Six San Diego Students Chosen to Compete in United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation's 2011 National BizFest Competition

Sep 08, 2011, 14:12 ET from United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation

- National BizFest Competition to take place at the USHCC 32nd Annual National Convention in Miami Beach, September 18 – 21, 2011 -

WASHINGTON, Sept. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) Foundation, in partnership with the with Visa, Sempra Utilities and Mission Federal Credit Union, officially announced today the six student finalists from the 2011 San Diego BizFest Youth Entrepreneurship Competition who will be moving on to the national competition in Miami Beach, Florida this September.  The six students represent the top contenders from the USHCC Foundation's San Diego BizFest competition, which took place August 25 - 27, 2011, and was taught by the University of Texas-Pan American and co-hosted by The Alianza Network.

BizFest, a signature initiative of the USHCC Foundation, is an innovative and intensive entrepreneurial training program that teaches Hispanic high school juniors and seniors how to turn their hobbies into profitable business ventures. Over 30 students participated in the BizFest Competition in San Diego, representing eight area high schools.

The six finalists from San Diego will compete against their peers from McAllen, Texas at the National BizFest Competition, taking place at the USHCC 32nd Annual National Convention & Business Expo in Miami Beach from September 18-21, 2011.  

The six San Diego finalists selected to compete in Miami include:

Luis Venegas (Sweetwater High School) –"Trans-Fi," Top Three Finalist
Gio Sahagun (Sweetwater High School) – "Your Time," Top Three Finalist
Jesus Montijo (Sweetwater High School) – "Pro-Neck," Top Three Finalist
Kevin Thai (Crawford High School) – "Conception" – Most Innovative
Joanna Brito (Point Loma High School) – "Fruit of the Book" – Business Plan with the Most Potential
Guadalupe Barajas (Point Loma High School) – "Eco Able Inc." – Most Entrepreneurial

"BizFest has opened my mind to the real world of business and entrepreneurship," says Kevin Thai, Crawford High School student finalist.  "It was a rewarding experience for me because we presented our business plans to a panel of real business people. I had never experienced anything like it."

The panel of judges at the event included Ruben Garcia, Director, U.S. Small Business Administration; Jacqueline Reynoso, President/CEO, National City Chamber of Commerce; Robert Villarreal, Director, CDC Small Business Finance; Miguel Vasquez, President/CEO, California Foundation Fund; Deanna Smith, President, GNI Bakery; and Elizabeth Schott, Executive Director, ACCION San Diego.  Aurelia Flores, Creator and Founder of also gave a keynote address to the students.

"We, at the USHCC, would like to acknowledge all of the talented students that participated in the San Diego BizFest competition this year.  We thank you for sharing the spirit of entrepreneurship that is so central to our organization, and hope that it was a positive and motivating experience for you all," says Javier Palomarez, President and CEO of the USHCC.  "I would also like to join The Alianza Network, Visa, Sempra Utilities and Mission Federal Credit Union in congratulating the six finalists whose hard work and dedication have earned them a much deserved spot in the National BizFest Competition."

About the 32nd Annual National Convention & Business Expo

The 32nd Annual National Convention & Business Expo is the largest gathering of Hispanic business leaders in America. Join the USHCC, Fortune 500 companies, Hispanic Business Enterprises (HBEs) and local Chambers of Commerce in Miami to connect, strategize and grow. The National Convention takes place September 18th – 21st at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. For more information about the Convention and a full schedule of events, please visit

About the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Founded in 1979, the USHCC actively promotes the economic growth and development of Hispanic entrepreneurs and represents the interests of nearly 3 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States that generate nearly $400 billion annually. It also serves as the umbrella organization for more than 200 local Hispanic chambers in the United States and Puerto Rico.

About the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation

The USHCC Foundation is committed to giving Hispanic entrepreneurs alternatives for life preparation and life-long learning by developing and implementing initiatives and educational campaigns to awaken and nurture their entrepreneurial spirit. The Foundation leverages corporate and public support to ensure that existing and aspiring Latino entrepreneurs gain access and achieve success in the world of business. Please visit for more information on the USHCC Foundation.

SOURCE United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation