Coastal Bend Business Plan Competition

The 2014 Winners Are In

The 2014 Winner:
Jeff Soward, Arana Water Technologies LLC
Bill Kovaric, Keylate Solutions LLC

The Coastal Bend Business Plan Competition held it 4th Annual Phase III judging on Monday, May 12th at the Del Mar College West Campus. The 5 Finalists gave their presentations to the judges. The judges consisted of Gloria Hicks, Alan Stoner, Mike Carrell, Joe Henkel. The winner of the competition was announced on Wednesday, May 14th at the Small Business Awards Luncheon. The lst place winner was Jeff Soward, Arana Water Technologies LLC and 2nd place award went to Bill Kovaric, Keylate Solutions LLC.

Coastal Bend Business Competition
Pictured left to right: Daniel Valdes-ROA TAMUCC, Jeff Soward-ARANA Water Technologies, LLC, Bill Kovaric-KeyLate Solutions, LLC, Joanne Soward-The AVA Method

Click to view the Finalist Presentation Program

On Monday, January 13th the Coastal Bend Business Plan Competition announced the following Semifinalists who have advanced to Phase II of the competition.
(click on Semifinalist to learn more...)

ARANA Water Technologies, LLC
Water treatment in a chemical‐free, reliable, cost‐effective manner. ARANA Water Technologies, LLC has the most cost‐effective, reliable, and environmentally friendly water treatment technology currently known to exist.
KeyLate Solutions LLC
Has improved the technology of disinfection and oxidation by mimicking nature. KeyLate Solutions has advanced disinfection technology by translating what nature does into simple to use liquid formulations.
The product is an electronically powered multi‐functional UAV that will be able to deliver high definition video with controllable view angles via a ground station monitor up to one kilometer away.
Texas A & M University‐Corpus Christi
A device which is capable of using a centrifugal casting process to make parts that will replace parts on an obsolete machine. This is a solution that eliminates long lead times, complex manufacturing processes, and costly tooling‐vertical axis centrifugal casting machine capable of manufacturing even the most critical and complex of machinery parts.
Ramrod ROVs
The hydraulic underwater ROV provides unlimited value in researching marine life. It provides a long lasting source of information for educational purposes to schools around the coastal bend or anywhere in the world where its uses in studying marine life is need. The ROV would be capable of any type of observing for research and or any type of physical laborious activity underwater with its pneumatically operated gripper.
Hybrid Energy Conversion and Storage Company
This project involves the creation of a combined system of three different green energy sources working together and producing a sustainable amount of energy, which is then stored in batteries for later use.
RH-TRU Waste Shielded Containers
A proposal to make a container with adequate radiation shielding around a 55 gallon‐drum that will reduce the amount of radiation the RH waste gives off, to a level that is comparable to that of CH waste. Increasing shielding around the 55-gallon drum will reduce the amount of entitled radiation to a level at or below 200 mrem/hour to make the waste CH.
The Atomic Lawnmower
A design of an autonomous lawnmower systems capable of cutting grass using global position system (GPS) navigation and computer software to run the program. The lawnmower will first be driven manually over the desired area in order to set up a track of way points, and then for future instances will complete the route automatically with the need of a controller.
The AVA Method
The AVA Method was created to facilitate the info event planning process from start to finish. It is the only web‐based complete planning application incorporating lead management, proposals, captures e‐signatures, invoicing, merchant account, vendor management, document management, employee management, gallery, e‐mail, calendar reporting. With the highly secure portal system, clients, vendors and employees can view events and add info but cannot change event planner information.
Diesel Engine Retrofit Kit
The proposed retrofit kit facilitates the sway of the factory 5.9l-V8 gasoline engine out of a 1980 Jeep Cherokee Chief 4x4 for an OM603.971 Mercedes-Benz 3.5l turbo diesel engine. This retrofit kit does not currently exist in the off-roading market. The retrofit kit allows the consumer to maintain the factor drivetrain components and original performance characteristics while increasing vehicle fuel economy, reducing emissions and increasing dependability.

Click to view: All the Semi-Finalists

Click to download: 2014 Guidelines

Coastal Bend Business Plan Competition Committee elects officers for 2013-2014:
Chair- Dr. Stephan Nix
Vice Chair- Michael Korff
Secretary-Lori Garza
Treasurer- Teresa Rodriguez
Fiduciary Agent Corpus Christi Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

The Coastal Bend Business Plan Competition would like to welcome the following new members:
Dr. Kent Byus
Teresa Rodriguez
Liza Wisner

The 2013-2014 Business Plan Competition Kick Off was held on Thursday, October 3, 2013. 5 p.m. at the Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center

Click to enlarge timeline

2014 Business Plan Competition

The 2013 Winners Are In

The 2013 Winner:
Sirena Water Wear,
Tracey Davis

Presentation by Tracey Davis

Presentation from Sirena Water Wear

Two women, with two very innovative ideas, have taken home the two top prizes in the 3rd annual Coastal Bend Business Plan Competition. Both winners are clients with the Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center. One idea takes you from the beach and fishing to a nice restaurant without changing clothes, while the other makes the homes of pet owners a little more fashionable.

Tracey Davis

Tracey Davis from Sirena Water Wear receiving her award.

