Texas Tech University

(Lubbock, TX, United States)

Innovate Texas Tech Mentor Program (iTTU)

The Texas Tech University Innovation Hub (Hub) opened late fall 2015 as the first incubator and accelerator facility in Texas Tech Research Park.  The Innovation Hub assists in the formation of deep venture technology and startup companies critically relevant to the local and regional economy. The Innovation Hub is home to local startups and provides access to education and resources for students, faculty/staff, alum and entrepreneurs.  The Hub catalyzes new ideas that impact their creative collision, the integration of tech transfer, new venture creation, company growth, mentorship, and competitive funding. Future expansion of the innovation ecosystem includes the development of an Innovation District in Lubbock, Texas.

The Innovation Hub participated in the MIT VMS Immersion Program and launched the Innovate Texas Tech University (ITTU) Mentor Program in Spring of 2017.  The TTU Mentor program serves as the cornerstone of entrepreneurship and innovation at the Hub. Mentors are chosen for their leadership experience, investment and technical know-how, expertise and willingness to aid in the launch of new enterprises, and a strong desire to support the West Texas entrepreneurial ecosystem.  MIT VMS visited the Innovation Hub and provided additional training to our mentors in September 2018. 

Since 2017, there have been 43 iTTU mentors who have provided 20,697 mentor hours. Mentors have supported 24 startups through the Texas Tech Accelerator program. In addition, they have mentored and 124 National Science Foundation I-Corps teams resulting in 40 national teams. Startups and deep technology teams have raised over $34.6M is investment and commercialization grant funding. iTTU mentors are invaluable to building the knowledge based economy in West Texas and are the key to the future of building new markets in Texas. The impact made by iTTU mentors is appreciated by many but most importantly by startup founders who consider them an extended part of their family:


Our Texas Tech University Innovation Hub mentors guided us to achieve goals we didn’t think were possible. They provided an ideal balance of high expectations and positive reinforcement. Working with our mentors allowed us to develop our business model make the best decisions for our company, saving us time and money. By sharing their expertise and making the right connections with the right people, we have been able to create a product our customers really want. Our newly launched startup has made more than 500 sales, the future is very bright! Great things happen fast when you have great mentors.

- Dr. Jennifer Phy, Texas Tech Health Science Center, Founder and CEO of PCOS



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