Brobe International Inc., which makes robes that women can comfortably wear after surgery, won $10,000 on Sept. 15 in an online pitch contest hosted by Austin Business Journal and BBVA.
Led by founder and CEO Allison Schickel, Brobe makes a garment that combines bra and robe (hence the name) and can be worn after a mastectomy or other invasive surgery. They come with therapeutic features, such as the ability to add hot and cold packs. The company has also pivoted recently to serve other kinds of customers, with a robe for children who have to undergo surgery.
“We create and manufacture inclusive, durable and fashionable adaptive clothing and accessories,” Schickel, who started Brobe in 2012, said in her virtual pitch to judges.
Brobe was one of four finalist companies in the running in the pitch contest, which culminated in an event titled “Cultivating Growth: Strategies to advance your business.” The others were Austin’s Couch Potatoes, Specht Architects and Tiny House Coffee Roasters.
Judges for the contest were Jeremiah Bush, Austin director of business banking and senior vice president for BBVA; Elizabeth Dobers, executive director of business banking and executive vice president, BBVA; Heather Ladage, market president and publisher, Austin Business Journal; and Colin Pope, editor, ABJ.
The virtual event also featured a panel discussion with Mason Ayer, CEO of Kerbey Lane Cafe; Bobby Jenkins, owner of ABC Home & Commercial Services; and Amy Mok, founder and CEO of the Asian American Cultural Center.