US Rep. Gonzalez secures $1.2M grant for Brownsville’s StartUp Texas program

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Vicente Gonzalez (Courtesy: Congressman Vicente Gonzalez/Facebook)

U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-Brownsville, announced $1.2 million in funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to accelerate technology entrepreneurship in the region.

The grant will directly fund StartUp Texas, a seed fund and accelerator program from the Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation.

“Brownsville has some of the most talented and driven entrepreneurs in our country,” Gonzalez said. “However, there are many challenges to accessing entrepreneurial support and startup capital. This important accelerator program levels the playing field and ensures that our brightest and most determined have the necessary resources they need to scale up their operations and succeed.”

Cori Peña, president and CEO of Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation, said the funding is more than an investment.

“Receiving funding from the U.S. EDA Build to Scale program is more than an investment — it’s a further spark igniting the spirit of entrepreneurship in Brownsville and the Rio Grande Valley. With this support we’re not just building businesses, we’re creating opportunities, fueling innovation, and fostering a vibrant ecosystem of entrepreneurship in Brownsville and the Rio Grande Valley,” said Peña.

Nathan A. Burkhart, director of business development for Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation, thanked eBridge’s partners.

“Thanks (to) our eBridge Center partnerships with the UTRGV ECC and Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, we’ve broadened the scope of our Startup Texas program, inviting a more diverse range of businesses to participate. This recent grant from the EDA ensures that we can persist in our mission to empower entrepreneurs in Brownsville and the RGV startup ecosystem, fostering their growth and scalability. We thank Congressman Gonzalez and his office for their unwavering support and commitment to our mission at BCIC and the eBridge Center,” said Burkhart.

StartUp Texas, a collaboration between the Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Center, and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, offers a five-stage pathway that ensures the success of its participating entrepreneurs.

The EDA grant will increase StartUp Texas’s ability to offer vital trainings, technical support, and a robust resource network that equips entrepreneurs with the skills and knowledge necessary to grow their businesses.