The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), as well as the City of Weslaco and The Economic Development Corporation of Weslaco, gathered on Thursday, November 29, 2018, to celebrate the completion of the Center for Innovation and Commercialization.
The CIC for short will operate as part of UTRGV’s Robert C. Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship which will be the new home for the school’s Ph.D. program. Four years in the making, this $3 million project is to provide great opportunities and spur economic growth.
The Need for the Center
Local Officials stated part of the reason for the need of a college and program was to help people stay in the valley and start their own business here, as opposed to moving up north to Austin or some other major city in Texas. These resources are needed to keep them, and this is an excellent place to start.
The 21,000 square foot building will offer small businesses with resources such as office space, coworking spaces, classrooms, Wi-Fi, a business incubation program, event-hosting, conference rooms, mail services, workshops, seminars and 24-hour access to business coaching and advising to name a few.
This is not just something that is specific to Weslaco or the mid-valley area, local businesses and colleges and elected officials have been saying for years we need a way to keep talent down here to grow our economy. Education is key, and the resources are essential to keep up with the demand and need and to be able to move the Rio Grande Valley forward. This is the logical next step. Who has not driven down the road here in the valley and seen a new business pop up to see it close down a few months later or have a friend move up north for some other opportunities as there are none locally?
The CIC will officially open beginning in January 2019 with estimates of 50-60 using the coworking space and another 40 students in the college’s Ph.D. program.
A one-stop shop where students can speak with business owners, learn and see there are resources and opportunities to start their own business in the Rio Grande Valley and be successful.