MISSION - Spirits were high on Tuesday March 21 as the Mission Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced the new winners of their Ruby Red Ventures fund program.
Three companies - Geeks & Jocks, Game Swipe and SweetConfetti - were awarded the funds, which are allocated to foster innovative entrepreneurial endeavors in Mission.
New and existing companies apply biannually for the highly-competitive program. Those that qualify must complete a four-phase process that includes business-planning sessions and a presentation before a panel of judges. In “Shark Tank” fashion, the judges review and question each company team before giving them a score out of 100. To win the backing, a company must receive a score of 80 or higher. And, every cycle, Ruby Red Ventures sees Mission’s most promising and business-savvy individuals rise to the top.
Brothers Noe and Raul Pena were the first to be presented with their award by MEDC Program Director Cristina Garza. They duo won $12,500 for their mobile app and game company Game Swipe. Together they programmed and developed “Rogue Ball” and the company’s other apps. With their new capital, the brothers hope to expand their app library and even take on interns.
David Avila was next to be recognized. Avila won $14,000 for his collectibles store Geeks & Jocks. The store carries game memorabilia and hosts events and tournaments for popular card games like “Magic: The Gathering” and “Yugioh.” Avila plans to bring more exposure to his business by attending comic conventions in McAllen and San Antonio this year. He also hopes to open an arcade room in the future.
SweetConfetti, an event planning venture run by Abraham Neave, was the final company awarded funds this cycle. Neave won previously through his family’s company JDG Jewelers in 2014. This year, the money will finance his own dreams. With the $16,000 he will receive, Neave wants to continue working with local vendors and businesses that will help him create truly unique and memorable events.
The application period for Ruby Red Ventures’ next round is already underway. The deadline for any interested company teams is Friday, March 31. For more information, visit rubyredventures.com.