Austin pitch competition helps entrepreneurs take next business step

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The City of Austin and Austin Young Chamber have teamed up to host Austin Fast Start, a pitch competition that allows businesses to showcase their products in hopes of winning a cash prize.

Small businesses are an important economic engine for Austin. City officials said nearly 40% of Austin’s workforce are employed by businesses with fewer than 100 employees and small businesses create 60-80% of all new jobs in Austin.

On Thursday, city officials will judge businesses that focus on consumer packaged goods. Anything from food and drinks, to clothing, toys and tools.

Four business owners will present their ideas: Manna Muffins by Fringe Foods, Remane, Steamm Espresso and Tynie Nail Polish.

“I was just in a place with my business where I really just didn’t have any extra resources to put into it,” Rachel Musquiz, a previous winner of the pitch competition said.

Musquiz opened the windows to her east Austin plant-based food truck three and-a-half years ago. After dealing with personal health issues, she wanted to show people the benefits of turmeric. That led her to create her own turmeric paste called Curcuma Golden Paste.

She presented the paste to judges at the Austin Fast Start in 2017 and won.

“With the money, I was able to grow that part of my business which I don’t know how I would have done it without it,” Musquiz said.

The Fast Start pitch competition will start at 5:30 p.m. at the H-E-B Digital and Favor East Tech Hub.

This year’s categories are Consumer Packaged Goods, Internet of Things/Smart Cities, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).

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