The origin of the word “entrepreneur” is French, meaning, “one who undertakes.” It is no wonder, then, that while being an entrepreneur can be magical, the realities surrounding it are anything but. Those who dare answer the call must find the right balance between their unrelenting, all-consuming dream, and their potentially crippling personal fears if they are ever to succeed in making their pursuits even remotely worth the while. On Thursday and Friday, November 14th and 15th, I had a pleasure to meet a group of such individuals as a judge at the La Idea Business Pitch Competition.
The event brought together entrepreneurs from the United States and Latin America to New York City in order to highlight the power of collaboration among businesses in the Latin America diaspora and to provide resources and connections to help these entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level.
In addition to the NYC competition, another leg of the semifinal competition took place in Bogotá, Colombia. The sixty finalists were chosen from over 1,000 total applicants from countries across the Americas. The final installment of the competition will take place in Miami, Florida in December.
This post is meant as a tribute to these brilliant entrepreneurs. Defining the proposed ideas as simple businesses would be an understatement: They’re paradigm-shifting, sustainable, socially conscious enterprises that empower the communities in which they serve and operate, while simultaneously developing viable profits and generating environmental and social good.
From all of us at Speak Hispanic, congratulations to all the participants and finalists. Best of luck next month in the Miami finals. Enhorabuena!
The 10 finalists from the New York City event are:
Please visit their pages and support them! For the full list of semi-finalists, please visit: http://www.laidea.co/semifinalists2013