Latin American–U.S. startups competed for cash prizes

One business plan featured a mobile app to safely get a taxi in Colombia, while another showed how swimwear made in Peru would be marketed by the supplier’s daughter in New York.

These and other proposals from the top 60 competitors in the La Idea business competition had one thing in common: a partnership between Latin Americans and U.S. residents.

La Idea was launched by the State Department and the International diaspora Engagement Alliance (IdEA), a public- private partnership that connects talented Latinos living in the United States with young Latino entrepreneurs and their innovative ideas.

The $50,000 first prize was won in 2014 by Natural Sins, a Costa Rican dried fruit snack company. Recently, La Idea sponsored an “incubator program” to support the creation of new, innovative companies with high growth potential by creating networking opportunities and highly specialized training sessions in the United States.

Do you have what it takes to create a successful business startup? What would motivate you to become an entrepreneur?