LATINX Launchpad Celebrates Growing Pipeline of Latinx Startups

Sign-Speak Inc, ConciergeBot, and Everlaunch Sweep Top Awards for Latinx Pitch Competition in Los Angeles 

Oakland, CA — On the eve of Hispanic Heritage month, LATINX Launchpad-SoCal, Hispanics in Philanthropy’s (HIP) premiere pitch competition series, celebrated five incredible Latinx startups at HIP’s annual leadership conference in Los Angeles, CA. HIP board member, Roy Cosme, moderated the participating startups and panel judges including Emanuel Pleitez, co-founder of East Los Capital, Raul Lomeli-Azoubel, co-founder of Welcome Technologies, and Carmen Palafox, co-founder of MiLA.

“Congratulations to all the startup leaders who presented, they collectively showcased the depth and breadth of the Latinx-led startup pipeline,” noted Jorge Calderon, Managing Director, Impact Investments, Hispanics in Philanthropy. “We encourage the broader startup community to continue supporting, advocating, and investing in diverse entrepreneurs with great potential.”

Sign-Speak Inc. led by Yamillet Payano, COO, Nikolas Kelly, CEO, and Nicholas Wilkins, CTO won the first place $15K award, in addition to the audience favorite award of $5K. Sign-Speak works to empower Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities to interact freely in a hearing world. They use real-time AI Sign Language recognition software that automatically translates American Sign Language (ASL) to English, and English to ASL. 

ConciergeBot led by James Silva, CEO won the second prize award of $10K. ConciergeBot is an AI-powered virtual concierge for vacation rentals and hotels, providing contactless 24/7 guest support over SMS, WhatsApp, web, and voice, without the need for guests to create logins or download apps. 

Everlaunch, led by Michelle Heng, CEO won the third prize award of $5K. Everlaunch is an all-in-one business-building platform positioned for women of color and other people of color that provides the tools and resources entrepreneurs need from start to launch.

Additional participating startups included College Thrifts, a peer to peer platform for students/alumni to buy/sell collegiate items and network amongst users, led by Patricia Garcia; and Neutro, a produce supply chain platform for businesses to buy directly from growers, led by Jorge Vizcayno Garcia, Blanca Espinosa Escorza, and Jorge Moreno Sánchez Briseño.

The event forms part of HIP’s larger effort to increase Latinx participation in the startup economy in order to build wealth in Latinx communities across the United States. The three-pillar approach to the startup economy wealth generation program includes investing in Latinx startups, developing the Latinx startup leadership pipeline, and strengthening the Latinx startup ecosystem.

More information about the ongoing seriesof theme-based Latinx-led startup pitch competitions for startups, including our next Latina-themed competition – can be found at