2022 Midland Entrepreneurial Challenge

2022 Midland Entrepreneurial Challenge Main Photo

25 Sep 2023


The Midland Development Corporation collaborates with the Small Business Development Center, UT Permian Basin, and local government and businesses to present the Midland Entrepreneurial Challenge, an annual business challenge competition that is overseen and operated by UTPB. This serves as an opportunity for entrepreneurs and business owners to participate in a number of classes and one-on-one coaching in topics such as marketing, small business finance, and strategic planning. 

The challenge has all of the participants go through a process of elimination with an individual panel of judges to determine who the final businesses will be. Up to eight companies can win the $500,000 that is up for grabs. 

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin concluded the 2022-2023 Entrepreneurial Challenge and had a record-breaking year. To start, there were over 50 participants at the kick-off meetings, the most that the challenge has ever had since its launch in 2017.

The winners of this year's challenge include:


Central Bites

Central Bites will offer a multitenant kitchen that will be available for use by other chefs, bakers, and food entrepreneurs around Midland.

The space will feature private kitchens that are affordable and permitted and available 24 hours per day. Along with the kitchens, the space will provide a lobby that will allow customers to pick up their orders.

Outside of kitchen use, chefs will also have access to a food service distributor, marketing through the Central Bites social media and website, and assistance with food permits and safety certifications.

Midland Athletic Company

Midland Athletic Company is an athletic store in Midland, Texas that offers a wide variety of products. Upon stepping into the space, you’ll recognize popular name brands such as Hoka, Lululemon, OnCloud, Sacouny, and Brooks just to name a few.

Outside of apparel and products for fitness, Midland Athletic Company also offers specialized services in nutrition, athletic training, race, and event coordination, and much more. 

After the Entrepreneurial Challenge, Midland Athletic Company will use their funds to expand their physical store into multiple locations as well as grow their inventory. They also plan on further developing their online store and growing their current event series. 

The Tailgate

The Tailgate entered the Midland market in the fall of 2021 with a mini football field, outdoor seating, and the Murray’s 349 location ready to host Midlanders. Outside of the screens placed around the venue, The Tailgate also has entered the live music scene with an impressive lineup throughout the year.

Because of the outdoor location of this venue, The Tailgate struggled with the unpredictability of the West Texas weather. With the funds awarded from the Midland Entrepreneurial Challenge, they will build an indoor space to host their events when the weather is not ideal. The Tailgate also plans to build an outdoor space for kids to play and enjoy the space too. 

Toya’s Precious Jewels

Toya’s Precious Jewels is a childcare center located in Midland, Texas. As the population grows here in Midland, so does the need for childcare, and quality childcare at that. Toya’s provided the number of births each month as reported by Midland Memorial Hospital which showed the increase that is happening every month in Midland, TX. 

Currently, Toya’s has the capacity to house 30 full-time infants and 20 pre-K students. 

To better provide quality childcare, Toya’s Precious Jewels will build a new facility in order to double their capacity, take families off the waiting list, and give the families of Midland a solution.

The Midland Development Corporation is excited to see what each of these businesses does to better Midland and the Permian Basin.