In early December, the BakerRipley small business team hosted its 3rd annual pitch competition “Lánzate Houston”. A unique competition where local entrepreneurs present their projects in front of a panel of judges.
To start, each participant has five minutes to pitch their business (or idea) and then two minutes to answer questions from the judges. The scores are based on the type of service or product, their target market, competitive advantage, and finances.
Furthermore, the competition consists of two categories with five participants each. The Launch category (entrepreneurs who have a business idea) and the Grow category (entrepreneurs with a business in operation).
There was a variety of industries covered during the competition, including food, marketing, and tech, to name a few.
Launch category Winners
When it was time to select the winners, narrowing it down to the top three was no easy task for the judges.
- First-place: Jose Humberto Aguilar from Inclube, who owns a marketing company ran by persons with disabilities.
- Second-place: Yadira Aguilar from Klehar, which specializes in importing and exporting goods.
- Third- place: Maria Maso from Business Angel Minority Association, an angel investing network for minority-owned businesses.
Grow Category Winners
- First-place: Mari Briz from Vice Versa Marketing and Communications, specializing in providing culturally competent marketing for clients
- Second-place: Luisa Obando from Della Casa Pasta, maker of fresh pasta.
- Third-place: Marisol Garcia and Stephanie Goni from Cascabel Salsa Gourmet. A family-owned organic food business found at local Whole Foods Markets.
A special thanks to our guest judges!
Lánzate Houston is a unique place for entrepreneurs in our city to showcase their visions and achieve their dreams. Above all, a big thanks to all of our partners and sponsors for supporting our program and our entrepreneurs.