Last week, the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business announced it has received a combined gift of more than $6 million from Fort Worth businessman and entrepreneur Jon Brumley to fund the school’s startup accelerator Texas Venture Labs.
This campus-wide initiative has two missions:
- Accelerate start-ups from UT and Central Texas towards raising capital and taking their innovations to market
- Create an experience that transforms UT graduate students into future entrepreneurs and business leaders
“This investment is a game-changer that enables us to expand the scale and accessibility of the Texas Venture Labs model,” says dean Tom Gilligan in a statement announcing the news. “It’s a vote of confidence as well, because of the reputation of Jon Brumley as an entrepreneur, a business builder and a distinguished graduate of McCombs and the Wharton School of Business.”
Established just two years ago, Texas Venture Labs has since worked with 40 companies that have raised more than $25 million in investment capital, while providing direct entrepreneurial experience to graduate students in business, engineering, law, and natural sciences.
Each semester, startups work with the students, who carry out market validation studies, business model assessment, competitive analysis, financial analysis, and due diligence projects. Texas Venture Labs also sponsors the annual Venture Labs Investment Competition, which was held on campus last week.
“Texas Venture Labs is a gem in the Texas entrepreneurial ecosystem. It provides critical, hands-on experience for aspiring entrepreneurs who learn as students the effort required to get a new venture through the financing process,” says Brumley. “For me, this gift is an opportunity to build our capacity to grow the economy of Texas, while giving a leg up to young entrepreneurs, who remind me a lot of myself at that age.”
Brumley’s gift will be used to expand existing programs, and to take the program to other UT campuses. The incubator will be renamed Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs.