BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – The Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation (BCIC) and the UTRGV Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Center (UTRGV ECC) announced the launch of the StartUp Texas Accelerator program today, with applications for the inaugural cohort available online at StartUpTexas.com. The program will be hosted inside the newly minted eBridge Center for Business and Commercialization.

“We developed this Accelerator to help founders from all backgrounds develop their ideas into successful businesses,” says Cori Pena, President & CEO of BCIC. “We’ve specialized the programming for early-stage companies focusing on two paths unique to our community: quality of life ventures and emerging industries. Our goal is to provide all the tools these local entrepreneurs need to succeed.”

The StartUp Texas Accelerator is a highly competitive, intensive 12-week program designed to help companies effectively scale, properly evaluate market research, fine tune financial projections, all while creating valuable connections with local business leaders and fellow founders in the community.

“We’ve invested in 10 companies through StartUp Texas so far, but we want to do more than just invest. We want to scale these businesses and support them as they discover new possibilities, form and validate ideas, build prototypes, and develop companies here in Brownsville,” says Nathan Burkhart, Director of Business Development for BCIC. 

The Accelerator arrives during the fourth year of the overall StartUp Texas program, a seed fund created by BCIC in 2019 for businesses to commercialize or scale in Brownsville that was awarded the Gold Rank for Entrepreneurship by the International Economic Development Council in 2021.

“This isn’t a traditional entrepreneurial curriculum-based program,” says Linda Ufland Romo, Director of Entrepreneurship, Commercialization and Innovation for UTRGV ECC. “We are expecting founders to engage with us and mentors to make the most of our program benefits for a longer duration of time, with a key focus on prototyping and fundraising in order to properly launch or scale their business.”

Selected founders will meet at designated times during the duration of the program at the eBridge Center for specialized workshops, mentorship sessions, pitch practices, and more. The program culminates in a public Demo Day event where each startup will pitch their company to the community and a panel of judges for a chance to win $40,000.

For more information on this press release please contact Nathan Burkhart at nburkhart@bcic.us. Interested participants can visit StartUpTexas.com for application details.