Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Spotlight: Corpus Christi, TX

Corpus Christi, TX

The “Sparkling City by the Sea” is driven largely by the oil industry. Corpus Christi’s been ranked as a Top 5 City for Hispanic entrepreneurs, and Texas itself is considered one of the best states to start a business.

Corpus Christi, TX, a southern coastal city sometimes called the “Sparkling City by the Sea,” is the state’s eighth-largest city. Home to the country’s fifth-largest port and the Gulf of Mexico’s deepest inshore port, Corpus Christi’s economy is driven largely by the oil industry.

That said, entrepreneurship is on the rise in both the city and the state as a whole: in 2018, WalletHub ranked Corpus Christi 75th on their list of the best large cities to start a business and 4th overall on their list of the best cities for Hispanic entrepreneurs. Texas as a whole is also well-regarded for entrepreneurship, ranking among the top 5 in the Kauffman Foundation’s Indicators of Entrepreneurship and first overall on Fortune’s list of the best states to start a business.

Based on these rankings, FundingSage has reviewed the resources that make up Corpus Christi’s entrepreneurial ecosystem:

Entrepreneurial Meetups:

The Corpus Christi Real Estate Investors Association is a group dedicated to supporting real estate investors in the area, regardless of experience level.

Among other things, the Corpus Christi Self-Improvement Meetup aims to help aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners grow and succeed.

The goal of the Real Entrepreneurs, Real Solutions meetup group is to provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs to meet one another, connect to resources and grow their businesses.

 

Regular Entrepreneurial Events:

The events held by the Black Chamber of Commerce include an annual entrepreneurship awards ceremony, networking events and more.

The United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce hosts a variety of events ranging from regular workshops and networking opportunities to annual signature events.

The Corpus Christi-based small business development center housed at Del Mar College organizes and hosts a number of events dedicated to supporting small business.

An organization dedicated to supporting and promoting women entrepreneurs, the Women’s Entrepreneur Society of Corpus Christi hosts regular events in service of that goal.

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Startup Competitions:

Hosted at the University of Texas at Austin, DisrupTexas is an annual pitch competition open to undergraduate college students from around the state.

All students at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi can compete for thousands of dollars in cash prizes in the Buc Days Ideas Challenge.

 

Co-working Spaces:

More than just a traditional co-working space, AXOM is a community dedicated to supporting and advancing the entrepreneurial scene in Corpus Christi.

Originally built to be Corpus Christi’s first “skyscraper,” Wilson Plaza now rents out office space to local entrepreneurs and small businesses.

 

Makerspaces:

Founded in 2018, the Corpus Christi Makerspace is a community workshop that provides tools and equipment necessary for small-scale manufacturing to its members.

Students, faculty, and staff at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi have access to the library’s I-Create Lab, a small campus makerspace.

Innovaum is a prototyping and small-scale manufacturing company in Corpus Christi that works with both individual and corporate clients.

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Incubators:

The Corpus Christi Regional Economic Development Corporation is a non-profit organization that organizes resources to support small business in the area.

Organized in part by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, the Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center runs a number of programs dedicated to supporting entrepreneurship.

Del Mar College hosts Corpus Christi’s Small Business Development Center, which supports small business and entrepreneurship through a number of programs and resources.

 

Accelerators:

Capital Factory is an Austin-based group that runs an accelerator program open to startups from around the state of Texas.

In addition to incubation services, the Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center runs acceleration and post-acceleration programs.

 

Colleges/Universities:

Del Mar College provides business and entrepreneurial development services through its Small Business Development Center.

TAMCC’s College of Business offers a management degree with a focus in entrepreneurship, a certificate in entrepreneurship and a minor program in entrepreneurship.

 

Angel Groups/VCs:

South Coast Angel Network’s goal is to support the South Texas entrepreneurial ecosystem by investing in promising early-stage companies in the area.

 

Entrepreneurial Newsletter Coverage:

Corpus Christi Business News, a site dedicated to covering the most important stories in the Corpus Christi business scene, offers readers the chance to subscribe to a mailing list.

The Texas Squared Newsletter covers technology and entrepreneurship news from around the state, including Corpus Christi.

 

Are you familiar with entrepreneurial ecosystem infrastructure in Corpus Christi not included in the article above?  If so, let us know via a comment, and we will add it to the article. 

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Quinn Pilkey

Quinn is a journalism major at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He also serves as a freelance author for Hashtag Basketball where he writes about the NBA's Charlotte Hornets and at Funding$age where he researches and writes about entrepreneurial ecosystems.