Texas Border Business –
MISSION, Texas, 2016 – Pilar Gonzalez is a two-time Ruby Red Ventures award winner from Mission – now H-E-B is spreading her DIP-IT product to hundreds of stores across Texas.
It’s the next of many successes for Gonzalez’s DIP-IT product idea that so far have gained her thousands in funding in two rounds of competitive Ruby Red Ventures. She also earned $15,000 and second place in 2014 from H-E-B’s celebrated Primo Picks Quest for Texas Best food product competition.
Gonzalez is not the only success story generated by the Mission Economic Development Corporation’s Ruby Red Ventures program, but it’s the latest to garner headlines and serve as an example of how nurturing small business ideas to fruition can lead to success and local job creation.
“Pilar’s determination, hard work and innovative ideas set a high bar for other Ruby Red Ventures participants, and we wouldn’t have it any other way,” said Alex Meade, Mission EDC CEO. “She embodies the entrepreneurial spirit, and hope that other Mission start-ups and small businesses can take her lead and run with it.”
In addition to having her all-natural DIP-IT in H-E-B stores from Mission to Midland, it will also be sold in Spec’s wine and liquor stores across Texas. DIP-IT blends fresh ingredients and yogurt to create the 100‑percent natural DIP‑IT, featuring five different flavors including cilantro, jalapeño, green olive, chipotle and piquin pepper.
Ruby Red Ventures is close culminating its 2016 program and will pick the winners of its product idea competition, or shark tank, in August. The program will also begin signing up new candidates for the next six-month program that starts in the fall and perhaps find the next Pilar Gonzalez.
The Mission EDC and the Mission City Council unanimously approved in 2013 the creation of Ruby Red Ventures and a $100,000 annual small business fund that aims to nurture entrepreneurial spirit and promote the creation of innovative businesses in Mission.
Already, more than 150 entrepreneurs have gone through the Ruby Red program, and more than two dozen have been funded up to $25,000 each since 2013. Ruby Red consist of two rounds of funding per year at $50,000 per round. Participants will be required to attend small business workshops to help them prepare sound business plans.