Brownsville’s Startup Texas accepting applications from Valley entrepreneurs

The eBridge Center for Business & Commercialization’s logo greets visitors Thursday, March 9, 2023. (Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald)
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The Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation said it is accepting applications for the new cohort of BCIC’s StartUp Texas Emerging Industries Accelerator Program.

Open to all start-up companies in the Rio Grande Valley, the 12-week accelerator program was developed to give the Valley’s start-ups the tools necessary tools for growth. It focuses on “forward-thinking solutions in various sectors such as technology, manufacturing, healthcare, aerospace and green energy,” according to BCIC.

Seed funding is available for businesses that complete the program and are based in Brownsville or willing to relocate to the city. The application deadline is Aug. 10. The program starts Aug. 26 and runs through Dec. 12.

Participants in the program will be provided with specialized workshops and mentoring sessions, opportunities to practice their business pitches, connections with local business leaders and founders. A public “demo day” is scheduled for Jan. 23, when program participants will present pitches to industry experts and potential investors.

Since StartUp Texas was formed in 2019, it has grown from just a “pitch summit” to a comprehensive accelerator program that BCIC says enriches the Valley’s entrepreneurial community. The initiative is a collaborative effort among BCIC, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Center (ECC), and the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

BCIC President and CEO Cori Pena described StartUp Texas as a “cornerstone for Brownsville’s economic future.”

“Each cohort brings fresh ideas and energy to our business ecosystem, creating jobs, attracting talent and positioning our city as a hub for innovation,” she said. “The StartUp Texas Emerging Industries Accelerator Program is a prime example of how BCIC is actively realizing this vision by nurturing entrepreneurial talent and propelling economic growth in the region.”

Linda Ufland, ECC director of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Commercialization, said the partnership is building on the success of previous StartUp Texas programs, and that the partnership with BCIC ‘continues to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Rio Grande Valley, providing vital resources and comprehensive mentorship to innovative startups.”

BCIC Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Nathan Burkhart said that “with each cohort, we refine our methods to better address the needs of our entrepreneurs.”

“This new group will benefit from the insights gained and the successes of our previous cohorts,” he said. “We are excited to witness how these startups will help shape the future of our community.”

Entrepreneurs interested in applying can go to Qualified start-ups will be notified of acceptance by Aug. 16.