Forty-four Puerto Rican entrepreneurs will receive more than $500,000 in crowdfunding and grants to jumpstart their businesses as a result of their participation in Hit3001.com, a 12-episode reality TV program turning up-and-coming business leaders into hits.
Weekly winners, a total of 11 entrepreneurs, each receive a $20,000 incentive from the Department of Economic Development and Commerce and $10,000 for advertising. A grand prize overall winner, to be chosen live during the final show to air June 28, will receive $100,000 from Telemundo.
Hit3001.com features the first-ever crowdfunding platform for a TV series, in which viewers can show their support by sponsoring instead of just liking an idea. The goal is for viewers to contribute up to $170,000 through the Antrocket.com crowdfunding platform.
“The show has become a very important platform to showcase the business acumen and creative talents of an emerging class of entrepreneurs,” said Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Alberto Bacó.
So far, an average of 1 million viewers have tuned in to watch each episode, the official hashtag (#YoSoyUnHit, #IamAHit) has been trending topic during the airing of the program, and more than $10,000,000 have been generated in earned media.
Hit3001.com also turned successful business leaders into coaches. Top executives like Atilano Cordero-Badillo, Melba Figueroa, Chef Roberto Treviño, Federico Stubbe Jr., Kacho López-Mari, Wesley Cullen, among others, serve as coaches providing guidance and recommendations.
Four contestants pitch their business idea in each show, from which the coaches choose the top three. These are then eligible to compete for the public’s votes via text messages or online. The top two positions are announced the following week, from which the coaches choose the winner.
Creative business ideas
Hit3001.com showcases both traditional small and medium size businesses and innovation-driven enterprises in sectors ranging from manufacturing, technology, agriculture, tourism, to creative industries and other emerging sectors.
Outstanding business ideas featured in the show include Guardian Alert System, a device created by Mark Gómez that prevents parents from leaving children in car seats locked inside a vehicle; Water Control & Security System, created by Dalymar Rivera to detect water leaks within homes; Atabey, an agricultural business launched by David Álvarez to plant and process breadfruit on a commercial scale; 1zapato.com, a web platform created by Franklin Martínez that allows people with one foot to exchange or sell shoes to other people with the same physical limitation; and Estancia Verde Luz, led by Samairis Barea, a farm in the town of Ciales that produces organic vegetables.
Other notable projects include Ready Cup, created by Jean Paul González, which allows users to brew coffee in the same cup where it will be consumed; Terra Mia, by Wanda Irizarry, a line of 100 percent natural marinades, dressings and marmalades; Bewaffled, by Luis Medina, ready-to-eat waffles franchise with local flavors; and Raulo Guitars, from José Román, which designs and builds ecofriendly guitars using native woods.
The program is a joint effort between Economic Development and Commerce and the Puerto Rico Public Broadcasting Corporation (PRPBC), in alliance with Telemundo. The next season of Hit3001.com is expected to start mid September.