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The pitch competition has become about as American as baseball, and we’re no stranger to it in Texas. From the SXSW Startup Pitch Competition to the myriad Austin businesses that have been featured on “Shark Tank,” there’s no shortage of startups using this as an avenue for funding. Last week, for the third year, everyone’s favorite Texas grocery store chain used the pitch competition format to bring new products to their shelves and give some Austin and other Texas businesses a huge opportunity.

The third H-E-B Primo Picks Quest for Texas Best competition was held in Houston on August 10-11. 25 different food-based businesses made it as finalists in the competition from an original group of nearly 500 entries, including five Austin businesses. Of those five, Kitchun’s No-Ola tied for first place for $20,000 and Culinary Cowgirls’ Lone Star Queso took second for $15,000.

The tie for first was an unprecedented move for the panel of judges made up of HEB business development managers. All of the top winners received a cash prize and some top notch shelf space inside H-E-B stores in 2017. The overall grand prize winner was The Texas Pie Company from Kyle, which won $25,000.  

“The final presentations were phenomenal, showcasing a unique blend of creativity, resolve and purpose,” said James Harris, Director, Diversity & Inclusion and Supplier Diversity, H‑E‑B in a press release. “As we celebrate the third year of competition we have enjoyed the inventiveness that our fellow Texans continue to showcase.”

Other Austin businesses that made the finals include Erva Mate Inc’s Erva Mate, Newning Ave LLC’s Lauren’s Garden brand Bloody Mary Juice, and Zen Monkey’s flavored yogurts.


Featured image courtesy of H-E-B

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