Entrepreneurial Partnerships

We maintain a list of local businesses that are willing to work with our clients, often at a discount, to solve specific needs.

Click HERE to find out more about the local networks.
The Innovation Center assisted the formation of the South Coast Angel Network (SCAN) to create a forum for the introduction of entrepreneurs to potential angel investors. SCAN's activities are administered by the Innovation Center. Members of SCAN are accredited angel investors interested in financing privately held companies typically in early stages of development. These prospective investment opportunities are not offered or endorsed by the College of Business - Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, the Texas A&M University System, or the Innovation Center. The Innovation Center also provides information and support to our client companies applying for funding opportunities such as the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (ETF), crowd-funding, grants including Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBTT), micro lenders, and the Small Business Administration (SBA).

South Coast Angels Network (SCAN)
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SCAN creates a forum for the introduction of entrepreneurs to potential investors through presentations and other mechanisms. Members of SCAN are individual angel investors interested in financing privately held companies typically in early stages of development. The prospective investment opportunities are neither offered nor endorsed by the College of Business - Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi nor the Texas A&M University System nor the Innovation Center. For more information, please visit http://southcoastangelnetwork.com/
Emergency Technology Fund (ETF)
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The Governor’s Emerging Technology Fund (ETF) was created by the 79th Texas Legislature in 2005 to provide Texas with an unparalleled advantage in the research, development, and commercialization of emerging technologies. ETF awards grants in the following areas: Commercialization Activities Awards, Research Award Matching Awards, and Acquisition of Research Superiority Awards. For more information, please visit http://gov.texas.gov/ecodev/etf/
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Crowdfunding, by definition, is “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet.” There are numerous crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Rockethub, and RockThePost. There are 4 types of crowdfunding: 1) Equity-based, which include revenue and profit- sharing models for financial return, 2) Lending-based, which include P2P lending, P2B lending, and social lending for financial return, 3) Reward-based, for non-monetary rewards, and 4) Donation-based for philanthropy or sponsorship. When choosing crowdfunding, you have the choice of equity, debt, or donation/reward-based capital. Equity crowdfunding is fast and leads to high success rates, is limited to $1 million in capital, and can result in many stakeholders.
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Grants are excellent options for funding because of the wide variety of grant funding organizations. There are grants available to conduct third party verification, engage in problem solving, and to complete research and development. Also, grants are a great opportunity to collaborate with universities. Deciding which grants to apply for is your responsibility; however, the Innovation Center can assist with finding where they may be available. Organizations such as Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR), Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) and Economic Development Administration (EDA) specialize in assisting clients applying and submitting grants to granting organizations. Also, if grants can be tied to academic research, collaboration with Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi may be appropriate.
Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR)
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The Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) is a highly competitive program focused on supporting domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development that has the potential for commercialization. Each year, Federal agencies with extramural research and development (R&D) budgets that exceed $100 million are required to allocate 2.8 percent of their R&D budget to these programs. The SBIR Program is structured in three phases: The objective of Phase I is to establish the technical merit, feasibility, and commercial potential of the proposed R/R&D efforts and to determine the quality of performance of the small business awardee organization prior to providing further Federal support in Phase II. SBIR Phase I awards normally do not exceed $150,000 total costs for 6 months.The objective of Phase II is to continue the R/R&D efforts initiated in Phase I. Funding is based on the results achieved in Phase I and the scientific and technical merit and commercial potential of the project proposed in Phase II. Only Phase I awardees are eligible for a Phase II award. SBIR Phase II awards normally do not exceed $1,000,000 total costs for 2 years.The objective of Phase III, where appropriate, is for the small business to pursue commercialization objectives resulting from the Phase I/II R/R&D activities. The SBIR program does not fund Phase III. Some Federal agencies, Phase III may involve follow-on non-SBIR funded R&D or production contracts for products, processes or services intended for use by the U.S. Government. Only United States small businesses are eligible to participate in the SBIR program. For more information, please visit http://www.sbir.gov/.
Small Business Technology Transfer(STTR)
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Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) is another program that expands funding opportunities in the federal innovation research and development (R&D) arena. Central to the program is expansion of the public/private sector partnership to include the joint venture opportunities for small businesses and nonprofit research institutions. Federal agencies that exceed $1 billion in budgeted research & development resources participate by making 0.3% of their allocated budgets available to small businesses that apply through the STTR program. Five Federal agencies are currently participating. The scope of these agencies is broad, ranging from defense, and energy to scientific exploration. All agencies administer their programs as a three-phase progression. Generally, the phases correspond with the expected growth plan of the particular organization and can be summarized as: Phase I: Assessment of the technical and commercial potential of the proposed research, as well as the performance of the supported organization and their preparation for further support in Phase II. (Up to $100,000 for one year of support) Phase II: Support continues based upon assessment of Phase I performance. (Up to $750,000 over two years) Phase III: Pursuit of commercialization. This Phase is not generally funded through the STTR program, although some individual agencies may provide some additional follow up support. Eligibility for STTR grants is similar to SBIR, requiring the business to be U.S. citizen owned, operated “for-profit” and employ up to 500. STTR grants are administered and coordinated by the United States Small Business Administration (SBA). For more information, please visit http://www.sbir.gov/about/about-sttr
Lift Fund
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Lift Fund provides small business owners and entrepreneurs with connections to financing and support that helps them grow into healthy businesses. The largest and only nationwide micro lending network unites five independent organizations to form the largest microfinance and small business-lending network in the United States. Together, they provide one-third of domestic microfinance loans, reaching over 11,000 people from California to New York. Lift Fund offers microloans and other financial services to low- and moderate-income entrepreneurs who are unable to access bank credit for their small business. We can provide the necessary contacts and information for contacting Lift Fund that can be beneficial for any entrepreneur. For More information, please visit http://www.liftfund.com
Small Business Administration(SBA)
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Since 1953, Small Business Administration (SBA) has provided millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and provided assistance to small businesses. There are a wide variety of programs, and the specific qualifications vary per program. SBA can also help facilitate a loan for you with a third party lender, guarantee a bond, or help you find venture capital. To retrieve a list of financing programs and learn more about small business financing, please visit SBA online at https://www.sba.gov/
The Innovation Center administered the Coastal Bend Business Plan Competition and the Innovation Competition offered by the Coastal Bend Business Plan Competition Committee. These were held every year in the region to support the best and brightest entrepreneurial minds. The competitions offer opportunities to gain assistance in starting and building their business with prize packages of cash and valuable in-kind services and expertise.

Coastal Bend Business Plan Competition
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The Coastal Bend Business Plan Competition is a three-phase competition organized and supported by the Coastal Bend Business Plan Committee, which includes members from various Coastal Bend economic development entities. The Competition is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to develop business plans that will help them build new technology-driven ventures in the Coastal Bend. For more information visit http://www.businessplancc.com
Innovation Competition
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The Innovation Competition encourages entrepreneurs to think and share their ideas. The competition is open to all Coastal Bend residents, specifically targeted to students in the Coastal Bend region. For more information visit http://www.innovationcb.com