Two Teams of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Students Named Semi-Finalists in Business Plan Competition

Published: May 13, 2014

Two Teams of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Students Named Semi-Finalists in Business Plan Competition

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Two teams of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi students were named finalists in the Business Plan Competition held Monday, May 5, at the Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center. Students proceeded to the final phase of the competition based on the quality of their proposed business plan.

The three-phase competition is judged by a panel of successful entrepreneurs, business leaders, financial professionals, and other economic development supporters in the Coastal Bend.

“The Business Plan Competition is a great thought process for any person who is pursuing a business idea,” said David Fonseca, Incubator Manager at the Innovation Center. “Finalists will have the opportunity to share their business plan with key members of our community, who have developed successful businesses and have first-hand experience.”

The following students from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi were selected as finalists:

  • ROA TAMUCC – remotely operated aircraft that is to deliver real-time video for research purposes
  • Alberto Duque, Maria Gionza, Michel Caballero, Trey Martin, Baybars Kucketekin, Ricardo Vasquez – A combined system of three different green energy sources that work together to produce sustainable energy

In Phase I of the competition, contestants submitted a business plan overview that met specific criteria including commitment to economic development and job creation in the Coastal Bend. Phase II semi-finalists were asked for a more comprehensive business plan. In Phase III, finalists will present to a panel of judges on May 12. Winners will be announced on May 14.

Phase III finalists judges include:

  • Mike Carrell, Regional President, Frost Bank
  • Ralph Coker, SCORE Counselors to America’s Small Business
  • Joe Henkel, President and Chief Executive Officer, Kleberg Bank
  • Gloria Hicks, Ed Hicks Imports
  • Alan Stoner, Venture Capital Partners

The winner of the overall competition will receive a $4,000 cash prize and a package of in-kind business services donated by local businesses and organizations designed to assist with a business start-up. In addition, the winner will be accepted into the Innovation Center business incubator program. Second place will receive a $1,000 cash prize.

The 2014 Coastal Bend Business Plan Competition, which is being administrated by the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Incubator - Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center and supported by several other area entities involved in economic development, creates an opportunity for entrepreneurs to gain exposure and develop business plans that will build new technology-driven ventures in the Coastal Bend. For more information, go to