The Mission Economic Development Corporation’s small business development program, Ruby Red Ventures, named three new winners of its small business funding competition.
A local all-natural, cold-pressed juice producer, a maker of pre-packaged Mexican stews and meals, and manufacturer of gourmet grilling sauces are all recent winners of $50,000 in funding from Mission EDC. Mr. Pepe, El Cazos Guisos and B. Veggie took the top three spots, respectively, in the latest round of the Ruby Red Ventures business competition. With this most recent group, the Mission EDC has invested in 37 local enterprises since 2013.
“Ruby Red Ventures is doing exactly what we’ve wanted it to do: develop and nurture small business opportunities in the City of Mission,” said Mission EDC CEO Alex Meade. “We’ve awarded $600,000 to nearly 40 small businesses since the program started six years ago. These businesses, in turn, have created jobs and made capital investments here in Mission.”
The small businesses went through the four-month long small business development program – in collaboration with UTRGV’s Small Business Development Center – and then pitched their ideas to a
committee much like in the show Shark Tank.
First place winners Luis Lopez and Heidi Lopez of Mr. Pepe took home first place of $25,000. The duo plans to use the funding to redesign the bottles of their gourmet grilling sauces.
Second place went to Alejandro Chavez with El Cazos Guisos. The $15,000 will increase production of the company’s pre-packaged Mexican meals and stews.
B. Veggie came in third with $10,000. Owner Maribeny Jenis plans to use the funds on a manufacturing facility for the business’s natural fruit and vegetable juices using cold press technology.
There are two rounds of funding per year via Ruby Red Ventures. The next round will take place in the spring of next year.