Inventor of Utensil that Makes Creating Beautiful Empanadas, Pastries Easier Advances to Semifinals of Home Shopping Network Competition

New Jersey woman one of 18 entrepreneurs competing in ‘Project American Dreams’

A New Jersey woman who has been chosen to take part in a Home Shopping Network competition sees the program as not only a platform for sharing her invention with an audience of millions, but also as a great opportunity to help her fellow Latino entrepreneurs.

Hipatia Lopez, of Elmwood Park, New Jersey, has reached the semifinal round of HSN’s “Project American Dreams” competition. Lopez is the inventor of the Empanada Fork – a stainless steel, multi-use culinary utensil that makes it easy to close empanadas, pastries or anything else one might want to seal between two layers of dough.

In “Project American Dreams,”  Latino entrepreneurs compete for the chance to launch their products live on the television network.

Lopez will compete with 17 other entrepreneurs in the semifinals on Jan. 24 at HSN’s studios in St. Petersburg, Florida. Five selected from the semifinal round will advance to the final competition, which will be aired March 13 on HSN.

The Empanada Fork, produced by Lopez’s company, H.L. Unico, is available online at Uncommon Goods ( and Bake Deco (

“The Empanada Fork saves you time so you can make more pastries in the kitchen,” Lopez said. “When you use the Empanada Fork, the pastry comes out professional and beautiful. Presentation is key.”

The “Project American Dreams” program was launched by Dreamers Venture, a business accelerator with a focus on product innovation. Dreamers Venture’s principal partners include Bob Circosta, the author of the best-selling book “Life is a Pitch,” former Johnson & Johnson executive Lili Gil Valetta and her co-founder at the cross-cultural marketing strategy firm XL Alliance, Enrique Arbelaez.

“I am grateful for this platform that has been created to help Latino/Latina entrepreneurs,” Lopez said. “It’s given me an opportunity to share my story with others and I hope to inspire more people to invent.”

Competing in “Project American Dreams” has been a great experience, Lopez said.

“Being chosen as a semifinalist and having product recognition from HSN – which is a huge shopping network – makes me so happy. If I reach the final five, I could have my Empanada Fork seen by 95 million people. How unbelievable is that?”

Through projects like the HSN entrepreneurial competition, Dreamers Venture seeks to “fill the gap in access and opportunity for Latino entrepreneurs,” who, the accelerator says, receive only a small fraction of the venture capital backing of non-Latino businesses.

“According to research conducted by the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Latinos are starting businesses more frequently than the overall population, however these businesses are smaller and making less money than their non-Latino counterparts,” Dreamers Venture says. “Latino businesses could have generated an additional $1.4 trillion in 2012 if they had been of equal average size to non-Latino businesses. Only about 1 percent of all Latino-owned businesses created between 2007 and 2012 in the U.S. received venture capital or angel investments.”

For more information about the Empanada Fork, visit For more about “Project American Dreams,” visit

MEDIA CONTACT:  Hipatia Lopez :  #973-985-0379

Austin Texas Designer is Semifinalist on HSN’s National Competition, “Project American Dreams”

HSN’s national competition, Project American Dreams, is looking for the next big American consumer product created by Latinos.  Project American Dreams is a business competition that discovers, mentors and fast-tracks Latino entrepreneurs to launch their products on HSN.

Leonardo D’Almagro, an Austin, TX jewelry designer, is one of the 23 semifinalists selected by HSN (out of thousands of entries) to proceed to the finals.  All semifinalists will be mentored directly by Lili Gil Valletta (HSN Project American Dreams Partner & Mentor, Creator of Dreamers Ventures) & Bob Circosta (HSN American Dreams Partner & Mentor, Dreamers Ventures Partner).

It’s very important to thank HSN, USBank, and the mentors (Lilli Gil Valletta & Bob Circosta) for creating and supporting this opportunity for Latino entrepreneurs to be discovered and to receive mentoring to launch their products on HSN.

Leonardo D'Almagro

Leonardo D’Almagro

About Leonardo D’Almagro:

Leonardo D’Almagro was the only Hispanic U.S. jewelry designer selected in 2016 to present a jewelry line at Vicenzaoro in Italy; it was the first time ever that a Hispanic designer from the USA launched a new brand In Vicenzaoro.  Vicenzaoro and Vincenza Dubai are the most important international jewelry trade shows in the world.

Leonardo created his timeless jewelry line in using the best gems and material to provide high quality, handcrafted, feminine pieces.  Prior to the official launch of Leonardo’s jewelry line in February 2016, national TV host Gabriela Natale wore his jewelry to the ceremony where she received an Emmy award.  USA reality-TV celebrities, like LeeAnne Locken and Tiffany Hendra from “The Real Housewives of Dallas”, frequently wear Leonardo’s jewelry line… as do American TV host, Hillary Kennedy, and celebrity fashion stylist and TV host, Jeanette Chivvis.  The Leonardo D’Almagro jewelry line was presented during Paris Fashion Week as accessories for Binzario Couture.  Miss Venezuela International, Amal Nemer wore his jewelry during the Miss International contest, where she won the title of Miss South America International 2016.

CEO and designer, Leonardo D’Almagro, who hails from Venezuela, is also a fashion editor and contributed as a Harper’s Bazaar Style Ambassador.  He is based in Austin, Texas and speaks English, Portuguese, and Spanish, and is frequently featured in fashion segments for national and international networks (TV Host-Producer) such as Univision, USA Hispanic market, MSN Latino Latin American (LATAM), MSN Brazil, and Telemundo.  Leonardo is a member of the Fashion Group International and is certified by Jewelers of America as a Management Professional. Leonardo D’Almagro has been selected by The Miss Mexico Organization as one of their exclusive designers. Leonardo D’Almagro received recognition by the 2015-2016 Daytime Emmy Awards (The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences) as a Fashion Editor for his contributions to the TV show, “SuperLatina with Gaby Natale”.

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