Hats off to Capital One for another successful business pitch competition! For the fifth consecutive year, youth from six communities across Greater Houston participated in the Capital One Peers & Profits (formerly Youth@Work) summer youth entrepreneurship program.
In the program, the youth devote time to choosing a product and developing a business plan, and then teams pitch their ideas to a panel of judges.
This year’s judges were of Lewis Gissel, Capital One Senior Vice President; Leila Perrin, Vice President of Marketing for the Better Business Bureau of Greater Houston and South Texas; Dr. Martin Lindenberg, Director of the McNair Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas; and BakerRipley small business coach Tabby Saenz.
Products ranged from repurposed t-shirts to a de-stressing mixture to a lip moisturizer. When the pitching was over, and the votes were tallied, there were three winners: the Leonel Castillo team was recognized for Best Branding for their “Down and Up Lotion” (skin cream), the Baker-Ripley team was acknowledged for Most Creative Pitch for their “Multitaskers” (a combination pen and spork), and the Ripley House team won the Best Overall prize for “Curban Art,” hand-painted signs that aim to address illegal dumping in the East End.
Thanks to our four judges, and special appreciation to Capital One for underwriting this impactful program which keeps Houston at the forefront of entrepreneurship. Based on the talent and passion on display today, our community is the big winner!