Entrepreneur Kayla Castaneda Wins $25,000 In New Voices + Target Accelerators Pitch Competition

If you’re not familiar with the Agua Bonita beverage line, you’re about to be!

Since their initial pledge to invest $100 million total in women of color-owned businesses beginning in 2018, the New Voices team has kept their promise and continue to get closer to that goal. To date, they have awarded over 100 women of color entrepreneurs with hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding for their businesses by way of more than a dozen pitch competitions and counting.

The latest round of the New Voices + Target Accelerators Pitch Competition saw Agua Bonita Co-Founder Kayla Castaneda walk away with the $25,000 grand prize in funding, along with mentorship and business coaching from the New Voices team to help scale her business with purpose. Serving up ready-to-drink beverages made with rescued, 100% real fruit, non-carbonated water, no added sugar, and sometimes spices that are prepared in a traditional manner, Agua Bonita is doing its part to tackle food waste — a key contributor to the world’s ongoing climate crisis.

Check out the full list of winners below and then be sure to head over www.essencestudios.com to see everything you missed from the latest New Voices + Target Accelerators Pitch competition. To keep up with all the life-changing work the New Voices team is doing to support, empower and elevate Black women entrepreneurs, click HERE.

Pup Wax® is the first and only 100% clean premium skincare for dogs and provides healthier, safer, and more effective skincare alternatives. Dogs absorb toxins and chemicals topically from their environments and petcare products. Pup Wax helps dog parents transform the health of their dogs from the outside in with holistic, clean-label wellness offerings. The innovative solutions being brought to market by Pup Wax are formulated without fillers or harmful toxins, with a focus on high quality, therapeutic ingredients that are sourced for positive social impact. These formulas work better and faster, and are also safer.

Pholk is soul food for the skin. Our award-winning melanin-rich skincare blends resilient yet gentle superfoods from Africa, the Caribbean and the Southern US. An innovator in the clean beauty space, our farm-to-face skincare regimens skip ingredients that put protective melanin on the defense. We work with Black and women farmers – not factories – to make products that target melanated skin concerns such as breakouts, ingrown hairs, dark marks and textured skin.

Emblem Olive Oil is American Made and American Trusted Olive Oil. We wanted to give our customers quality; therefore, our olives are produced and manufactured on the same olive farm that they are grown. We also wanted to add fresh ingredients in our olive oil, freshness that is missing from the shelves in most stores! We only used fresh ingredients to infuse our olive oils and have a variety of flavors for any desired taste: Fresh Lemon, Spicy Cajun, Roasted Garlic, Herbs de Provence, Smokey Mesquite and our staple Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

ShampooTime offers a patented high-quality shampoo mat supports a child’s neck and back. It is designed to ensure that the water rolls back into the sink to avoid getting shampoo or water in a child’s face, eyes, and ears. The best part about our shampoo mat is the entertainment bar, where a smart device may be attached so that the child is entertained during the shampoo process. No more tears, stress free washdays!

Everlasting Love is a brand-centric third party logistics partner that provides next-level retail and direct to consumer fulfillment services to e-commerce brands.Our approach is to fashion a unique and memorable unboxing experience for the customer by offering a suite of services to our partner brands, such as branded packaging, customer support, and email marketing. We streamline the supply chain process for our clients so they can work on the business instead of in the business.

Hustle & Hope is the first inspirational greeting card company to embed digital guides, helping people level-up in their career, mindset, & spirit. During a time when unemployment was on the rise, & people wanted ways to connect with friends & help them cope, we noticed searching for greeting cards for job loss, would show “sympathy” cards. We’ve created a greeting card that is a 2-in-1 gift with professional development resources to help with job search, interviewing, & more.

Happy Products develop, manufacture, and market plush toys and books based on characters and stories created to support children’s social and emotional development. Happy the Birthday Bird, the first branded products launched under the company, fulfills parents’ desire for memorable and fun ways to celebrate their children and make them feel extra special on their birthdays. It’s the first tradition-building book and toy set centered around birthdays instead of holidays.

Inspired by their Brooklyn upbringing, twin sisters Laken and Carlissa King sought to create dolls that spark creativity and celebrate togetherness. With rich storytelling, each Worldgirls doll embodies a specific archetypal trait—Warrior, Healer, Explorer, Rebel, and Scholar—so that children can identify with the dolls’ unique passions rather than their looks. Worldgirls is the ultimate team representing girls from different countries and backgrounds who come together to learn, break down barriers, and have fun!

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