BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Brownsville’s eagerly-awaited eBridge Center for Business & Commercialization held its grand opening last Thursday with hundreds of VIPs from across South Texas in attendance. 

The center is an entrepreneurial resource facility and business incubator/accelerator in the heart of historic downtown Brownsville.

The immediate reaction was extremely positive, as numerous postings on LinkedIn and Facebook show.

“At the grand opening of eBridge today in Brownsville, TX! It was wonderful to see many friends and community partners come together to celebrate the grand opening of an excellent resource center for business ideas, entrepreneurs and businesses in general,” wrote Susie Neaville, vice president and community manager for JP Morgan Chase.

Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez wrote: “Such a great event at the eBridge Center for Business & Commercialization. This is the largest business incubator south of San Antonio and will provide resources and guidance for those who are looking to start their business and scale up. What starts here, grows here, and stays here!”

Dean Barber, of Barber Advisors has been a consultant to Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation (BCIC). BCIC helped launch the eBridge Center with UT-Rio Grande Valley. 

“An incubator/accelerator can help entrepreneurs. But, if it is linked to academia, like this center is, it can do really great work,” Barber told the Rio Grande Guardian International News Service.

Another person who wrote a positive review on social media was Daniel Rivera, executive director of Elsa Economic Development Corporation. 

“I had the pleasure of attending and participating in the grand opening celebration for the eBridge center for business and commercialization in Brownsville, Texas yesterday. It was a truly unforgettable experience, and I’m grateful to have been a part of it.

“It was fantastic to see so many of my colleagues and friends at the event who had played a pivotal role in shaping this vision into an asset for the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the Rio Grande Valley.

“Hats off to everyone involved in this incredible undertaking! Your hard work and dedication over the years have paid off handsomely, as evidenced by the spectacular ceremony yesterday that marked the realization of this ambitious project.

“The eBridge center is a vital resource for connecting startups in our region to resources that will help them grow and thrive. As we all know, this is crucial to the success of entrepreneurs, and I’m thrilled to see the university and local government coming together to create pathways for entrepreneurs that will mold and shape the future of our region.

“I want to give a special thank you to Miriam Suarez, from the Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation, for the VIP tour of the facility. 

“Once again, congratulations to everyone involved in the launch of the eBridge center, and I’m excited to see the positive impact it will have on our community. Let’s continue to support one another as we work towards a brighter future,” Rivera wrote.

Jesus Cisneros, assistant vice president at Woodforest National Bank, wrote: 

“Congratulations Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation & eBridge Center for Business & Commercialization on your Grand Opening. As I told Nathan Alexander Burkhart, the day has finally come. This marvelous plan, which they have been working and planning for a couple of years, has become a reality. Entrepreneurs can now call this eBridge Center home, to launch and scale their ideas through commercialization and numerous innovation programs. Cori Peña, Linda Ufland Romo, Julio I. Quiroga Cano, Victoria Padron, Helen Ramirez, we are all looking forward to the success of the eBridge Center and the growth of our entrepreneurs. Thank you for your commitment, dedication and hard work on creating and opening this center which is full of resources for our entrepreneur community.”

Josh Mejia, president of McAllen Chamber of Commerce, used to run Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation. He wrote: 

“Proud to have played a huge part in making this project a reality for the #RGV. The philosophy is very simple: if it works for our local human capital then it will work for those seeking to expand or relocate in our region. Proud of all our partners who are actively involved and engaged in making the eBridge Center a focal point for entrepreneurship-led economic development. Entrepreneurs now have a home where they can launch and scale their ventures through commercialization and innovation programming. The Brownsville Community Improvement Corporation (BCIC) is the community’s economic development organization focused on equitable opportunities for everyone.”

Cori Peña, president and CEO of BCIC, wrote:

“Yesterday, we celebrated the grand opening of our startup incubator and entrepreneurial resource center: the eBridge Center for Business & Commercialization. Thank you to everyone that attended the event and supporting our mission in mobilizing the next generation of entrepreneurs and equipping them with the skills and resources they need to create jobs, access capital, and scale commercially.”

Linda Ufland Romo is director of entrepreneurship, innovation and commercialization at UT-Rio Grande Valley’s Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Center. Her department is based at the eBridge Center. 

Ufland Romo wrote:

“It is with great pride and gratitude that I write to you on behalf of the UTRGV Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Center. The grand opening of eBridge Center for Business & Commercialization was a momentous occasion that marked a significant milestone in our journey towards building a vibrant and inclusive regional entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“Since 2003 UTRGV ECC’s story has been and continues to be one of perseverance and determination. We knew that we needed to create a space that was more inclusive for all entrepreneurs and small businesses in our community, and the team embarked on a long journey to make it happen. 

But we could not do it alone and with the amazing support of our partners, we were able to turn our more larger vision into a reality.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to our partners who believed in us, encouraged us to dream big and supported us every step of the way. We couldn’t have done it without your unwavering support and commitment to our shared mission.

“At the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley our mission is to inspire the world, and we are proud to extend that mission to eBridge. We are excited to offer a wide range of programs and activities, and we look forward to working with our partners both regionally and internationally to foster a dynamic entrepreneurial community.

“So, once again, we extend our deepest gratitude to all of you who joined us at the grand opening, and we invite you to stay tuned for all the great things that are happening at eBridge.”

Editor’s Note: The Rio Grande Guardian International News Service will have more coverage on the opening of the eBridge Center for Business & Commercialization in the coming days.

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