By Robert Taylor

A team of four students was the first to win the H-E-B School of Business and Administration’s New Venture Challenge as their startup company, Sinzuca Chocolates, took the $10,000 seed-money prize in the competition’s first year.

The Sinzuca Chocolate team proudly display their prototype.

The Sinzuca Chocolate team proudly display their prototype.

Sinzuca Chocolates is the brainchild of second-year pharmacy student Yolanda Martinez, a self-described chocolate connoisseur. When she was diagnosed with diabetes, she had to make several lifestyle changes. Unsatisfied with the options on store shelves, Martinez decided to create her own brand of health-conscious chocolate. The result is a dark chocolate product that’s infused with superfoods like goji berries, quinoa, flax seed and maca, among other ingredients, and is gluten free, sugar free and vegan.

Martinez enlisted the help of senior biology majors Mohammed Al-Nasser, Matthew Silvas and Noah Silvas to form the rest of the team. Sinzuca finished ahead of 20 other teams, working with UIW faculty and San Antonio business mentors to fine-tune their business plan. The New Venture Challenge offers UIW students with entrepreneurial aspirations the opportunity to hone their ideas as they seek to launch businesses.

The team was also invited to participate in TCU’s Richards Barrentine Values and Ventures® Competition where they competed for a $40,000 grand prize.,