The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Creating a Vibrant Regional Innovation and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Edinburg, TX

Venture Challenge

Federal Share: $1,342,042
Local Match: $1,342,476

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s (UTRGV) Center for Innovation and Commercialization (CIC), in conjunction with UTRGV’s Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Center (ECC) intend to become the region’s central resource for all things entrepreneurial and growth-related in the business and technology sectors – from education, to services, and investment. The two centers have traditionally served different sectors but will now jointly serve both university and community-based ventures by using these grant funds to expand and develop the tools necessary to provide detailed applicant assessment, training and education, technical assistance and the development of a comprehensive resource networking system that will serve the entire four-county region.

The residents of South Texas that UTRGV serves are historically underserved and economically distressed. This is the population from which the two centers will draw community-based innovators and entrepreneurs while concurrently serving their academic client base. UTRGV and CIC leadership are certain that the prospective clientele of the grant funded activities, as well as the prospective network of resources, will reflect the full diversity of the population of the region. Respect for cultural differences will be a foundational component of this project. It will be the hallmark by which the program described herein will become known and marketed. Many of the published materials and services resulting from grant funding will be available to participants and clients in English and Spanish.

The successful implementation of the goals of this grant funding will be critical in the months and years ahead as UTRGV and its two centers increase the capacity and competency of entrepreneurs throughout the region, regardless of sector, who in turn, will be ready to make significant contributions to rebuilding local economies in the aftermath of the COVID19 crisis.