Our city is home to so many incredible businesses and so we asked the founders how they came up with the ideas for their businesses and have shared their responses below.

Joanna Villarreal | Founder, Owner and Spice Curator

I’ve always loved to cook and recreate recipes that have either been passed down or that I’ve tried along the way. From your traditional Tex-Mex cuisine to island inspired meals from our now home of Hawaii. Most conventional spices found in stores today have some type of contaminates, preservatives or chemicals that are not necessary. I wanted to create something that was healthy, free of all of the junk but still tasted good. Our blends are handcrafted in small batches using a Hawaiian Style Sea Salt commonly known as Alaea Salt which is low in sodium and high in lots of beneficial minerals. This was also very important to me as there is significant family history of high blood pressure and diabetes. I wanted my seasonings to be universal so that anyone could use them, from first time cooks to long time chefs. Read more>>

Annie Sloan | Co-Founder and CEO, The Host Co.

Picture it: the morning after your best friend’s wedding. You got three hours of sleep last night, and you definitely didn’t go light on the champagne. So you think to yourself “If this Airbnb had Advil and Gatorade I would pay $100 for it.”. Or, maybe you’re in Barcelona, staying at a great rental in El Born, and just about to leave for the airport. There’s this one mug in the rental that you really loved, and it would be the perfect memento from your trip… should you just… take it? Of course not. But now you can buy it! Read more>>

Christian Peverelli | Startup Instructor & Serial Entrepreneur

As a serial entrepreneur I had first-handedly faced the pain points of building companies as a “non-techie”. You see, these days every business is a software business. So regardless of whether I wanted to sell t-shirts or software, I needed to build an online platform (website, app or platform). However, the options I had at the time were less than ideal: Read more>>

Duane Burress Jr. | Founder & Producer of DBJ Comedy

There was a plethora of producers who were scamming comedians, including myself throughout the years. They will contact a comedian about performing in what they call “bringer shows”, where the talent does the work for them. So in order for them to perform a set, they are required to bring a certain amount of people. So the passion for comedy was absent. To them, it was strictly business and it showed. It showed in the quality of the show. I once brought thirty-five friends and family members (some of which came from down south) to watch me perform, and didn’t see a dime of that money. Read more>>