U.S. Senator Awed by University Business Incubator

Published: May 29, 2013

U.S. Senator Awed by University Business Incubator

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Innovation and technology combined with business and the entrepreneurial spirit have gained Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center (CBBIC) the attention of U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX).

Cornyn visited the center on Tuesday, May 28th, to talk to business owners who are part of the business incubation program. What he saw amazed him.

“It’s the thinkers, the innovators, the risk takers, the people whose ideas are being facilitated here, because of the great support they are getting at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, that are creating the economic opportunities and the jobs of the future,” said Cornyn.

 The CBBIC is a small business “incubator” supported by the University’s College of Business. Business incubators are programs designed to support the successful development of innovative companies through an array of support resources and services. By participating in this type of program, research shows, new businesses are twice as likely to succeed.

University President and CEO, Dr. Flavius Killebrew, along with the CBBIC Director, Bill Cone, gave Cornyn a tour of the facility and its businesses. Those companies include one led by Dr. Magesh Thiyagarajan, who says the senator’s visit gives his business and the others an opportunity to take what they have created in the lab and work it into a mission of job creation and economic growth.

“Research is good, but, if research can be scaled into a company or an actual commercialization of the technology, we are talking about job creation,” said Thiyagarajan. “We need somebody to build these products. And to do that, we need an inflow of money for the funding of research.”

The CBBIC, which opened in 2009, has created 381 full and part-time jobs, generates over $2.7 million dollars in annual salaries, and has helped to build over 40 new companies.

Cornyn also visited with a business owner who cleans water from oil well “fracking,” a business woman who has turned a pet crate into a work of art, and a man who has created a wireless microphone that will likely be the sound wave of the future.

Anthony James, owner of Ergo-Voice, says it is very exciting for a Senator to take notice of what the CBBIC is doing in the Coastal Bend and at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.  According to James, the center has a big year ahead of it.

“There’s a pretty good buzz going on right here, right now,” said James, “We feel that 2013 is the year that at least three of the companies are going to get on the market.”

Cornyn agrees, and says he will take the message of innovation, technology, research and job development back to Washington.

“One thing the government can’t do is to grow the economy. Economic growth takes the private sector and the kind of innovation and partnerships that we see at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi,” said Cornyn. “This is where the engine of job growth begins. “