November 17, 2010 16:16 ET

Three Latin America SMEs Take Home the UPS Entrepreneurial Spirit Award

Small and Medium-Size Enterprises (SMEs) in Chile, Colombia and Puerto Rico Recognized as the Most Innovative in the Region

MIAMI, FL--(Marketwire - November 17, 2010) - UPS announced today the three winners of the second edition of the UPS Entrepreneurial Spirit Award. The contest, which ran from August 16th to September 30th, was developed to recognize the three most innovative and successful small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) in the region. The winners will take home US$50,000 in cash prizes along with a premium technology package from Hewlett-Packard.

The three winning SMEs were selected after careful review and consideration by a multidisciplinary panel of regional experts representing business, academia, media, and the financing sector.  

"It was interesting to see how each company demonstrated how an innovative idea implemented successfully can develop into an award-winning business. The selection process was challenging but the winners chosen stood out due to their original business models, their results and their commitment to excellence in client service," states Pablo Angelelli, Science and Technology Specialist for the Inter-American Development Bank and a member of the regional panel of judges.

"Initiatives such as the UPS Entrepreneurial Spirit Award allow UPS to demonstrate its commitment to SMEs in Latin America. We thank all the participating SMEs for sharing their success stories. They are living proof that one innovative idea can turn into a successful enterprise, and that many can turn an economy around. SMEs are the engines of growth in Latin America and we hope this contest and the winners' stories will serve as inspiration not only to the millions of SMEs already established in the region, but for the many more entrepreneurs that are looking to get theirs started," said Joe Tavares, Vice President of Marketing for UPS Americas.

More than 800 SMEs from the 14 participating countries in Latin America* submitted entries from a widespread array of industries such as healthcare, IT, services and manufacturing. The three winners were:

  • First place winner: Extractos Naturales Gelymar, S.A., a Chilean company that produces and commercializes carregeenan for the food and personal care industries. The company has developed and implemented technologies that allow the extraction of carrageenan, biomolecules found in marine seaweed, which are used as food additives and in a variety of other products worldwide.

  • Second place winner: LabFarve, a Colombia-based company that specializes in the research and development of remedies derived from medicinal plants found in the country's rich biodiversity. By implementing the principles of Ethical BioTrade, LabFarve is a company with a strong social commitment to providing affordable and efficient remedies to improve the living conditions of the local Colombian communities.

  • Third place winner: Opti Manufacturing Inc., based in Luquillo, Puerto Rico, Opti specializes in the manufacturing of wiring harnesses and cable assemblies for aerospace and military applications. As a small family-owned business, Opti reached an incredible milestone by positioning the company as one of few in the world that manufactures the Pacific Scientific® Cable Tensiometer, a highly precise aircraft device used by carriers worldwide.

The three selected SMEs were awarded with cash prizes ranging from US$25,000 for first place, to US$15,000 for second place and US$10,000 for third place. Hewlett-Packard, who joined efforts with UPS for this initiative, awarded a laptop computer and a printer package to each of the winners.

"Our partnership with UPS was built based on sharing a common goal of supporting SMEs. At HP, we are committed to providing the right products, services and tools that will allow SMEs to continue expanding their businesses," said Fernando Cimato, Marketing Communications Manager for HP's Imaging and Printing Group in Latin America.

To learn more about the contest and read the full success stories of the three winners, please visit

* The 14 Latin America and the Caribbean participating countries were: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Puerto Rico.

About UPS
UPS (NYSE: UPS) is the world's largest package delivery company and a global leader in supply chain and freight services. With more than a century of experience in transportation and logistics, UPS is a leading global trade expert equipped with a broad portfolio of solutions. Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. The company can be found on the Web at and its corporate blog can be found at To get UPS news direct, visit

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