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BBVA Compass and the Houston Dynamo announce four finalists for The Pitch contest

BBVA Compass and the Houston Dynamo have announced the four finalists for their annual small business contest known as The Pitch.

The contest awards a winning small business in the Houston area $10,000 and consultation with Dynamo and bank executives, among other prizes. This year, fans have a chance to vote at

They truly align with our mission of creating opportunities for everyone.

“The number of entrepreneurial spirits we have in this vibrant city is amazing,” said Mark Montgomery, BBVA Compass Houston CEO. “These finalists truly deserve a shot at this prize, not only because of their innovative minds and creative business plans, but also because they have an aim at elevating Houston and its communities. They truly align with our mission of creating opportunities for everyone.”

The finalists for The Pitch 2018, as selected by a panel of judges, are as follows:

  • Lucky Shots - A Houston photobooth company that offers premium photo booth experiences for various types of events in the area, including weddings, high school proms and fundraisers.
  • Cherrypick -  Developed by Rice University students, Cherrypick is a software that automatically analyzes game statistics in under an hour.
  • Melanin & Mental Health - An organization that was created to bridge the gap between mental health and minority communities.
  • Reason2Race - Focused on community impact, Reason2Race supports individuals, nonprofits and event organizers to spread awareness and raise funds for a good cause.

Fans will have a chance to vote for their favorite submission until May 31. The winner will then be announced during the Dynamo’s June 9 match at BBVA Compass Stadium.

The Pitch has seen two other winners during its existence, with JC Sports being crowned as the inaugural winner in 2016. Based in Humble, Texas, JC Sports operates as a youth indoor sports facility. The most recent winner, Small Places LLC, took home the top prize in 2017. The urban farm focuses on making agriculture in an urban setting sustainable, supporting of its community and profitable.

JC Sports has now expanded and developed a sister company called Toca Football and goes on mission trips to countries that include Kenya, Haiti and Laos.

The most important part is growing in the community, becoming part of the community

“After The Pitch, we did grow in clientele, we did grow in revenue,” said JC Sports Co-Owner Cesar Coronel. “But the most important part is growing in the community, becoming part of the community. That’s the probably the most satisfying part. We donated the full amount of the $10,000 to six schools in our area.”

Small Places LLC is now able to provide more produce for customers and is currently looking to expand into a second farm in the Houston area.

“The Pitch really opened us up to a whole new group of people, outlets and markets that have helped us grow over the last year,” said Small Places LLC Co-Owner Tommy Garcia Pratts. “With the money that we won, we invested in some vital infrastructure that we were lacking, particularly a walk-in cooler. That also helped us set up the professionalism of our space.”