What inspired you to come up with this idea? What problem are you trying to solve?
A lot has changed in the Latino community from the old to the new generations. I’ve also noticed that these changes are causing health issues due to lack of affordable produce. The Bodega Makeover Project’s idea came to me when I visited a corner store back in 2013 to buy vegetables for my daughter. My options the n were stored boxed produce that was rotten. I remember feeling so fed up with the limited choices of fresh produce in the Latino community; yet I couldn’t find anything to change the situation. The most frustrating thing about it was the fact that it was the third bodega I had visited that day. Instead of remaining frustrated, I decided to reach out to the bodega owners to hear their side of the story and provide me some enlightenment. Their explanation was the same as what I had been hearing ever since my childhood from family members who had worked in bodegas: many of these bodegas lack of financial resources.
What’s your business model and how do you plan to monetize? Keep It Simple Productions (KISP) connects sponsors with qualified bodegas to participate in the Bodega Makeover Project. We play the liaison role because we are in a better positioned to advocate for Latino communities seeking healthier food choices for themselves and loved ones.
How are you different from your competition? KISP is based in Massachusetts, and currently we’re the only production company that focuses in bringing fresh produce into communities that heavily rely on bodegas.
Where do you see your business in one (to three) year(s)? People of color are misrepresented in the entertainment industry. KISP would like to use its platform for these communities to highlight their stories through documentaries, web series, featured films, etc.
Who are your socios (business partners, co-founders, etc.)? Under the Bodega Makeover Project we partnered with Alex Cuevas who's the co-executive producer. In Lynn, Massachusetts, the mayor, city councils and local organizations, all are exclusively supportive of KISP and the Bodega Makeover Project.
Have you received any investments? KISP has received in-kind and financial support for the bodega makeover project
What is your biggest challenge? The challenge for any creator/entrepreneur is being able to delegate. With time I’m learning to delegate tasks and organize my schedule better in order to be more effective.
What advice would you provide to other emerging Latino tech entrepreneurs? The Latino community needs more entrepreneurs and I strongly encourage and welcome it. We often think because we have a great idea things will automatically workout. That’s not the case. Being an entrepreneur requires a lot of hard work, sacrifices and dedications. Hence I would like the Latino tech entrepreneurs not to let failures stop them from reaching their dreams. Contrary they should accept, welcome and learn from them. When self- doubt arises, invest that energy on your objectives and the end results instead of nurturing the negative feelings.
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