BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation held its inaugural StartUp Texas Pitch Summit live on Facebook on Wednesday evening.

Ten finalists made a pitch on behalf of their startup ventures to a group of judges that comprised industry leaders, corporate, angel, and venture investors. The winners could earn a share of $100,000 as seed funding for their ventures.

Nathan Burkhart, director of marketing and small business development for BCIC, explained that StartUp Texas is part of BCIC’s ongoing efforts to cultivate a culture and ecosystem of entrepreneurship in Brownsville
and the greater Rio Grande Valley. 

“Brownsville was born of entrepreneurs, and we want to continue that entrepreneurial spirit by promoting the creation and scalability of innovative businesses in our community,” Burkhart said.

“Research shows how startups are disproportionately responsible for innovations that drive economic growth, and account for most net new job creation. This Pitch Summit is just another example of the ecosystem we are creating for our community, for the Valley.” 

Michael Limas, chair of the board for BCIC said his group made StartUp Texas Summit as dynamic as possible at a time where social distancing measures are in full effect, due to COVID-19.

“This is an incredibly difficult and uncertain time, and we’re all facing challenges we didn’t expect, but even in the middle of all that uncertainty we can find pride in our community and make space to recognize our resilience and adaptability” Limas said. 

“It’s a chance for Brownsville to get a glimpse of the entrepreneurial ecosystem developing in our community through our ongoing efforts.” 

Josh Mejia, executive director of BCIC, co-hosted the livestream.

“With the launch of StartUp Texas, we are creating a circle of economic empowerment that expands commerce opportunities and generates beneficial outcomes for Brownsville,” Mejia said. “This is more than just an opportunity for entrepreneurs to pitch their unique innovations to industry leaders and investors, it’s an opportunity to get a glimpse into how the next generation sees the future of the Brownsville economy.” 

The StartUp Texas Pitch Finalists were:

Lunar Station Corporation, 

Provides cutting-edge Moon Navigational Services and Lunar Environmental Intelligence to help successfully execute missions on the Moon. 


Combines a licensed NASA technology with a team of seasoned experts to provide a novel and disruptive leak detection system for underground storage tanks. 

North America Secner Holdings, LLC., 

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

Smartest Energy, 

Utilizing thermal pyrolysis with discarded end-of-life tires (ELT) to produce Tire Derived Fuel (TDF), Pyrolysis Carbon Black (PCB), recovered Steel and Sync Gas

LGI Foods, Inc.,
Creating a Superfood utilizing a unique process to transform 100% nopal cactus into powder. 

Jen Zeano Designs, 

Latina owned and operated lifestyle brand with a mission to create products that are inclusive, and closes the representation gap for people of color

RockDuo Ventures, 

Creating Gyde, a mobile application that helps connect upper-level students to lower-level students in an effort to mentor each other. 

Slider Semiconductor, 

Future semiconductor foundry specializing in the fabrication of silicon ingots and wafers for the semiconductor industry and its sub industries. 

Pluton Brewing Company, 

Microbrewery using locally and ethically sourced ingredients to create a drinking experience unique to the region. 

Wingz, Inc., 

Creating sailboats designed to reach average speeds of 20 knots or more. 

For more information about StartUp Texas contact: Nathan Burkhart at (956) 459-2123 or by email at [email protected] 

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