Archives for December 2012

TripleSTAT accepted to Texas A&M University MBA Venture Challenge

We are excited to announce that TripleSTAT, an IU member company, has recently been accepted to the MBA Venture Challenge at Mays Business School. The Challenge asks teams of MBA students to quickly and effectively evaluate early stage firms, providing a clear, unbiased, and business-oriented evaluation of the businesses’ strengths and weaknesses. MBA students deliver presentations to judges from the business and academic community. A typical firm selected for evaluation in the Challenge is early in its life cycle with between $100k – $5 million in funding raised, and has an interest in an unbiased external assessment of the firm. It is an honor to be selected as a participating company for this program.

TripleSTAT is a 21st century solution to the medical alert bracelet.  Their hope is that not only customers will buy the product but that EMS personnel, nurses, and doctors will actually use them. They are very excited about the opportunity to work with Mays Business School and be a part of the MBA Venture Challenge.


Imani Promotes Simply Love Campaign to Support Africa


The Innovation Underground’s only non-profit, Imani Tumani Upendo, Inc. is currently advocating the Simply Love campaign through the month of December. Simply Love is a campaign about a simple calling; a calling dedicated to following in Christ’s footsteps.

Simply Love by giving to those in need. Through this campaign, individuals will have the opportunity to assist Imani in supporting these different projects:

  1. Sponsor A Child: $40/month
  2. Help Build A School: $40/one time
  3. Help Buy Solar Paneling for Orphanage: $40/one time
  4. Sponsor A Woman (ImaniXChange): $40/month

Imani will place the tree at different locations throughout December, with details posted on their website. You can physically pick up an ornament and donate at the tree location or contribute online.

Look for the Acacia Tree and Simply Love!

Imani-Tumani-Upendo is a young non-profit  that serves mission organizations in Africa. By complimenting existing organizations, Imani helps families develop a better future and defeat poverty. Imani is located at the Innovation Underground, a private business incubator owned by Advent GX and located in historic downtown Bryan, TX. Imani-Tumani-Upendo means Faith-Hope-Love.

Grand Stafford Theater Honored with Willie Bennett Spirit of Downtown Award

This week, Grand Stafford Theater, a member of the Innovation Underground and a new live music venue in Historic Downtown Bryan, was honored with the City of Bryan’s Willie Bennett Spirit of Downtown Award. The team is honored and humbled by the award and eager to tell the story of what is just the beginning for this great downtown venue. The Innovation Underground (IU) took a few minutes to interview Grand Stafford Theater General Manager Carlton Lee to hear first hand the story and plans for the Grand Stafford.

IU: How did it feel when you and the Stafford team first heard that the Grand Stafford Theater received the Willie Bennett Spirit of Downtown Award? Were you expecting this at all?
Carlton Lee, GST: I was surprised and very proud of the hard work that the people on our team put into making this happen. It is humbling to know that there are unnamed people out there that have been positively influenced by Grand Stafford Theater. It is hard to know everyone of your supporters by name so this honor let’s us know that we are on the right track. I am thankful to all of our patrons, partners and supporters. Without their help this would not have been possible.

IU: Who all was involved in the remodeling of the Stafford? What was the experience like from remodeling to the first opening?
Carlton Lee, GST: Our contractor Larry Daniel of Make Rite Contracting was amazing! We had a hard deadline and I let him know that up front. I called him because I know his strong work ethic and quality craftsmanship. Larry would clock 40 hours in three days because he wanted to see us up and running and was committed to the goal of Grand Stafford. Other pivotal people on our remodeling were James Tates of Christian Brothers Plumbing and B&B Electric. We thank all of them for their hard work!

IU: What drew you and the people involved to reopen the Stafford?
Carlton Lee, GST: I was drawn in by the opportunity to be a part of something different. Music is exciting. It breaks down barriers between people and creates a common bond. Also, downtown Bryan is historic. I have heard stories about the Stafford from people who remember it as far back as the 50s. I am happy people can build new memories in this place. Our team really wanted to put together a project that would bring something fresh to the community as a whole; contribute in a meaningful way to culture, commerce and community downtown.

IU: Do you and the Stafford team have any particular plans or ideas for the future?
Carlton Lee, GST: One thing we are doing is listening to feedback from our community. We are headed in a new direction and the community has a lot of influence on where we go from here. Starting in the spring we will feature Two Tons of Steel once a month. If you haven’t seen them they are a wildly talented Texas swing band from Austin. Some of the crowd’s favorite shows from the fall will be back, like David Ramirez, a singer-songwriter based in Austin.

We are also going to bring a lot of up-and-coming bands and artists to introduce the community to the quality music that Texas has to offer. Some of my favorite shows in the fall were bands I didn’t know existed and now I have their album on my playlists!

To keep up with the latest on Grand Stafford Theater, visit the web site at , follow on Twitter @StaffordTheater and like GST on facebook at .




SEAD Gallery Adds Cultural Impact and Sustainability to Innovation Underground

When we opened the Innovation Underground, we planned to find ways to utilize our historic building to generate revenue beyond that earned through primary business incubator operations. In keeping with our focus on creating meaningful cultural and heritage experiences for rural communities, and given the potential of the first floor space of the Federal Building, we decided an art gallery would create a dual purpose space for both art sales and special events.

The idea for SEAD Gallery was born of our ongoing passion for both science and engineering innovation and the arts. Our good friends at the Network for Science, Engineering, Art and Design (SEAD Network) graciously allowed us to borrow their name and establish a venue to explore collaborations across the disciplines of Science, Engineering, Art and Design. Through exhibits and events, Advent GX seeks to encourage innovation and discover new ways to understand and positively impact our communities and our world.

Arts Council of Brazos Valley agreed to partner with us as curators of the gallery, lending their expertise and talent to the exhibitions. With the team in place, we set out to renovate former IRS offices into a space worthy of both visual and performing artist expression. We also sought to visually represent the name SEAD Gallery in a way that would encourage further exploration and even open the door to future collaborations in other fields.

Our in house branding team set out to model a brand identity. The facilities team tacked the space, choosing paint colors and art hanging systems, and Arts Council found an artist who could fill our walls with a dynamic solo exhibition that would draw a crowd.

After about six months of planning and hard labor, the gallery opened with a crowd of area art enthusiasts enjoying the vibrant work of Anguspaul. The solo exhibition features oil on canvas, metal sculpture and pottery. The opening reception provided a venue to showcase Advent GX’s newest technology innovation, ArtInteractive. The iPad app currently in beta, is designed to allow visitors to enjoy artist commentary on each work of art in an exhibition by simply viewing the work through the iPad. The application will enable galleries with limited resources to easily enhance user experiences without need for technical skills.

As more and more communities seek to engage artists and entrepreneurs, SEAD Gallery will provide a model for operations that showcases the unique resources of each community. Advent GX is documenting operational and business plans with an eye toward expansion to other rural markets.

Visit the web site to learn more about SEAD Gallery or contact Advent GX Managing Partner Joan Quintana  at to learn how Advent GX can support your community and economic development efforts.