The Latino Startup Alliance and Hispanicize have just announced a contest for Latinos in tech, awarding "Latino Startup of the Year" at the Hispanicize 2014 event to whomever wins the grand prize.

The Latino Startup Alliance (LSA) just recently announced that it was going national with the help of Hispanicize Wire, a leading press release and news wire company with a focus on Latinos in media and technology. The now national non-profit, with local hubs sprouting up in New York and Miami, seeks to foster a community and ecosystem of support for Latino tech entrepreneurs by helping Latinos with great ideas get mentors, attention and, in the end, investors for their tech startups.

The LSA is kicking that goal into overdrive with the Latino Startup of the Year contest. "In a world of many tech contests, ours stands out because it will provide Latino startups with tangible national exposure, media coverage and other benefits that are significantly stronger because they take place within the Hispanicize event," said LSA Co-Founder and Co-Chair Jesse Martinez in the organization's release.

With the support of Hispanicize and its partners, LSA is holding a competition for Latino tech entrepreneurs who want the kind of exposure to get their startup off the ground. Entrants into the contest need only submit a three minute (or less) YouTube video that discusses why their company should be recognized as the Latino Startup of the Year, along with filling out a pitch questionnaire at this location.

To qualify, entrants must have their startup headquartered in the U.S. or Puerto Rico, and it must be led by one Latino living in the U.S. or Puerto Rico. Startups from the fields of Social Media, Journalism, Film, Music, Marketing, and/or Entertainment are all welcome, and the startup doesn't necessarily need to be focused on a U.S. Latino Market: tech companies with a general audience are welcome too.

The only other hurdles for the contest -- besides already having an entrepreneurial idea in motion, of course -- is to attend a "mandatory" pitch coaching session via webinar. It's a way to make sure contest entries are prepared to pitch their company to the audience of journalists, marketers, investors, and tech company representatives that attend the annual Hispanicize event.

The deadline to submit is Mar. 4, and three finalists will be selected to pitch their startup in person at Hispanicize 2014 in Miami on Thursday, Apr. 3 -- free airfare, hotel stay, and full pass to the event included. The grand prize winner will be announced at Hispanicize 2014, and given media coverage, press release distributions from Hispanicize Wire, and be introduced to investors and other partners of Hispanicize. Hispanicize has connections to NPR's Latino USA program, as well as top Latino professionals from journalism, technology, music, marketing, film, and business.

The contest is sure to be a boon for the three finalists -- not to mention the grand prize winner -- but it's also a great way to jumpstart the Latino tech entrepreneur community, which is still underrepresented in the tech world. "We're delighted to support LSA's work because we too are Latino tech entrepreneurs and we understand how important it is for startups to be able to afford marketing platforms like ours," said newly named Hispanicize Wire CEO Bill Gato.