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Mission Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) awarded their second round of Ruby Red Ventures grants Tuesday. Ruby Red Ventures is a program developed by MEDC to foster entrepreneurial ventures in Mission. The program awards up to $100,000 annually, with two round of grants totaling $50,000 each.
Alex Meade, chief executive officer of MEDC, said Ruby Red Ventures saw many more applicants this round. He also said presentations by the applications were of a higher quality than their first round, awarded in March of this year.
This week, the largest grant awarded was $15,000 going to Ariva Properties, LLC, dba Ariva Business Center. Alejandro Rivera Robles with Ariva, has created a platform to manage his executive business center. Robles is looking at getting the software patented.
Meade said Ariva gave an unbelievable presentation, even impressing the small business loan center with how well they knew their market.
Samuel Shipp with Brilliant Inventors, LLC, dba The Knife Glider, received $10,000 for the knife glider. The Knife Glider is a kitchen safety product. Shipp was awarded a grant during the first round of Ruby Red Ventures as well for another business he owns.
Meade said jokingly that Shipp is what some might call a serial entrepreneur, very business smart, and they might have to make some rules about applying more than once.
Jose Cruz, dba Scorpion Security Consultant, was awarded $10,000. Cruz, a former police officer, has created a security camera system.
Cruz said he wants to create a better, safer Mission.
Frank Brewster III, dba Brewster’s Guacamaya Enterprises, was also awarded $10,000. Brewster has developed literature and a program to teach Spanish.
Meade said Brewster is very enthusiastic about what he does and the product he has.
Brewster, who has taught at K. White Junior High School in Mission, said six of his employees are previous students from K. White. Three of them graduated from Mission High School and three graduated from Veterans Memorial High School.
He said several school districts have already started using his program and McAllen ISD just signed up to start using the program this year.
Rockkore Asylum, a Cross Fit Gym and owned by Margarita Mustard and Juan Sanchez, received an award of $5,000. Rockkore Asylum began in Edinburg and has now expanded to Mission in the old Ace’s Bar.
When the Ruby Red program was first announced last summer, Meade said The idea is to encourage entrepreneurially oriented Rio Grande Valley residents to either expand or launch new ventures in Mission. Ruby Red Ventures would try to help people gain a better understanding of how to develop and follow a realistic business plan and provide forums so they can develop skills in presenting their ventures.
Participants in the Ruby Red Ventures program are required to attend small business workshops to help them prepare sound business plans.
“Considering how difficult it is to borrow money today, we need to begin removing some barriers and making capital more accessible to fuel startup growth. If we don’t support our small business or aspiring entrepreneurs, who will?” stated Meade.
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.