Aetherworks was the big winner at the Startup Texas Innovation Competition sponsored by the Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation, UTRGV Entrepreneurship, and Commercialization Center, in partnership with the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station.
Aetherworks: Aetherworks received a $40,000 grant for its pitch, which specializes in direct air carbon capture technology to reduce global CO2 emissions and serve indoor farms.
Cori Pena, BCIC’s CEO, and President, said this was the fifth Startup Texas event and it was an opportunity to have businesses pitch their businesses to the judges and the community to compete for $40,000 in grant funding to help their business scale up.
District 3 City Commissioner Roy De los Santos who attended the event said the night was about having local businesses pitch their business idea and if they were selected to win a grant to help start their business.
“This is the epitome of entrepreneurship and is exactly what organizations like the Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation put together for,” De los Santos said.
Embedded: The first runner-up, Embedded, is focused on healthcare innovation. They offer fitted bedsheets with wireless RFID technology for non-invasive elderly patient monitoring. This technology has the potential to improve the quality of care for elderly patients.
Pishardi Electronics: Pishardi Electronics, the second runner-up, provides non-invasive vibration therapy devices designed for pain management. Their technology could be beneficial for individuals seeking alternative pain management solutions.
Other businesses that competed were the following and received honorable mentions were :
DeCON Environmental: DeCON Environmental offers technology that extends the lifespan of septic tanks without relying on environmentally harmful chemicals. This innovation could contribute to more sustainable wastewater management.
MerLion: MerLion is focused on securing maritime operations and resources efficiently and professionally. Their work likely has implications for maritime safety and resource management.
Local businessman Michael Limas served as one of the judges and said one of the things he would be looking at would be the number of jobs the startup would create. “At the same time, since the organization is funded by sales tax, what type of sales tax revenue would be coming to the City of Brownsville.”
These startups had the opportunity to participate in an 8-week preparation and business acceleration cycle, which provided specialized mentorship and training to help them navigate the complex landscape of federal SBIR/STTR grants.
This competition and the participating startups highlight the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship in addressing pressing global challenges and improving various industries.