BCIC Announces StartUp Texas Quality of Life Spring Cohort Pitch Competition Participants and Judges

Brownsville, Texas – Tuesday, May 7, 2024 – The Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation (BCIC) proudly announces the participants and judges for the StartUp Texas Quality of Life Spring Cohort Pitch Competition. This event showcases the innovative startups that have emerged from the intensive 12-week accelerator program powered by UTRGV Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Center Advance Up Curriculum, which provides entrepreneurs with capital, mentorship, and resources to scale their operations.

On Tuesday, May 7, 2024, from 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM, 10 startups will take the Main Stage of the eBridge Center for Business & Commercialization, located at 1304 E Adams St, Brownsville, TX, to compete in the StartUp Texas Quality of Life Ventures Pitch Competition. These businesses, spanning various industries, will showcase their innovative products and services to a panel of esteemed judges and an audience of investors, industry leaders, and community members.

Businesses Pitching:

1. STX Metal Trades - Provides NCCER-based training and assessments for individuals seeking to enter or enhance their skills in the trade.
2. Todo Agave - Creators of pure, organic agave sweetener, offering a health-friendly, low glycemic, and versatile sugar alternative.
3. Vegangela - 100% vegan and allergy-friendly desserts.
4. Chirina's Fish Tacos - QSR serving fish tacos with love, gratitude, and a desire to better this generation and those to come.
5. Masxoro - Luxury atelier creating custom-fitted, high-end fashion designs.
6. Ollie Oats - 100% all-natural overnight oats made with organic oats, superfoods, and dried fruit.
7. POP-I Ice Cream - 50 years of expertise in ice cream treats.
8. SABAL - Specializing in high-performing, ecologically sound urban design that fosters connections between people and the unique South Texas environment.
9. Pasteles Jaque Mate - Mini cakes in a variety of Hispanic flavors that are not overly sweet.
10. Studio CM - Curates handmade and sustainable goods sourced from Latin America, seamlessly blending design with functionality.

To evaluate the pitches and provide valuable insights, StartUp Texas has assembled a panel of distinguished judges, each bringing their own expertise and experience to the table:

1. Juan "Sebastian" Garzon - Executive Director, Alamo Angels, Texas’s largest angel investment network. Sebastian has been recognized as a Texas Top 100 for 2024 and a recipient of "40 Under 40" in Corpus Christi.
2. David Fonseca - CEO, Jockey Ventures, driving impactful ventures across the Americas. Formerly helming VelocityTX, he has spearheaded innovation projects for institutions like the EDA, the City of San Antonio, and UT Health.
3. Karina Saldivar - Founder, Amor y Pan, a bakery and store in Brownsville, Texas, promoting healthy living with products catering to keto, vegan, and paleo lifestyles. Karina's business was recognized as one of the five local winners of the 2021 StartUp Texas Pitch Summit.
4. Veronica Dimas - Community Engagement Manager, Big Green DAO, adovacate for food insecurity and 10 years nonprofit experience. Veronica's experience in grant-making and community building, along with her cultural perspective, has been invaluable to Big Green DAO’s unique approach to philanthropy

The StartUp Texas Quality of Life Ventures Pitch Competition is an excellent opportunity for the community to come together and support local entrepreneurs who are driving innovation and positive change in the region. Attendees will have the chance to network with like-minded individuals, learn about the latest industry trends, and witness these talented founders' passion and dedication firsthand. We encourage everyone to join us in celebrating the achievements of these remarkable startups and the bright future they represent for our region.


About StartUp Texas:
StartUp Texas, established in 2019, is a dynamic accelerator program based in Brownsville that provides entrepreneurs with capital, mentorship, and resources to scale their operations. A collaborative initiative by the Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Center, and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, the program supports founders across various industries through specialized workshops and networking opportunities. The 12-week program ends with a Demo Day, presenting startups to a broad audience, including potential investors, to foster regional growth and innovation. StartUp Texas believes that everyone can be the founder of something great and is committed to developing an open and inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystem in the Rio Grande Valley.

About BCIC

The Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation (BCIC) is an economic development organization dedicated to connecting people, organizations, and economic resources to elevate the quality of life in Brownsville. For more information about available programs, visit www.brownsvillecic.com. For media inquiries, please contact Nelson Amaro, Director of Marketing & Communications, at namaro@bcic.us.