Hispanic-focused tech business wins PHX Startup Week competition

Eric Diaz, chief financial officer at OYE! Business Intelligence, spoke about his startup at PHX Startup Week’s Street Pitch competition. His company won a $50,000 investment. (Photo by Megan Bridgeman/Cronkite News)

PHOENIX – A Hispanic-focused software company beat out nine other local startups on Wednesday to win a $50,000 investment in the first Street Pitch event as part of PHX Startup Week. The competition shut down a portion of Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix.

OYE! Business Intelligence, a software company that focuses on Hispanic customer conversations, assists companies that want to tap that customer base. Eric Diaz, co-founder and presenter for the company, described how some Hispanic customers may interact with products differently, such as calling loved ones “Osito Charmin” or “little Charmin (toilet paper) bear.”

Stephen Viramontes, the chief organizer of PHX Startup week, provided the contest’s rules: Each contestant would present 20 slides, 15 seconds each, with no control on the slides.

The first presenter, Mallory Dyer of GraphLock, shared the inspiration for her app. While teaching a community college math course, students needed an expensive calculator. One couldn’t afford it and dropped the class. Her company developed an app that acted as that calculator, and it also had a locking feature to prevent cheating.

Maria Luna of Bravo shared how she forgot to bring cash to tip her hiking guide in Utah. That led to the development of their location-based tipping app. Paul Hughes of Enfuego developed a smart, cloud-based job application system because “job hunts suck.”

At the end of the evening, emcee Jenn Kaye revealed that Reztech would sponsor another prize: $25,000 for InfluenceLogic, an advertising company that links social media “influencers” with companies looking to subvert ad-blocking software.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story misspelled the first name PHX Startup Week’s chief organizer. His name is Stephen Viramontes. The story has been corrected, but clients who used earlier versions are asked to run the correction that can be found here.