Photo courtesy Microsoft’s TechSpark
Officials with Technology Hub and Pioneers 21 announced Wednesday that enrollment is now open for the fourth cohort of The Bridge Accelerator – Binational Supplier Development Program.
Organizers share that small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) should apply quickly to participate, as applications are being accepted through March 23, 2021.
“Through its first three cohorts, The Bridge Accelerator has now helped area SMEs locate venture capital opportunities and created jobs throughout the Borderplex region,” said Ricardo Mora of The Bridge Organizing Committee. “After the many challenges that 2020 presented, we are proud to continue to provide The Bridge Accelerator program as a way forward for SMEs in our region that looking to grow and innovate.”
Technology Hub and Pioneers 21, in partnership with Microsoft’s TechSpark program will launch the new cohort on April 6, 2021 for businesses that are looking for ways to grow and innovate in the Paso del Norte region which service the manufacturing industry on the Mexico-U.S. border.
The Bridge Accelerator is a rigorous 12-week training program designed for existing companies from El Paso and Ciudad Juárez that are looking to grow and innovate their business practices. The 12-week training program includes a business model canvas applied to manufacturing suppliers, workshops, working groups, panels and networking events.
After completion of program, businesses will leave with the understanding of unique requirements of the manufacturing industry and binational business culture, identify the relationship between innovation and the supply chain, identify models and intellectual property connection, market strategies and funding.
Local businesses who have incorporated work on both sides of the United States and Mexico border for at least two years, have a relationship with large manufacturing companies and maquiladoras and are able to attend program sessions on either side of the border are eligible to apply.
According to organizers, to date, The Bridge Accelerator has generated $11.27 million in sales for participating businesses, 254 new jobs, $540,000 in actual venture capital investment and $530,000 in potential VC investment throughout the region.
Officials add that the goal of The Bridge Accelerator is to capture a greater percentage of the manufacturing supply chain business which consumes about $40 billion of inputs per year, of which only about 2 percent remain in our region.
The Bridge Accelerator was created with support from Microsoft, Transtelco, Tecma Group, Chihuahua’s Economic Development Agency through its Regional Innovation and Economic Development Center, City of El Paso, Ciudad Juarez Independiente, Borderplex Alliance, Desarrollo Económico de Ciudad Juárez A.C., Seisa Medical, Hunt Family Foundation, NMSU’s Foster Innovation Exchange (FIX), WestStar Bank, High Desert Capital, CIDER, FIDEAPECH, Detroit Axle, Fundación Axcel A.C., Novamex Group and Workforce Solutions.
***for the record
An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the amounts of venture capital and potential venture capital; it has since been corrected.