incentives in Puerto Rico has become very impressive.”
Puerto Rico’s Talent Pool
“There’s a great talent pool here,” says the Abartys Health co-founder. “People want to stay on the island, and you’re close to a lot of multinational companies, so you can use Puerto Rico as a launch pad,” Cascio adds.
Being geographically close to both Latin America and the US, there is a lot of room for synergy, and “it’s very easy to use your network.”
Puerto Rico is also a manufacturing hub, and the well-established multinational companies prefer working with startups. Since some of these multinationals have over a century of corporate governance, “they seek young, agile companies” to collaborate with on innovative projects.
And, “With a huge reserve of trained scientists and engineers, alongside a focus on encouraging entrepreneurship, Puerto Rico is hoping to rebuild as a knowledge-based economy and mecca for new innovative technology,” according to Silicon Angle.
With Abartys Health positioned as a global powerhouse in healthcare, developments in blockchain and AI are also on the rise in Puerto Rico.
Nearshore Americas reports, “For AI, talent is scarce anywhere in the world, but, with the largest engineering school in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico is offering a couple of courses for the tech, creating enough new AI resources to go around.”