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Featured, key leaders and most of the new members of Hive Effect, an entrepreneur development initiative created by the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, following their orientation session on Wednesday, August 23, 2017, at the offices of Grindstone Coworking, located at 506 West University Drive. From left, front row, are: José Chávez; Gerardo González; Donica Landa; Renee Sánchez; and Dani Marrero. From left, back row: Cooper Thompson; Steven De Los Santos; Agustín García, Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; Daniel Rivera, Founder, Grindstone Coworking and Director of Hive Effect in Edinburg; Elizabeth Martínez; Marco Barrios-Espinoza; Mark Laguñez; Pete Díaz; and Cirano Lagunas. Not shown in this image are Noé Ramos, Mark Harris, and Mauricio Atilano.

Photograph By JENNIFER CABRERA

The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, in collaboration with Grindstone Coworking, has announced the second cohort (new set of members) of the Hive Effect, which is an innovative entrepreneur development initiative designed to help local businesses, particularly small firms and sole proprietors, to succeed and prosper.  According to its website (http://hiveeffect.com/about-us/): Hive Effect uses a three-pronged approach to cultivate the entrepreneurial ecosystem and promote regional collaboration. It utilizes coworking, education, and mentorship to help both startups and existing businesses; Hive Effect conducts a six-month education program called the Hive Effect Learning Program (HELP). Applications for HELP are reviewed for acceptance twice each year to select cohort participants. Hive Effect partners with local and regional entrepreneurial organizations and businesses with programs and events that aim to grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem across the Rio Grande Valley; and Grindstone Coworking, located at 506 West University Drive, is a membership-based office in Edinburg. Designed for mobile workers, freelancers, and startups, the office provides workspace, phone booths, private suites, conference rooms, training rooms, a copy center, mailboxes and other amenities for today’s modern businesses. “The EDC is excited to again partner up with Grindstone Coworking to promote this second, six-month initiative,” said Agustín García, Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. “Hive Effect has become a valuable resource for some of our city’s most exciting new businesses.” Daniel Rivera, founder of Grindstone Coworking and Director of Hive Effect, added: “We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished with Hive Effect since its launch in September 2016. Our coursework, mentorship and implementation of the coworking concept last year helped 10 entrepreneurs achieve great things for their respective businesses, and we’re happy to announce our second cohort (new set of members) of 15 individuals to our growing community.” The Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, which includes Mayor Pro Tem J.R. Betancourt, Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr. Councilmember Richard Molina, and Councilmember David Torres. The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr. as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Rupert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Agustín García are not related.

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Edinburg EDC, Grindstone Coworking announce second class, of 15 individuals, for Hive Effect, which prepares small business owners to succeed

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, in collaboration with Grindstone Coworking, has announced the second cohort (new set of members), of 15 individuals, for Hive Effect, which is an innovative entrepreneur development initiative designed to help local businesses, particularly small firms and sole proprietors, to succeed and prosper.

According to its website (http://hiveeffect.com/about-us/):

• Hive Effect uses a three-pronged approach to cultivate the entrepreneurial ecosystem and promote regional collaboration. It utilizes coworking, education, and mentorship to help both startups and existing businesses;

• Hive Effect conducts a six-month education program called the Hive Effect Learning Program (HELP). Applications for HELP are reviewed for acceptance twice each year to select cohort participants.
Hive Effect partners with local and regional entrepreneurial organizations and businesses with programs and events that aim to grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem across the Rio Grande Valley; and

• Grindstone Coworking, located at 506 West University Drive, is a membership-based office in Edinburg. Designed for mobile workers, freelancers, and startups, the office provides workspace, phone booths, private suites, conference rooms, training rooms, a copy center, mailboxes and other amenities for today’s modern businesses.

“The EDC is excited to again partner up with Grindstone Coworking to promote this second, six-month initiative,” said Agustín García, Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. “Hive Effect has become a valuable resource for some of our city’s most exciting new businesses.”

The Edinburg EDC is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, which includes Mayor Pro Tem J.R. Betancourt, Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr. Councilmember Richard Molina, and Councilmember David Torres.

The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr. as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Rupert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members.

Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Director Agustín García are not related.

Among its other key duties, the Edinburg EDC serves local companies by providing assistance with expansion plans, programs to help retain business, and advocating for policies that enhance the region’s economic competitiveness.

“We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished with Hive Effect since its launch in September 2016,” said Daniel Rivera, founder of Grindstone Coworking and Director of Hive Effect. “Our coursework, mentorship and implementation of the coworking concept last year helped 10 entrepreneurs achieve great things for their respective businesses, and we’re happy to announce our second cohort (new set of members) of 15 individuals to our growing community.”

The 15 new members are:

Mauricio Atilano;
José Chávez;
Pete Díaz;
Marco Barrios-Espinoza;
Gerardo González;
Mark Harris;
Cirano Lagunas;
Mark Laguñez;
Donica Landa;
Dani Marrero;
Elizabeth Martínez;
Noé Ramos;
Renee Sánchez;
Steven De Los Santos; and
Cooper Thompson.

“Hive Effect is an Edinburg entrepreneurship program that connects ideas and start-ups with mentors from the business community,” Edinburg EDC Executive Director Agustín García added. “We cultivate an entrepreneurship environment through coworking, mentorship and education.”

