LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - We spoke with Kimberly Gramm, Senior Managing Director of the Innovation Hub at TTU as they cut the ribbon on their new facility on Monday.
"The Innovation Hub is really a place for entrepreneurial startups to get launched. Today we had an exciting day, because our Texas Tech accelerator accepted seven startup companies into the program."
"Essentially what they get is a $25,000 grant, they get access to the facility for one year to house their business, they get mentored by people in our community, industry experts, investors, those type of folks that can help them to develop their revenue model and they also get a chance to participate in what we call hub camp. So they're learning some best practices about launching a successful startup. So they'll be here for about a year, and we hope they'll have a minimal viable product, they'll have revenue, and they'll be able to move out into the community and make Lubbock great."
"Every year, we will host a Texas Tech Accelerator launch, so as the outgoing cohort graduates, we will support another incoming cohort of anywhere from five to eight companies, and we'll start that process over so that they get a chance to be a part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem here in west Texas."
"Annually we will do a call to let the community know that the accelerator is open for applicants. And essentially those applicants submit their business plan, a couple of letters of recommendation and then our mentor team will review applications, so each applicant is reviewed by five mentors. We aggregate the scores, and the top scoring plans then get invited to a pitch day, where they then present their business model and what they hope to achieve throughout the program. In this first call we had about 50 to 60 applicants that submitted."
"This program is supported by LEDA, which means it's open to students, it's open to Texas Tech alums, it's open to our Texas Tech faculty, and it's open to all entrepreneurs in our community."
"So, this accelerator works very general speaking, we accept any kind of concept or idea. Mostly what we're encouraging faculty and researchers and our students to do is to create things that solve big problems. They might have had significant research funding from organizations, like the national science foundation. We encourage them to look at applications so it benefits society, and so creating models that work for the average person."
"Today, we had everything from a resume maker to diagnosing bruxis, where you're grinding your teeth, to surface coating which makes wind energy efficiencies by coating the wing of the turbine. Lots of different ideas have come through and we do our best to select teams that we think will be successful, that's really important. Teams that are coachable, that's also really important. And teams that have a real have vision and perseverance for following through on the plan that they want to execute."
"We hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce today, to say that we were starting and launching seven new businesses. And so, I think that's a really important thing to do every year, that this community has been so supportive and so helpful of our entrepreneurs to date, we want to give back to them and let them know we're doing great things here at Texas Tech and they skills be a part of building that entrepreneurial ecosystem."