The Amarillo City Council voted this week to provide an economic incentive package to the West Texas A&M University Enterprise Center to fund a “technology accelerator program.”

During the city council’s most recent meeting, members voted unanimously to pass a $600,000 package to fund the program through the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation. The package will fund the $600,000 commitment over three years to create a 14-week program at the WT Enterprise Center, which would allow companies the opportunity to apply for $25,000 in seed funding at the end of each program. The program will focus on four key areas of technology: agricultural, financial, artificial intelligence, and energy.

Council members enthusiastically embraced the program during the meeting, with council member Elaine Hays saying she is excited to see the program come to fruition after discussions of its creation.

“I’m very excited about this program, so, congratulations on getting this off the ground,” Hays told WT Enterprise Center staff during the meeting.

The approval of the incentive package comes following voter approval of another major expenditure for technology development earlier this year. Voters approved an $89 million bond package in May for Amarillo College, part of which will fund the creation of a downtown innovation hub aimed at encouraging local entrepreneurs to seek job growth through technological innovation.

While the new technology accelerator program is the latest collaboration between the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation and the WT Enterprise Center, it is not the first. The AEDC currently partners with the WT Enterprise Center to fund the Amarillo EnterPrize Challenge, a business development competition in which local entrepreneurs “compete for the opportunity of investment [by] the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation.”

Thomas Warren

Thomas Warren, III is the editor-in-chief of the Amarillo Pioneer newspaper in Amarillo, Texas.


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