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$6 Million Alumni Gift to Fund Growth of Startup Accelerator at UT’s McCombs School

A Fort Worth businessman and entrepreneur has given more than $6 million to the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin to fund the growth of the school’s startup accelerator program, Texas Venture Labs, the school announced yesterday. Jon Brumley, who holds a BBA from McCombs and an MBA from the Wharton School, hopes his gift will help to grow the Texas economy while giving a leg up to young entrepreneurs who remind him of himself.

“Texas Venture Labs is a gem in the Texas entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Brumley said in a statement. “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.

Brumley, who founded six oil and gas companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange, was Forbes magazine’s 2005 “Entrepreneur of the Year” along with his son, Jonny.

McCombs Dean Tom Gilligan called the gift a “game-changer that enables us to expand the scale and accessibility of the Texas Venture Labs model.” The accelerator has worked with 40 companies that have raised more than $25 million in investment capital just in the two years since it was established. It also sponsors the annual Venture Labs Investment Competition, underway now on the McCombs campus.

The 2012 investment competition is entitled “Investor Ready.” Taking place this year from May 2nd through 5th, the annual event draws graduate schools from around the world to Austin each spring. “With this generous gift, Jon Brumley has signaled to the entrepreneurial community that Texas Venture Labs is also ‘Investor-Ready.’” Rob Adams, the program’s director, said in a statement.

Learn more about Brumley’s gift.

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