NEW YORK, Oct. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading entertainment and lifestyle retailer, HSN, has teamed up with award-winning entrepreneur and creator of Dreamers Ventures, Liliana "Lili" Gil Valletta, to launch Project American Dreams.
Expanding on HSN's existing American Dreams initiative – a program designed to cultivate entrepreneurs and introduce innovative new products to the marketplace – Project American Dreams will be a business competition to discover, mentor and fast-track the launch of product innovations created by Latino entrepreneurs on HSN.
Kicking off during Hispanic Heritage Month, prospective entrepreneurs can submit their products online for review via projectamericandreams.com from September 30 to December 9, 2016. Up to twenty products will be selected as semifinalists for judges to review at the HSN studios, and up to five winners will be selected to introduce their brand live -reaching approximately 94 million households in the spring of 2017.
"HSN has a rich history of supporting entrepreneurs and introducing their products to the marketplace," said Bill Brand, President, HSN. "Building on the success of our existing American Dreams series, we are looking forward to extending our reach, while leveraging Dreamers Ventures' incredible network to discover innovative new products through Project American Dreams."
As an immigrant, entrepreneur and the first Hispanic partner to HSN's American Dreams initiative, Gil Valletta was inspired by the need to create a business competition and platform that will help fill the gaps in access, opportunity and wealth many Hispanic entrepreneurs face.
"While Latinos represent 17% of the population and are starting more new businesses than the general population, they receive less access to opportunities and get less than 1% of all venture capital and angel funding," said Lili Gil Valletta, co-founder of Dreamers Ventures. "This is why I assembled an alliance of leading experts, investors and mentors to fill the gap in access and opportunity for Latino entrepreneurs." This network of experts will provide personalized coaching and resources to the selected finalists in preparation for their national launch. Various HSN celebrity partners will also provide their personal business tips to the contestants throughout the competition.
This one-of-a-kind alliance includes best-selling author and "TV's Billion Dollar Man" Bob Circosta, a pioneer of the multi-billion dollar live television shopping industry; and Latino business organizations like Access Latina- a non-profit that offers capital resources, access to networks and mentoring for Latinas. In addition to personalized coaching and the chance to gain mass-market distribution on HSN, qualified winners will receive a scholarship to attend the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurs Leaders Program, where Gil Valletta serves as a business mentor.
As a national leader in providing innovative programs and financial services to Hispanics, U.S. Bank supports Project American Dreams as a partner to educate, empower and offer access to capital for Hispanic business owners.
"Entrepreneurs bring a passion and spirit to their work that has driven our economy for generations," said Kate Quinn, executive vice president, and chief strategy and reputation officer at U.S. Bank. "U.S. Bank is pleased to embrace that spirit by supporting new Hispanic businesses in partnership with HSN and Project American Dreams. We look forward to helping these entrepreneurs turn their dreams into new possibilities for future business."
The competition was first publicly announced during the 2016 Prospanica Conference & Career Expo in Houston, Texas, where over 2,500 Hispanic professionals from around the country gathered for leadership development and career advancement. "We are honored to have been chosen as Project American Dreams' announcement platform," commented Thomas Savino, CEO of Prospanica. "Partnering with this initiative is a win on all fronts as our organization works to empower Hispanic professionals achieve their full economic potential."
Inventors can submit their product now through December 9th, 2016 by visiting ProjectAmericanDreams.com and following the submission instructions.
HSN is a leading entertainment and lifestyle retailer, offering a curated assortment of exclusive products and top brand names to its customers. HSN incorporates entertainment, inspiration, personalities and industry experts to provide an entirely unique shopping experience. At HSN, customers find exceptional selections in Health & Beauty, Jewelry, Home/Lifestyle, fashion/Accessories, and Electronics. HSN broadcasts live to approximately 94 million households in the US 24/7 and its website - hsn.com features more than 50,000 product videos. Mobile applications include HSN apps for iPad, iPhone and Android. HSN, founded 39 years ago as the first shopping network, is an operating segment of HSN, Inc. (Nasdaq: HSNI). For more information, please visit www.HSN.com, or follow @HSN on Facebook and Twitter.
About U.S. Bancorp
Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $428 billion in assets as of June 30, 2016, is the parent company of U.S. Bank National Association, the fifth largest commercial bank in the United States. The Company operates 3,122 banking offices in 25 states and 4,923 ATMs and provides a comprehensive line of banking, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at www.usbank.com.
Prospanica, the Association of Hispanic Professionals is the non-profit organization dedicated to empowering Hispanics to achieve their full educational, economic, and social potential. With more than 45 Professional and University Chapters nationwide including Puerto Rico, Prospanica helps professionals and Fortune 500 partners build on connections and career development to fortify the Hispanic workforce. Prospanica's conference is a 4-day career expo that brings together subject matter experts and thousands of hiring managers from top national companies and universities for the purpose of recruiting talent and helping Hispanics achieve professional success.
About Dreamers Ventures
Dreamers Ventures is an alliance of investors, mentors and resources committed to fuel Latino business growth. With a focus on product innovation, this accelerator was co-founded by award-winning entrepreneur Lili Gil Valletta, entrepreneur, investor and digital expert Enrique Arbelaez, supported by industry leaders like the legendary "TV's Billion Dollar Man" and author of the best selling book "Life is a Pitch", Bob Circosta among other experts. Signature programs launched and managed by Dreamers Ventures include HSN's Project American Dreams, a business competition that discovers, mentors, and fast tracks Latino entrepreneurs to launch their products live on HSN.
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SOURCE Dreamers Ventures; HSN