The WT Enterprise Center is launching the Texas Panhandle’s first technology accelerator program – WIRE Accelerator. WIRE stands for Workforce, Innovation, Regional Connectivity and Entrepreneurship, with the accelerator having an impact on each of these.
The development of an accelerator program is part of a strategic initiative of the Enterprise Center to offer more technology and commercialization services to the region. Accelerators support early-stage, growth-driven, technology companies through education, mentorship and financing. The accelerator experience is a process of intense, rapid, and immersive education aimed at accelerating the life cycle of young innovative companies and technology. Accelerator programs on average offer 3-months of programming, seed capital for development and a Demo Day to pitch the startups to investors for follow-on funding.
Accelerators in many cities serve as a vehicle for regional connectivity by fostering a relationship between corporations and startups. Corporations get a first look at technology that could help solve current problems or needs, create efficiencies in systems and offer enhanced customer experiences. The startup gets access to industry experts, customer discovery opportunities and product testing. From the connection, the startup might get a contract, follow-on funding or acquisition from the relationship. WIRE Accelerator will have focused technology verticals of agriculture technology, financial technology, energy and artificial intelligence. These verticals have been identified as regional strengths. WIRE Accelerator will add value to the startups and produce technology our corporates need.
WIRE Accelerator also provides a great opportunity for retention and recruitment efforts by attracting regional and national technology companies to participate. These efforts impact our workforce and economic development by creating more tech-based jobs for engineers, software developers, coders and designers and bringing additional revenue to the region.
Championing entrepreneurship is at the core of what the Enterprise Center stands for. We’ve been Helping People Build Great Companies for eighteen years through business incubation services and we are excited to reach more entrepreneurs by adding acceleration to our growing list of services. We have the structure and staff in place to offer startups an inviting environment, top-notch programming, access to strong regional corporations, connection to experienced mentors and an opportunity to pitch to investors for follow-on funding.
Our friends at the Global Accelerator Network (GAN) believe “startups are a powerful tool for creating thriving communities” and we couldn’t agree more. We also know it takes a supportive community to rally behind entrepreneurs and startups to help them succeed.
WIRE Accelerator will be as strong as our community involvement! If you are interested in this program, there are several ways you can be involved:
- Corporate partners can be involved to gain access to new technology and provide industry expert mentors
- Businesses or organizations can host “quality of life” events to take the cohorts around our great city to show them the community, benefits and perks of living here! (let’s keep them here)
- Individuals can serve as mentors! Whether you love all things Tech, are an experienced entrepreneur wanting to share insights or an accountant that wants to give a startup some free advice, the more the merrier!
- If you’re a regional investor looking for more opportunities, this is a great place for you!
- If you just love entrepreneurship and innovation and want to contribute by attending events and helping spread the word, we love you too!
Really, there’s an opportunity for anyone to get involved in the region’s first accelerator program! Reach out to us and let us know how you want to participate. Entrepreneurship is a community sport and we think we have a pretty great community!