¡Lánzate Houston!, the first pitch competition conducted entirely in Spanish in Houston, was hosted by BakerRipley’s Entrepreneur Connection Program in partnership with the The City of Houston’s Office of Business Opportunity. The event took place on December 2nd at Leonel Castillo Community Center. During this competition, ten entrepreneurs took the stage to present their businesses and business ideas to a panel of judges, media and the community.
In preparation for this competition, participants attended workshops on how to create an engaging pitch deck, articulate a compelling and interesting story and make the perfect ask. Many also took advantage of one-on-one office hours with the program’s business coaches.
The competition was divided into two categories: 1) LAUNCH – idea phase companies, and 2) GROW – companies looking to scale. To say that !Lánzate Houston! was fiercely competitive is a true understatement. The following three winners from each category claimed a combined total of over $20,000 in monetary and in-kind prizes:
- Sidia and Mario Guzman, Mandarinos Coffee
- Nina Rios, Got Dirty Blinds
- Paola Marino and Daniel Dunaway, Beancycle
- Guillermo Barrera and Marco Morales, SOPLIX
- Patricia Slind, VINSS LLC
- Mary Gonzalez, Real Blooming
This event was proof that Hispanics in Harris County are passionate business builders and that they are absolutely doing it right! As we know, winning alone an event like ¡Lánzate Houston! is not a guarantee of success, but just taking the stage and getting the early exposure and attention is definitely a way to take that first jump towards success!