They came. They competed. They won.
Regional high school student teams recently participated in the BBVA inaugural Young Entrepreneur of the RGV Challenge, culminating in an awards ceremony April 30. There was a selection and awarding of competition winners, but all 19 groups are in a league of their own. Working together on a business plan and other crucial elements, presenting before a distinguished, local team of successful business leaders and enduring real scenarios have these Rio Grande Valley high schoolers on a path for future greatness.
The maturity, intelligence and business mentality of these forward-thinking professionals-to-be are ahead of the game. This is much to the respect of their respective schools, entrepreneurship program directors and mentors. When these youths go in their adult life owning and operating businesses, will only be capped by themselves. The world will not hinder their drive, determination nor ability to succeed.
Financial awards went to competition winners placing first ($1,000), second ($500) and third ($250).
- First place – Anel Cuarenta and Ulises Guerrero, Team 23 from Sharyland High School, with their business idea of CajetitaMx
- Second place – Camila Barrera, Sua Cho and Viridiana Zuniga, Team 34 from Sharyland High School. Their business idea is Godwit (tracking stickers).
- Third place – Kayla Espinoza and Jabes Gallardo, Team 43 from Vanguard Academy, Rembrandt Secondary with their business idea, Furever Friends.
The Rio Grande Valley Partnership and BBVA Compass partnered with RGV Lead on this program, also funding the winning teams. Held at the UTRGV Center for Innovation and Commercialization in Weslaco, the setting couldn’t have been more fitting. The region’s Mid-Valley education and incubator center is a learning and office gem. In less than six months, it has given a jump start to businesses. It is also educating students and serving the regional business community with office space and meeting rooms.