MCALLEN, RGV – Mark Kroll, dean of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s College of Business and Entrepreneurship, spoke at South Texas College’s fourth Inno’ Conference about a future entrepreneurial center.

Kroll said there a lot of people in the Rio Grande Valley who are very entrepreneurial.

Mark Kroll
Mark Kroll

“We have a lot of very successful moms and pops because we have hardworking people that are willing to make the sacrifices to make that family business work through the sheer determination they have,” Kroll said. “But what we have not yet historically had are people who have launched a number of scalable enterprises.”

The center for innovation and commercialization will be an 8,000- to 9,000-square-foot facility in Weslaco dedicated to creating an environment where potential entrepreneurs can jumpstart a scalable enterprise, Kroll explained.

“Our mission has three components: innoviation, development and acceleration of new business venture,” Kroll said. “Second, and more importantly than the first, the training of a new generation of entrepreneurs through experiential learning. What we want to do is show our students how this process works so they can go out and do it themselves.”

Kroll said the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) applied for a grant with the economic development administration back in 2013. Since then, UTRGV created five business plans and had approximately 185 students participate in teams.

The College of Business and Entrepreneurship received total of $3 million from three separate grants to go into construction of the new entrepreneurial center. Kroll said construction may begin late this fall and open up towards the end of 2017.