The FINANCIAL — Startup accelerator Texas Venture Labs at the McCombs School of Business is now the Jon Brumley Texas Venture Labs, in recognition of a combined gift of more than $6 million from Fort Worth businessman and entrepreneur Jon Brumley, BBA '61, to fund the growth of the program at McCombs.
“This investment is a game-changer that enables us to expand the scale and accessibility of the Texas Venture Labs model. It’s a vote of confidence as well, because of the reputation of Jon Brumley as an entrepreneur, a business builder and a distinguished graduate of McCombs and the Wharton School of Business,” said Dean Tom Gilligan.
Brumley founded six oil and gas companies, all of which listed on the New York Stock Exchange. In 2005, Forbes magazine named Brumley and his son, Jonny, “Entrepreneurs of the Year.”
Brumley said his gift reflects the reality and the potential of Texas Venture Labs.
“Texas Venture Labs is a gem in the Texas entrepreneurial ecosystem. It provides critical, hands-on experience for aspiring entrepreneurs who learn as students the effort required to get a new venture through the financing process,” he said. “For me, this gift is an opportunity to build our capacity to grow the economy of Texas, while giving a leg up to young entrepreneurs, who remind me a lot of myself at that age.”
According to the University of Texas at Austin, since it was established two years ago, Texas Venture Labs has worked with 40 companies that have raised more than $25 million in investment capital, while providing direct entrepreneurial experience to graduate students in business, engineering, law, and natural sciences. Texas Venture Labs also sponsors the annual Venture Labs Investment Competition, which is being held May 2-5 on campus.
“Our theme for the investment competition is ‘Investor Ready,’ which reflects why graduate students from around the world flock to Austin every spring for the chance to launch their business as they finish graduate school,” said Rob Adams, director of Texas Venture Labs. “With this generous gift, Jon Brumley has signaled to the entrepreneurial community that Texas Venture Labs is also ‘Investor-Ready.’”