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2022 Pitch Competition Winner Aims To Better Serve Community Health Needs
By stevenp | October 13, 2023
Hazlo Health was the winner of the 2022 Minority Small Business Summit Pitch Competition. Learn how the funding has helped their business over the past year.
Omaha, Nebraska – Hazlo Health, the winner of last year’s Minority Small Business Summit Pitch Competition, has put its first-place award to use in several ways that will ultimately address the growing health care needs of the region’s underserved communities.
“For us to receive the $10,000 first place prize at that stage of our development has helped tremendously,” says owner and co-founder Bruno Caro, APRN-C. “We have used the funds for our rebranding, for legal fees associated with starting a business, and to advance the development of our mobile app so we can expand our services.”
In addition to the award from the Minority Small Business Summit Pitch Competition, Hazlo Health has received a $75,000 grant from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. Caro says the company hopes to soft launch its mobile app in June and make the service fully operational in August.
"We have 35 patients now as our pilot group,” Caro says. “We believe 2023 will be a big year for us.”
This year’s Minority Small Business Summit, to be held June 8 at Seventy Five North – The Venue, at 2112 N. 30th St. in Omaha, gives minority small business owners and entrepreneurs a chance to network, participate in educational sessions and connect with community resources.
The conference will again feature the Minority Small Business Summit Pitch Competition, with five finalists competing for funding for their businesses. First place is worth $10,000, while second place is $5,000, and $1,000 for placing third, fourth, or fifth.
Applications for the competition are open until May 5. For any questions about the pitch competition, contact Elizabeth Hallgren at email@example.com.
“Last year was our first year doing the pitch competition, and we had a great turn out,” says Kiley Phelps, Omaha Center Director, America’s SBDC – Nebraska, a program of the Nebraska Business Development Center (NBDC). “The finalists had really exceptional ideas and businesses, and we are eager to see the finalists for this year’s competition.”
The summit is sponsored by Omaha West Rotary Club, Greater Omaha Chamber REACH, Security National Bank, Lamson Dugan & Murray Law, and the NBDC. Tickets are free.
Hazlo Health, which in Spanish means “do it,” was founded in 2022 by Caro along with Mark Huber, APRN-C; Nicholas Arreola, Ph.D.; and Joe Petsick. The Omaha-based company aims to provide support between doctor visits for people in historically underserved and minority communities who have chronic health conditions including high blood pressure, diabetes and elevated cholesterol.
Eventually, patients can use the Hazlo Health app to receive guidance on health issues. “We are here to supplement the patients’ medical practitioners, not replace them,” Caro says. “Once their doctors make a diagnosis, we are here 24/7 through the app to help with nutrition, fitness and lifestyle guidance, and to answer other general health questions.”
Hazlo Health services are covered by the patient’s insurance, through Medicare or Medicaid, or through a subscription plan, Caro says. He says the company recently signed a letter of intent with a large local health organization to direct patients to Hazlo Health.
“We have a road map for expansion that will make our services available through community health centers across Nebraska and in surrounding states as well,” Caro says. “Winning last year’s pitch competition has really brought us closer to our goal of serving the health care needs of people who need it the most.”