Innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship are driving our economy in the 21st century. McAllen is building the infrastructure and networks to foster innovation, creativity, and startups. Ideas and innovation drive wealth creation in communities. Our goal at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce is to provide technical support, connections, funding and a vetting process that allows entrepreneurs to explore ideas without wasting a lot of money.
We are creating the culture and working to lower the transactional costs for young companies and the success is paying off. We have worked with over 160 startups and have assisted in securing 16 patents, nine trademarks, and seven copyright protections filings. We have created 36 jobs, but more importantly, we have helped young McAllen companies generate more than $4.5 million in revenue over the last five years.
We have assisted three finalists in the H-E-B Primo Picks Competition, and we have more coming. It is an exciting time to launch your idea and business in McAllen. Here are just a few of the eleven programs we offer:
McAllen Chamber of Commerce Innovation Grant. This program is in its 11th year and is driving opportunities for many local entrepreneurs. The program provides annual grants totaling $50,000 with individual grants awarded in amounts of up to $10,000 each for viable new ideas. The funds can be used for patent searches, patent filings, trademark filings, prototype development, market feasibility and pre-launch activities. Participation is free.
IdeaPlace powered by Wells Fargo. This program is an eight-week program that is free and takes an entrepreneur from the napkin drawing to path to market. The program is designed for the start-up to understand the potential customer’s “burning problem” and to develop a working prototype.
The McAllen Business Plan Competition by the McAllen Chamber and MEDC. This program is held annually and is designed to foster real-world business ideas or models that have a “real world” opportunity to succeed. The champion of this “winner-take-all” competition is awarded $7,500. The event
1 Million Cups. This program provides a platform each month for two entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to the community in order to obtain feedback, mentorship, guidance, and potential new customers. The event is free and the community is encouraged to participate.
Latina HOPE. This program is powered by Wells Fargo, United Way of South Texas, and the McAllen Chamber. The Latina HOPE program is an award-winning program designed to assist women-owned micro-businesses or home-based businesses to produce revenue from craft making, cooking, decorating, and jewelry making. Grants vary from $50 to $250. The program is free.
TechPlace. This program is powered by Texas Wilson Workspace and is a collaborative and open design workplace for tech start-ups, programmers, coders, and small tech companies. This is an effort from both the McAllen Chamber of Commerce and the City of McAllen to foster tech start-ups and tech innovation. Membership is $50 a month and rents start as low as $250.
If you have a new idea or a start-up, come talk to us. We are doing some exciting things.