Four Clients "Walk the Stage"

Four new client companies were ready to strike out on their own on Feb. 25, 2016. As a mixed-use incubator, it’s the Innovation Center’s job to coach and mentor clients to this important milestone: graduation.

The four clients graduates were Bespoke Crates & Gates by Maricela Sanchez Art, Coltarus Halo, Texas Surf Museum and the Texas Sealife Center.

Bespoke Crates & Gates by Maricela Sanchez Art joined the Innovation Center program in 2013 and resulted from a personal need for a design solution in her own home. They specialize in the line of Bespoke Crates & Gates, a contemporary solution to mass-market products for pets. Bespoke Crates and Gates are high-end, designer dog crates and gates.

One of the Innovation Center’s goals is to help clients succeed and reach their own personal milestones in their business. That milestone, for Bespoke Crates & Gates, was to get their product to the customers.

“I think my greatest accomplishment has been that I’ve been able to sell my crates all over the country and also in Canada. It’s nice to have clients from coast to coast who really love the product,” stated Maricela Sanchez in an interview.

Coltarus Halo is run by a two man team, Julius Cavazos and James Rose, and joined the Innovation Center program in 2009. They’re a systems engineering company who specializes in leveraging open source software solutions for small businesses. Coltarus Halo was one of the Center’s first clients and started at an early stage of development.

In order to reach these milestones, the Center helps clients tackle challenges unique to their business.

“Some of our various challenges were finding clients. We’re new to the Corpus Christi area and we started about five years ago. The biggest hurdle that we had to jump was actually finding the clients that fit with our skillset,” stated Julius Cavazos in an interview.

Sometimes that challenge includes raising awareness about a particular product, process or service.

“One of our biggest challenges is awareness. People aren’t aware that there is a Texas Surf Museum; even people here in Corpus aren’t aware of that, so we’ve been wanting to get the word out. And also letting people know that we’re the Texas Surf Museum and not the Corpus Christi surf museum; we represent all of Texas,” stated Nicole Mora, Executive Director of the Texas Surf Museum.

The Texas Surf Museum joined the Innovation Center program in 2014. They are the only surf museum in Texas and the Gulf Coast. In Jan. 2015, the Texas Surf Museum had only 16 members but by Dec. 2015 they had reached over 130 members.

The Center also aids clients from a variety of backgrounds, while still helping them address the challenges unique to their business.

“We’re a nonprofit so that’s always a challenge; finding volunteers, finding funds. We’re a busy group and we’re small,” stated Amanda Terry, Director of Rehabilitation at the Texas Sealife Center in an interview.

The Texas Sealife Center joined the Innovation Center program in 2010. They are a wildlife rehabilitation center that specializes in sea turtles, shore birds and raptors with a focus on those on the South Texas coast.