EDINBURG – A group of 100 sophomores and juniors recently attended the 3rd Annual Young Entrepreneurship Conference hosted by Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD (PSJA ISD) in partnership with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley on Nov. 30, 2018.

As part of the Conference, students got to hear from Bert Ogden owners Robert C. Vackar and Jacket Vackar who shared their entrepreneurial journey. In addition, students got to participate in interactive sessions hosted by the UTRGV Small Business Administration, compete in a pitch competition, take part in a financial literacy scavenger hunt, and heard from current UTRGV business students during a panel.

During the Young Entrepreneur Pitch Tank Competition, six students got to present their business ideas to a panel of judges and for a chance to be awarded prizes sponsored by the Pharr Economic Development Corporation, San Juan Economic Development Corporation, and Alamo Economic Development Corporation. The winners were as follows:


1st Place: Ingrid Valdez from PSJA Southwest ECHS, $300 sponsored by Pharr EDC. Valdez pitched "Black Crayon," a fashion and art brand that would allow customers to submit art and customize their clothing.


2nd Place: Evelyn Montanez from PSJA Ballew ECHS, $200 sponsored by San Juan EDC. Montanez pitched creating a school uniform designed by students for students.


3rd Place: David Martinez from PSJA Memorial ECHS, $100 sponsored by Alamo EDC. Martinez pitched a unique home defense system.