Carlos Antequera’s business roots run deep, he told a crowd gathered for his induction into Junior Achievement’s Business Hall of Fame, noting inspiration and impact from his time assisting his grandmother in her convenience store in Bolivia to current-day collaborators in Kansas City.
“I’ve been very fortunate in my entrepreneurial journey to have been surrounded with generous, smart, mission-driven people,” said Antequera, serial entrepreneur and former CEO of Netchemia, which exited in 2015. “This includes my current team at Novel Capital, who are passionate about supporting early-stage entrepreneurs.”
Novel Capital, which Antequera co-founded alongside Keith Harrington, is a fintech funding platform designed to make immediate access to non-dilutive capital easier.
“Kansas City entrepreneur-centered organizations, like the Helzberg Mentorship Program and Pipeline Entrepreneurs, have provided mentors and peers to challenge me and support my growth at different stages,” he added.
Antequera was recognized this week alongside Darcy Howe, founder of KCRise Fund, and Fred Pryor, founder of Pryor Learning Services, at the Junior Achievement Youth Learning Lab — each inducted as 2022 Business Hall of Fame laureates.
The trio joins the ranks of such Kansas City business icons as Barnett and Shirley Helzberg, Gary Fish, Jeanette Prenger, Ewing Kauffman, John Thomson, and Neal Sharma.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be recognized by Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City and to be named along with so many luminaries of Kansas City business,” said Antequera. “The work that Junior Achievement does is exciting because it provides crucial financial and entrepreneurial education for KC students. As a Latinx entrepreneur, the efforts JA makes with Latinx kids to inspire them to be future business owners and entrepreneurs is close to my heart.”
The event is the largest fundraiser for the local Junior Achievement organization. Funds raised are used in the metro area to inspire and prepare young people to succeed through real-world learning opportunities provided across the K-12 educational continuum, the group said.
Click here to learn more about Junior Achievement.
In addition to the trio of laureates, Chris Goode, founder of Ruby Jean’s Juicery, was awarded the 2022 Innovator of the Year award.
The honor is presented to those who positively disrupt their industries, create jobs and opportunities and apply innovation to solve critical social and economic problems.
The 2022 winner, Goode, operates three Ruby Jean’s locations across the metro — a flagship store on Troost Avenue, along with a space within Whole Foods Market near the UMKC campus and a newly opened store in Leawood — supporting a growing thirst for his startup’s menu of hand-crafted juices, smoothies, performance shakes and food.
“Chris Goode is a passionate entrepreneur who started his company in 2015 in honor of his late grandmother, Ruby Jean. Goode has made it his life’s work to educate underrepresented communities and integrate the juicing culture in his hometown,” said Junior Achievement, in an announcement of the award.
Check out a brief photo gallery below, courtesy of Chancellor’s Promise and Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City.
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.