Rivera, in a recent interview conducted by the Edinburg Review’s Karen González, said Hive Effect is based on an entrepreneurial approach to economic development known as “economic gardening”.

“How economic gardening works is you don’t just plant seeds, you are planting seeds and watering the existing plants,” Rivera told González. “So our goal is to get existing businesses that are already functioning to work with us while also bringing in starting businesses to help them launch their business.”
(http://www.edinburgreview.com/news/20170825/hive-effect-welcomes-second-cohort)

In general, economic gardening is an entrepreneurial approach to economic development that seeks to grow the local economy from within. Its premise is that local entrepreneurs create the companies that bring new wealth and economic growth to a region in the form of jobs, increased revenues, and a vibrant local business sector (http://icma.org/en/Article/100633/Seven_Steps_to_Developing_an_Economic_Gardening_Implementation_Strategy)

More detailed background on the Hive Effect and Grindstone Coworking are available online at:

http://edinburgpolitics.com/2017/05/20/edinburg-grindstone-coworking-application/#more-3044;
http://riograndeguardian.com/cantu-freelancing-your-way-to-freedom/; and
http://www.themonitor.com/news/business/article_5472855e-5860-11e6-80ac-1f89b8a80b87.html.

UTRGV CELEBRATES SECOND BIRTHDAY, LOOKS TO THE FUTURE WITH STRATEGIC PLAN

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley celebrated its second birthday Wednesday, August 31, 2017 with cupcakes, free T-shirt giveaways and the unveiling of its strategic plan that will chart the course of the university’s future.

The Edinburg Mayor, Edinburg City Council,  and the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and its Board of Directors lobby the Texas Legislature and the UT System Board of Regents on behalf of UTRGV, particularly for its main university campus and School of Medicine campus in Edinburg.

Students, faculty and staff poured into the University Ballroom in Edinburg and PlainsCapital Bank El Gran Salón in Brownsville to cheer the university’s successes and learn what UTRGV is doing to advance educational, research and health and medical opportunities for its students.

UTRGV President Guy Bailey lauded the university’s accomplishments, including graduating more than 10,000 students since opening its doors in 2015, and having more students taking 15 student credit hours or more, which will allow them to graduate earlier. He also told the crowd about new academic opportunities the university is developing for students, such as offering a doctoral degree in physical therapy and expanding its Physician Assistant Studies Program.
 
“We want you, as students, to have the same opportunities here that you’d have in Houston or Dallas or San Antonio,” Bailey said. “You are every bit as deserving as anybody else in the state of Texas. Our job is to ensure that you have those opportunities.”

Expanding opportunities for students is part of UTRGV’s strategic plan, which will serve as a roadmap for where the university needs to go to ensure student success, Bailey said.

University officials have spent more than a year developing the plan, receiving substantial input from students, faculty, staff and the community-at-large, said Dr. Patricia Álvarez-McHatton, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

The plan revolves around the core priorities of educational opportunities, health and medical education, research that benefits the Valley and beyond, and community engagement. Those four all center on the main priority – student success.

Other initiatives listed in the plan include building UTRGV to become a bilingual, bicultural and biliterate university, and providing more professional development opportunities for faculty, students and staff.

McHatton said the strategic plan highlights much of what the university is already doing to ensure that students and the university as a whole succeed, but it also holds the university accountable by establishing evaluation metrics to track progress in meeting those goals.

It will take the support and commitment from the entire university and community to make this plan work, she said.

“I would like the big takeaway to be, ‘What role can I play in making this happen,’” she said. “This is not something that is done by a small group of individuals. We all have something to contribute.”

Peter Averack, Vice President of UTRGV’s Student Government Association, echoed McHatton’s call for teamwork to make the university’s strategic plan goals a reality.

“We are pioneers,” Averack said. “I know there’s a lot to grow and develop and learn, and this plan is, essentially, laying out the blueprint of how we’ll move forward as an institution, a community and as a team. “It’s not just our students who will be benefitting from this,” he said. “It’s the entire Rio Grande Valley community.”

One of those students, Sofia Rodríguez, a senior nursing major from Brownsville, was happy to take time out of a busy schedule to attend the celebration.

“It’s a great turnout. I enjoyed the presentation Dr. Bailey gave us,” she said. “It gives me a different perspective. Events like this are great because I think it’s important for us to come together as one, with students showing up not just for the cupcakes or free shirts, but to hear about the big plans UTRGV has.”

Alejandro Hernández, a senior biomedical major from Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico, said UTRGV Day was a great way to raise school spirit and morale.

“The event was awesome,” he said. “I’ve been here since the start, so I’m glad I can celebrate the second anniversary of this university. There are great things to come. And when students get involved, it makes the experience much better.”

UTRGV celebrates the anniversary of its opening on the first Wednesday of the fall semester. It is part of the Best Week Ever, a weeklong celebration to usher in the new school year. This year marks the second anniversary of the opening of UTRGV. Last year the university commemorated its first birthday, but this is the first year with the official title of “UTRGV Day.”

Read more about UTRGV’s Strategic Plan at http://www.utrgv.edu/spc.

ABOUT UTRGV

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.

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Jennifer L. Berghom and Steven Masso contributed to this article. For more information on the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and the City of Edinburg, please log on to http://edinburgedc.com or to http://www.facebook.com/edinburgedc

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