CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Collaboration, job creation and entrepreneurship – that’s the mission of Russell Franques, the new Associate Director of Client Relations at the Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center. Franques came on board in early August, and in his short time there, he’s learned of a common thread between all Business Innovation Center clients.
“Every client that we serve is passionate about what they do,” said Franques. “They have an entrepreneurial spirit that is palpable. Part of my job is to optimize their passion and drive their business towards great success.”
The Business Innovation Center, which operates within the College of Business at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, was created in 2009 to promote higher education, research commercialization and economic development.
“The addition of Mr. Russell Franques to the Business Innovation Center staff will greatly benefit small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Coastal Bend,” said Dr. John Gamble, Dean of the College of Business. “His experiences working at Microsoft and as a serial entrepreneur will allow him to provide expert advice to startup businesses and help them achieve their financial goals.”
A key mission of the Business Innovation Center is to empower entrepreneurship in the 11 county Coastal Bend region.
“We welcome all entrepreneurial minds to see if our services are a good fit for them,” said Franques. “You don’t have to be a scientist or computer whiz, meaning we are not exclusive to science-based or high-tech businesses. We are looking for innovative, non-replicative ideas that meet a need or solve a problem and that are scalable.”
In his new role, Franques works closely with Dr. Kent Byus, Professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, to expand the reach and impact of the Business Innovation Center by leveraging the University’s intellectual resources.
“We integrate Islander students with the Business Innovation Center by letting them consult with real-world clients, perform their Capstone projects with those clients and even bring their ideas to the Center for incubation,” said Franques. “With a strengthened collaboration, students win, clients win, the community wins and the University wins.”
Most recently, Franques was the CEO of Dakota Sciences, a contact lens laboratory that he grew from infancy. He also worked for Microsoft as a Global Product Manager and has practiced law and public accounting. He comes to South Texas with his wife, Dr. Barbara Szczerbinska, who was hired as a Professor of Physics at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
For more information on the Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center, visit http://cbbic.tamucc.edu/.