The Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation (BCIC) announced the finalists for their second annual StartUp Texas Pitch Summit today, taking place on Friday, February 26th, 2021. The seed fund program is part of BCIC’s ongoing efforts to cultivate a culture and ecosystem of entrepreneurship in Brownsville and the greater Rio Grande Valley. 

“This is our second annual pitch summit since our program began last February,” says Nathan Burkhart, Director of Marketing & Small Business Development for BCIC. “Our goal is to foster scalable business in our region and provide entrepreneurs in our community the chance to access capital and commercialize their products or services here at home.”

Since its inception in Fall of 2019, the StartUp Texas Program by the BCIC has evolved tremendously. What began as a seed fund program for entrepreneurs hoping to scale in Brownsville, Texas, evolved into an expansion of COVID-19 Relief Aid in the form of grants and forgivable loans. Today, the StartUp Texas Program encompasses the Pitch Summit, the Brownsville CARES Grant, the Emergency/Bridge Loan, and the (Re)Open for Business Forgivable Loan. All programs are administered and funded by the BCIC.

“We have limited funding, and as such must remain as innovative as possible with our programs, resources and incentives,” says Nathan Burkhart. “We’ve seen success from every facet of the StartUp Texas program, and are excited to be investing in more homegrown organizations changing the way the world operates with this second round of our Pitch Summit.”

The competition allows finalists to present their businesses to a prestigious judging panel of industry leaders, corporate, angel, and venture investors who provide feedback and select the winners who will earn a share of $100,000. Applications for the program closed in January with a Pre-Qualifier round of 14 organizations held on February 5th where the top 7 teams were selected to enter the Finals. 

“The talent pool for this program keeps getting better and better” says Burkhart. “We are part of a growing community of entrepreneurs and innovators, and the final panel of judges will face a difficult task in narrowing down the winners.”

Originally intended to coincide with both the Charro Days holiday and newly minted Crossroads festival, the ongoing social distancing measurements have made it a consecutive online event. The StartUp Texas Pitch Summit will be livestreamed from the Brownsville Performing Arts Academy online through BCIC social media channels and website on Friday, February 26, 2021 at 5:30 PM.

As with last year, the public is encouraged to weigh in via social media tools to select the Community Choice award for 2021. For more information regarding the event or program, or any other resources related to entrepreneurship in the RGV, please contact Nathan Burkhart at (956) 459-2123 or by email at nburkhart@bcic.us


The StartUp Texas Pitch Summit 2021 Finalists Include: 

Amor y Pan

Specializing in Keto, Paleo, Vegan, Gluten, Sugar & Grain-Free Baked Goods carefully crafted with high fiber, and a near-zero glycemic index. 



Specializing in Data Centers, Networking, Certified installation and Monitoring for wired and WiFi, Distributed Antenna System and wireless communication infrastructure and next generation wireless technologies. Infrastructure for Safety and Smart Cities.


Cilantro Sauce

Manufacturing delicious homemade cilantro sauce born from a secret family recipe. From Farmers markets to grocery store shelves and beyond.


North America SECNER Holdings, LLC.

Surface electromagnetic inspection technology. Procurement, Maintenance and Automation  services for the energy sector. 


Pluton Brewing Company 

Microbrewery using locally and ethically sourced ingredients to create a drinking experience unique to the Rio Grande Valley. 


Raw Xocolat

Veteran owned and family operated business, artisan roast, hand-sort, crack, winnow and conch each small batch. The first real ‘bean to bar’ chocolate factory in Brownsville, Texas.


Solar Kitchen LLC

Research, development and manufacturing of solar-powered cooking appliances.