Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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Texas State Innovation Series

Network with other entrepreneurs, students, faculty, staff, innovators, executives, and subject matter experts as well as develop new relationships and collaborations.

Every second Tuesday of the month!

Nina Vaca Innovation & Entrepreneurship Award

Trailblazing Latina entrepreneur and philanthropist

The Nina Vaca Innovation and Entrepreneurship Endowment provides the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE) with the sustained ability to celebrate and recognize two outstanding students each year.

The award highlights the amazing innovators and entrepreneurs thriving in all disciplines across the growing ecosystem at Texas State and recognizes the power of an entrepreneurial mindset to change the world for the better.


I & E Awardees

Inaugural Awardees

This award is presented to one undergraduate and one graduate student along with $1,000 in recognition of their outstanding works in innovation and entrepreneurship.

“I am grateful to be able to invest in this university that invested in me so many years ago,” Vaca said. “I am hopeful that this legacy inspires future generations to become entrepreneurs and find innovative ways to impact the world for the better.”     

--Nina Vaca, the youngest Distinguished Alumna in Texas State history.



Launching New Ideas Into the World

Today’s economy requires a new class of graduates that are accomplished in their discipline and knowledgeable about how to apply it to new environments.

An Entrepreneurial Mindset

Texas State faculty are preparing graduates with an entrepreneurial mindset who are self-motivated innovators and creators. We are developing new ways to engage students in the practice of creating value from ideas and opportunities. Watch the video to learn more. 

Research in Action

A Community of Innovators

During their academic study and research, students and professors at Texas State collaborate on ideas for new technologies, devices, and solutions to social problems. The university has invested in a robust innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem that includes six makerspaces and prototyping labs, degree programs with a focus on technology commercialization, the startup incubator Science, Technology, and Advanced Research (STAR) Park, boot camp experiences in design-thinking idea development, and new-venture business plan competitions.

Pressure Lab

Winners of the Third Annual Texas State New Ventures Competition

New Venture winners 2021

Book’t, Hummingbird Support Wear, and Plient Concrete are this year's winners of the Texas State University New Ventures competition. Teams compete for $100,000 in cash, services, and in-kind contributions to assist in accelerating their market entry.

Eligible teams are required to have a unique scalable business concept and at least one contributing member who is a current student, faculty, or staff member or alumni of Texas State University.

Collaborative Connections

The new Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) was established to foster a culture of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking and assist the launch of new ventures, bringing ideas to life.

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Podcast Join the Conversation

Dr. Shannon Weigum talks about the recently-established Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the cultivation of an entrepreneurial mindset.

Funding Opportunities


  • Endow scholarships to support students with opportunities to live in an Innovation & Entrepreneurship Living Learning Community on campus
  • Provide grants to support the purchase of materials for students to prototype new ideas in a makerspace on campus
  • Sponsor student pitch competitions and design showcases, such as the Innovation Lab at SXSW


  • Establish an Entrepreneur in Residence fellowship program to bring new leaders to campus
  • Create Innovation Fellowships to work with a faculty innovator
  • Naming opportunities are available


  • Endow the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Program Fund to provide flexible resources to implement and sustain this initiative
  • Fund an Alumni Mentorship program for students interested in entrepreneurship
  • Establish an Innovator and Entrepreneur Award
  • Award funding for an Innovation Challenge to seed new initiatives
  • Funds for boot camp style experiences in entrepreneurship

For More Information

To learn more about Big Ideas, please contact the Office of Development at or call 512.245.2396.