First Place Winner

The 1st place prize was awarded to Tracy Davis, Sirena Water Wear. Tracey received an award plate, $20,000.00 in in-kind-services and a cash prize of $4,000.00. . The judges noted that Tracy has won the hearts of active women with her patented SeaLegs adventure shorts. Her woman's board short are inspired by the past and geared for the future...SeaLegs "fit" the adventurous lifestyle and carry women from the fishing rod to the restaurant, and beach to the future.

Presentation by Maricela Sanchez

Presentation from Maricela Sanchez Art, LLC.

Second Place Winner

The 2nd place award went to Maricela Sanchez of Maricela Sanchez Art, LLC. Maricela received an award plaque and $1,000.00 in cash. Maricela's creative pet crate designs have been featured in magazines. She is also a client with the Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center. Maricela's mission is to create innovative contemporary visual art design solutions for private, public and commercial need by manufacturing luxury crates, gates and panels, while collaborating with designers, engineers, manufacturers and clients to meet their needs.

The panel of judges listened to the four finalists give their presentations, gave them feedback, and the finalists answered questions. The Judges also viewed their products and business models before selecting the winner. The 1st and 2nd place winners were announced at the 2013 Annual Coastal Bend Small Business Awards Luncheon on May 22nd.

The five judges were, Ralph Coker with SCORE, Don Morrison, Owner-Allstate Insurance Agency, Laurie Simmons-Executive Director-Tropical Texas Regional Center of Innovation and Commercialization, Alan Stoner-Venture Capital, Liza Wisner-Insperity and former guest on the Donald Trump Apprentice's show

The Judges

Alan Stoner, Liza Wisner, Donald Morrison, Laurie Simmmons, Ralph Coker


2012 - 2013

The 2012 - 2013 competition opened October 2, 2012 to any entrepreneur team or existing business that has a new technology or technological product.

A winner or winners will be awarded based on the viability of their business plan and the potential for its economic impact to the Coastal Bend's regional economy. However, every finalist will be given invaluable feedback from real investors on the viability of the business plan providing the catalyst for putting a business on the right track for success.

Coastal Bend Business Plan Competition Final Competition

Monday, May 20, 2013 from 3 - 7 PM
Del Mar College’s East Campus
101 Baldwin
Venter’s Business Building Room VB100

Finalists and Presentation Time

3:15     G & G Sustainability- Jon Gorman, Denis Guleof -
A water turbine system to convert energy contained in flowing wastewater effluent into electricity using hydropower technology

3:45     Sirena Water Wear- Tracy Davis -
Sealegs Adventure Shorts...a solution to an age old problem

4:15     Maricela Sanchez Art – Maricela Sanchez -
Focus on home accessories for pet owners

4:45     SJ3 Solutions- Joshua Newton -
The product monitors consumers’ real time power usage and provides a few different options based on information

5:15     VIS Engineering and Technology- Julian Vela, Amanda Ibanez, Joel Salinas - A mobile plasma sanitation system that is easy to use on inorganic surfaces resulting in a safer way to sanitize surfaces in one’s home

>>Download the 2013 Guidelines for eligibility, rules, entry forms, deadlines and prizes.

>>Click to Read Article: Phase II Semi-Finalists encouraged by State Representative Todd Hunter
Business Plan Competition - Todd Hunter




Register for Information

CBBPC Application


Coastal Bend Business Plan Competition Committee

Texas A& M Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center

Del Mar College Small Business Development Center

SCORE Counselors to America's Small Business

Corpus Christi Evening Rotary Club

Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation

Young Business Professionals of the Coastal Bend



Del Mar College Division of Business, Professional and Technology Education

Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi, Mechanical Engineering Program

Texas A&M University – Kingsville, Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering



Texas A&M University - Kingsville

Kleberg Bank Kingsville

Wells Fargo Bank

Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation

Tropical Texas Regional Center of Innovation and Commercialization

Michael Hunter, Merrill Lynch




Texas A & M University – Corpus Christi

Coastal Bend Business Inovation Center

Del Mar College Small Business Development Center

Corpus Christi Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

National Geospatial Technology Center of Excellence- Geotech, Del Mar College Geographic Information

Susan Ochoa Spiering/Ochoa & Assoc PC

Insperity Lisa Wisner

Del Mar College Continuing Ed.

Padre Island Business Association

Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce


Fast Signs



Planning Committee

Dr. Stephan Nix, Chair

Michael Korff, Vice Chair

Lori Garza, Secretary

Teresa Rodriguez, Treasurer

Sandy Billish

Dr. L. D. Chen

Ralph Coker

Bill Cone

Mike Culbertson

Dr. Haysam Dawood

Ann Fierova

David Fonseca

Sebastian Garzon

Michael Hunter

Dr. Warren Knox

Dr. Larry Lee

Emily Martinez

Dr. Jim Needham

Dr. Stephan Nix

Brad Womack




The Coastal Bend Business Plan Competition emerged from a grass-roots effort to support economic growth in the Texas Coastal Bend region encompassing Nueces, San Patricio and Kleberg counties surrounding the city of Corpus Christi. As the idea began to form and was shared with others, a collaboration of partners organized to make this competition a reality.

The competition was inspired to support the best and the brightest entrepreneurial minds to start and build their businesses locally with a prize package of valuable services and expertise designed to jumpstart the business.


Administrated by
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center
10201 S. Padre Island Dr. • Corpus Christi, TX 78418
Tel: 361-825-3535

For more information contact Bill Cone