Space Technology Assistance Becomes Available to Rio Grande Valley Entrepreneurs thanks to Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation (BCIC) partnership with Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership (BAHEP)

Brownsville, Texas – April 24, 2024 – The Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation (BCIC) proudly announces a transformative partnership with the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership (BAHEP), paving the way to a new era of opportunity for entrepreneurs in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) to access the Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program (SATOP).

SATOP, an initiative funded by the State of Texas and managed by BAHEP, offers invaluable technical assistance to small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs statewide, free of charge. Through this collaboration, BCIC aims to ignite innovation and economic prosperity in the RGV by facilitating the transfer of space technology expertise to local entrepreneurs.

"We are thrilled to join forces with BAHEP in bringing SATOP to the Rio Grande Valley," remarked Cori Pena, President & CEO of BCIC. "This partnership signifies a remarkable opportunity for our region's entrepreneurs to tap into cutting-edge technical resources, empowering them to overcome challenges and drive their growth."

The SATOP program is tailored to provide essential technical aid and accelerate the integration of space technology into private sector endeavors. By engaging with SATOP, entrepreneurs at the eBridge Center can address intricate technical obstacles, enhancing their product viability and market success. The program grants access to knowledge, skills, and materials that were previously inaccessible.

SATOP extends two primary programs to entrepreneurs:

  1. The 40-Hour Technical Assistance Program: Eligible entrepreneurs can receive up to 40 hours of technical assistance to tackle specific engineering challenges.
  2. The Texas A&M Capstone Design Program: Entrepreneurs with complex technical needs beyond the 40-hour limit can leverage teams of senior engineering students at Texas A&M University to work on their projects.

"Discover how SATOP can transform your small business! This state-funded program administered by the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership connects Texas entrepreneurs with our Alliance Partners such as NASA, KBR, and Jacobs for FREE technical support," says Bob Payne, Director for the Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program. "From refining prototypes to developing market-ready products, SATOP drives economic growth in Texas. Take your small business to the next level. Submit your Request for Technical Assistance (RTA) at www.satop.space today!"

Reinforcing its commitment to entrepreneurship, innovation, and business development in our region, BCIC is available to assist entrepreneurs in navigating the SATOP application process and ensure they receive customized technical assistance to meet their unique needs, regardless of their business size or industry.

"Any business with a complex technical need can participate. This program is not specific to aerospace-related companies as the title would suggest," says Nathan Burkhart, Vice President of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at BCIC. "Complementing our existing NASA-related tech transfer programs provided by UTRGV and Expanding Frontiers, the SATOP program by BAHEP offers engineering mentorship and technology transfer solutions from private industry partners, enriching our local ecosystem offerings."

The BAHEP will give an information session on the Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program on Monday, May 6, at 12:00 p.m. during the inaugural Rio Grande Valley Startup Week hosted at the eBridge Center for Business & Commercialization. Register for RGV Startup Week here.


About BCIC

The Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation (BCIC) is an economic development organization dedicated to connecting people, organizations, and economic resources to elevate the quality of life in Brownsville. For more information about available programs, visit www.brownsvillecic.com. For media inquiries, please contact Nelson Amaro, Director of Marketing & Communications, at namaro@bcic.us.

About Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership
BAHEP is a regional economic development organization dedicated to stimulating growth and creating employment opportunities in Harris County/Galveston County. Its mission is to attract, retain, and expand industry while promoting a high quality of life for the 1.5 million people who live and work in Bay Area Houston. For media inquiries, please get in touch with Bob Payne, Director of SATOP, at 832-536-3255