Aspiring Entrepreneurs Compete for Seed Funding at Final Pitch Night Sponsored by Mary Kay, Inc., City of Lewisville, and M.R. & Evelyn Hudson Foundation

May 20, 2024 12:00 PM ET
Someone holds an oversized check for Retta Beauty

Lewisville High School (Lewisville Independent School District) students, participating in the INCubatoredu program, competed in their Final Pitch Night at the Technology, Exploration & Career Center - West in Lewisville, Texas on April 25, 2024. Hopeful entrepreneurs were vying for a total of $5,000 in seed funds to help take their business to the next level. The program is in its sixth year, sponsored by financial contributions from Mary Kay, Inc., City of Lewisville, and M.R. & Evelyn Hudson Foundation.

The program encourages student participants with aspirations of becoming future entrepreneurs to create real businesses, with real money. From ideation and evaluating market competitors to comparing price points and target consumers – students create and implement their businesses using the principles learned in the class curriculum.

The curriculum, based on the nationally renowned INCubatoredu program, helps students develop their own business models with the help of local professionals to mentor throughout their business creation journey. The course utilizes lean startup methodology to teach business concepts. This method favors shortened product development cycles to rapidly discover if a business model is viable using experimentation, iterative product releases and validated learning. Students learn by using a hands-on approach while business leaders provide coaching to pivot when needed. The final exam is a “Shark Tank”-style pitch to judges who dole out prize money for top businesses.

The year-long program enrolled 14 individuals and teams, six of which presented their final business ideas ranging from handmade press-on nails to a streetwear clothing brand in hopes of taking home the grand prize money as seed funding to further their business.

Final Pitch Night Prize Winners: 

  • First Place ($2,500) – Coretta Williams (Senior) for her custom press-on nail business, Retta’s Beauty.
  • Second Place ($1,500) – Jaylen Waters (Junior) for his streetwear brand, Exclusive Stylez
  • Third Place ($1,000) – Benny Perez, Kal-el Martinez and Jayce Gonzalez (Juniors) for mobile carwash and detail services, Doorstep Auto Detailing.
  • Fan Favorite ($1,000) – Emily Najera and Martin Quintanilla-Velasquez (Juniors) for eco-friendly pet beds created from textile waste, EcoPaws.
  • Additional Awards – ($200) Aidan Mills (Junior) for custom carved taillights, Rayfall; ($500) Jesus Barrios (Senior) and Julie Najera (Senior) for cleaning product, Double Duster.

The curriculum funds were made possible through a grant from the M.R. & Evelyn Hudson Foundation as well as an investment from Mary Kay, Inc.

“Lewisville Independent School District is proud to offer this unique opportunity to our students. INCubatoredu truly sets students up for success as they learn by doing. We cannot thank Mary Kay and our other partners enough for their unwavering support of this great program,” said Lindsay Ayers, Business Partnerships, Lewisville Independent School District.

This program is made possible through a 10-year commitment between Lewisville Independent School District / Lewisville Education Fund (LEF) and Mary Kay, Inc. The funding covers the annual dues of the INCubatoredu program, seed money for students to start and grow their businesses, and the Final Pitch Night seed fund investment for students to further their business pursuits.