CEO Shark Tank


The Chamber would like to present an annual program in partnership with HCISD called CEO Shark Tank. Thanks to the support of Chick-fil-A, we received a monetary donation for the top three students that impressed the judges. This program was inspired by the TV show “Shark Tank,” where entrepreneurs get the chance to bring their dreams to fruition by presenting their ideas to the three “sharks” (judges) in hopes that they would invest money in their business idea. We decided to bring in six groups to be part of our first pilot. Since the beginning of Dec., we brought these six groups together for monthly sessions. Within these sessions, we had five mentors speak about important topics they should have in their presentations. Our mentors were Ricky Leal (Senior Vice President of First Community Bank), Alex Ambriz (Edward Jones – Financial Advisor), Frank Castellanos (Owner of Chick-Fil-A), and Nick Consiglio (Marketing Director from Boggus Ford). The mentors discussed a few session topics: their marketing plan, business finances, and the value of their products. The students then had to make time to work on their presentations alone or as a group. Once the next session came along, mentors were able to have a one-on-one to revise the student’s work and help them with any questions they had.

Five sessions later, the students were prepared to present their products to our judges on May 16, 2023. Our Judges were Tito Resendez with State Farm Insurance, City of Harlingen Mayor Norma Sepulveda, and Cameron County Pct. 4 Commissioner Gus Ruiz. The first contestant that went up was Emerson J. Williams showcasing “Em’s Boutique,” where she plans to sell affordable trendy clothes for women in the Rio Grande Valley. The second contestant was Pedro L Coronado III showcasing “Fit Chip,” a healthy chip alternative for athletes. The third contestant was Brianna N. Cavazos showcasing “Palm Embroidery,” an embroidery shop that caters to the whole Rio Grande Valley.

The fourth contestant was Nikki M. Ruiz showcasing “You’ll Never Smile Alone,” a service that helps student-athletes who are mentally going through battles. The fifth contestant was Marco C. Flores III, showcasing “Demolish Denim” clothing tailored to skaters or people who like a 90s aesthetic. Lastly, we have “CASA,” which focuses on high-quality sidewalk cleaning for homeowners, businesses, and the whole RGV. CASA was formed by a team of four students, Candide R. Petit, Sebastion Gutierrez, Alfonso Maldonado, and Andres I. Sanchez. After seeing all the amazing presentations from our six groups, the judges had the final call for the top three presentations. The third-place winner, Pedro L Coronado III, received a $250 money prize. The second-place winner, Emerson J. Williams, received a $500 prize. The first-place winner, Brianna N. Cavazos, received a $1,000 prize. Congratulations to all the students from HCISD for being part of our first CEO Shark Tank Program. We are looking forward in the future to expanding this program to many more students in our community!

For more information contact The Greater Chamber of Harlingen at (956) 423-5440, or visit

Alondra Sanchez-Proa