UIW students recognized at TCU Values and Ventures Competition

April 11, 2019

Sinzuca Chocolates competes for $100,000 in prize money

SAN ANTONIO – The UIW students who started their own chocolate company – Sinzuca Chocolates – were among 56 other teams from around the world to pitch their ideas in the Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures Competition at TCU.

The competition, which was held April 5-6 in Fort Worth, invites students to present ideas for conscious capitalism ventures that make a profit while also solving a problem. Entrepreneurs, investors and bankers serve as judges.

Sinzuca Chocolates is a health-conscious startup that specializes in organic dark chocolate products infused with superfoods like goji berries, quinoa and flax seed. Their products are gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan-friendly.

The Sinzuca Chocolates team that competed at TCU was comprised of sophomore pharmacy student Yolanda Martinez and senior biology majors Noah Silvas and Matthew Silvas.

The first round of the Values and Venture Competition consisted of a 12-minute pitch, followed by a 10-minute question and answer session with the judges. While the team was not selected to advance to the second round, Sinzuca was invited to participate in an Elevator Pitch Competition, where they placed fourth out of 46 other teams. They earned an Honorable Mention award and a $250 prize for their efforts.

“The most valuable asset we took away from the competition was the opportunity to learn. In addition, we were able to network with key individuals throughout the weekend,” the team said. “The Sinzuca Chocolates team had a priceless experience and hopes to bring back what we have learned to the University of the Incarnate Word.”

Sinzuca Chocolates won first place in the Startup Challenge, held last year by H-E-B School of Business. Click here to read more about the inspiration for their startup.

“The success of Sinzuca Chocolates at the TCU Values and Ventures Competition is not only a reflection of their hard work, but the accumulation of support they have received from faculty members and business community mentors. With the team’s success, we believe the recent changes we made regarding our entrepreneurship competition – improving the prize money, providing structure to the process, providing business community mentors and establishing a student entrepreneur organization – have laid the foundation for future teams to participate in similar competitions,” HEBSBA Dean Dr. Forrest Aven said.