At Hispanicize 2016, the national Latino influencers and trendsetters event in Miami, In Spirit was announced the winner of “The Latino Perfect Pitch” small business competition sponsored by Wells Fargo. As the grand prize winner, In Spirit will receive $5,000 to help build and grow its business. In addition, In Spirit will receive a trip to the Silicon Valley sponsored by the Latino Business Action Network (LBAN), a non-profit organization that collaborates with Stanford University on Latino entrepreneurship research and education programs, to meet with angel investors and network at LBAN’s Entrepreneurship Center in Palo Alto.
“Being chosen by the small business expert judges is a great honor. Our goal at In Spirit is to grow our business and customer base. The funds and exposure gained from the competition will certainly take us to next level,” said Lawrence Cisneros, Co-Founder and CEO of In Spirit and winner of this year’s “The Latino Perfect Pitch” competition.
“The Latino Perfect Pitch” is a small business competition for entrepreneurs, digital influencers and bloggers seeking an opportunity to take their business to the next level. The competition was open to entrepreneurs who have been in business no more than five years and three finalists were selected to pitch their business to a panel of expert judges for a grand prize at Hispanicize 2016.
“As we hoped, this competition served as an unprecedented opportunity for content creators, technologists and journalists attending Hispanicize to raise capital to take their innovative business to the next level. We sincerely thank our partner, Wells Fargo, for leading the initiative,” said Hispanicize CEO Manny Ruiz.
The three finalists who participated in the live competition, included:
— In Spirit: In Spirit brings the high-end cocktail experience to everyone by infusing cold-pressed juices and spirits, along with bitters, liquors, and raw sugars, to create innovative, mixology-based concoctions – for the first time in the industry.
— IX Style: IX is the Mayan word for water. For every purchase of huarache sandals, IX Style donates to provide clean drinking water to children in Guatemala, where the owner’s family is from. IX Style’s products are made in Guatemala and create jobs for local artisans near the lake that inspired Francesca to start IX Style.
— Juana La Iguana: Juana la Iguana is a learning and entertainment platform that instills educational and global values to pre-school children in Spanish. There is a clear need in the U.S. Hispanic market and in the Spanish speaking market in Latin America for high-quality content that is fun, engaging, innovative and culturally relevant for children 1-5 years old. Latin parents want to transmit their values and their culture to their children in a mobile and global world.
“I’m inspired by the passion of the diverse group of talented entrepreneurs from across the country who submitted their business plans for this tremendous opportunity,” said Xochitl Leon, Hispanic segment marketing manager for Wells Fargo. “We are committed to helping Latino businesses grow and provide them with tools and resources, including WellsFargoWorks.com, to enable them to succeed and be agents of economic change in the communities we serve.”
Hispanicize is the iconic, largest annual event for Latino trendsetters and newsmakers in digital content creation, journalism, marketing, entertainment and tech entrepreneurship. This year’s conference took place in downtown Miami’s InterContinental hotel, April 4-8, 2016. (See the Hispanicize 2016 preview video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ys3_h5m8V6s).
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