Vela announces $299K grant for Expanding Frontiers’ NewSpace Entrepreneurs

U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela, D-Brownsville, announced that the U.S. Department of Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded $299,643 to Expanding Frontiers for their NewSpace Entrepreneurs in Residence Apprenticeship program. Expanding Frontiers was one of only seven organizations from across the country to be selected for EDA’s inaugural STEM Talent Challenge.

Expanding Frontiers launched in 2019 with a mission of incubating the fast-growing commercial space economy in and around Brownsville, Texas and has quickly made an impact in the region by launching startup companies in this rapidly expanding industry. This program has provided opportunities, especially in the STEM fields, to students in communities that would typically be left out.

EDA funding will allow Expanding Frontiers to create high-paying job opportunities in the community. This program will also help train and mentor entrepreneurs, engage the community, and organize a best-in-class network to advise, direct, and fund promising commercial space startups.

“I commend Expanding Frontiers and Dr. Jenet for working closely with the City of Brownsville, the Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation and the Brownsville Independent School District to create this outstanding opportunity for our community,” said Congressman Vela. “I look forward to seeing the lasting impact this program will have on South Texas, and will continue to work to provide exciting opportunities and experiences like this one for the students and entrepreneurs of the 34th District of Texas.”

“We are so grateful to and gratified by the Economic Development Administration’s decision to support our work in South Texas and to Congressman Vela and his staff for their help in making this possible,” said Fredrick Jenet, PhD, co-founder and executive director of Expanding Frontiers. “This enormous vote of confidence in our community and our organization will help us have a more substantial impact in developing the region’s commercial space economy more quickly. We’re honestly very excited.”