Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center Graduates Four Clients

| Published: February 26, 2016

Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center Graduates Four Clients

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Four new companies took the next step in entrepreneurship as they transitioned from clients to graduates of the Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center, a part of the College of Business (COB) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. The graduation ceremony took place Feb. 25, in the lobby of the Business Innovation Center. 

Dr. John Gamble, COB Dean, opened the intimate ceremony with a short welcome. 

“These companies today have achieved all of the goals they established when they first came to the Business Innovation Center,” said Gamble. “And, although they are graduating, we continue to keep a relationship with these businesses, checking in yearly on their progress.”

Each graduating business was invited to the stage to accept a plaque and tassel. The tassle was then hung proudly on a display in the lobby.

Client graduates included:

  • Bespoke Crates & Gates by Maricela Sanchez Art, a business that creates functional, stylish, and innovative crates to allow pets to be included in family life. The company works to create functional products based on clients’ specific needs.
  • Coltarus Halo, a systems engineering company whose specialty is open source software solutions for small to medium businesses.
  • Texas Surf Museum, a non-profit organization that aims to educate the youth about the rich surfing history of Texas. The organization also emphasizes habitat conservation and education.
  • Texas Sealife Center, a company that rescues injured or stranded coastal and aquatic wildlife with supportive care and rehabilitation to release them back to their natural habitat.

Maricela Sanchez, CEO of Maricela Sanchez Art, joined the Business Innovation Center in 2013. She started her business to fill a need in her own home, and now she has clients across the United States.

“When I started my business, I was dealing with concepts that were totally new to me,” said Sanchez. “The Innovation Center really helped me focus and set a business strategy. The assignments and research required during the Incubation Program helped make the business strong.”

Nicole Mora, Executive Director of the Texas Surf Museum, came to the Business Innovation Center in 2014 to seek assistance with transitioning the museum to nonprofit status.          

“The Business Innovation Center has everything,” Mora said. “They have graphic designers that help with brochures, kick-starters, and campaigns. They wanted to help me. It wasn’t like ‘we’ll be here if you need us’, it was ‘we can do this now, for you.’”

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi established the Business Innovation Center in 2009 to promote higher education, research commercialization, and economic development. A key component of the Center is its proven programs that assist companies at different stages of development to accelerate their growth and ensure long-term success.

Since its inception the Business Innovation Center has helped over 125 companies and, in 2014, current clients reported 642 job equivalents, over $2.7 million dollars in annual salaries, and $5 million in annual revenues.

To learn more about the Business Innovation Center, go to