Thursday, November 26, 2015


UTSA's Robert McKinley appointed to Mexico-U.S. entrepreneurship council

Robert McKinley

Robert McKinley

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(May 22, 2013) -- The U.S. State Department has appointed UTSA Associate Vice President for Economic Development Robert McKinley to the Mexico-U.S. Entrepreneurship and Innovation Council. The council was established jointly in Mexico City on May 2 by President Barack Obama and President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Comprised of 20 members, each from the United States and Mexico, the council will develop a work plan to integrate programs and activities in each country and jointly promote the growth of entrepreneurs and trade. The plan will address:

  • the legal framework supporting entrepreneurs,
  • how to promote women entrepreneurs,
  • how to engage entrepreneurs in Latin America,
  • the integration of each country's small business network,
  • best practices from regional innovation clusters,
  • ways to support commercialization in both countries and
  • financing for high impact and innovative entrepreneurial ventures.

The council also will lay the foundation for Mexico to become the first Latin American country to participate in the Global Entrepreneurship Program, an overarching U.S. program that promotes entrepreneurship around the world.

Since 2003, the UTSA Institute of Economic Development, led by McKinley, has served as a technical consultant to 15 Latin American and Caribbean nations in adopting the Small Business Development Center model. To date, UTSA has assisted in establishing 113 small business development centers in Mexico alone as part of its mission to create jobs, grow businesses, and foster economic development and trade. The institute consistently ranks among the top economic development programs among peer universities nationwide and has been engaged by the State Department to share its experience. Together with federal, state and local governments, and private businesses, the institute fosters economic and community development in support of UTSA's community engagement mission.

McKinley's career experience uniquely suits him to advise on entrepreneurship and innovation approaches to achieve the inclusive growth goals of the United States and Mexico. He currently leads the UTSA Institute of Economic Development with a portfolio of a dozen centers and programs that provide business training, consulting and research to more than 38,000 clients annually across the South Texas Border Region.

In 2012, the institute's client services generated more than 4,000 new jobs, 500 start-ups and 500 business expansions, generating increased revenues and financing exceeding $1.4 billion. The institute's International Trade Center generated $370 in trade last year for area small businesses, leveraging the new Latin American SBDC networks as distribution channels.

Before joining UTSA in 1990, McKinley built and managed a 94,000-square-foot business incubator facility for Control Data Corp. The project, based in a redeveloped area of San Antonio, achieved 97-percent occupancy, housed more than 60 small businesses with 550 employees and was profitable as a private-sector economic development venture.

From 1980 to 1985, McKinley was executive director of the Fort Worth Mexican-American Chamber of Commerce. During that time, the chamber's minority business programs tripled productivity to assist clients in marketing their goods and services to government and corporations, efforts that resulted in sales of $65 million per year.

From 1977 to 1979, McKinley was a community organizer for La Misión de Amistad, Município de Tizimín, Yucatán, Mexico. The church-sponsored mission coordinated rural development activities including economic development, health, agricultural, literacy and educational projects, while affording McKinley the opportunity to learn Spanish and Mayan language and culture.

"Entrepreneurship and innovation are major drivers of inclusive growth for all countries," said McKinley. "As our universities in both nations expand educated labor supply, we also must work together to stimulate business expansion and high-skill, higher-paid labor demand as the key to our mutual prosperity. The council role will offer a high-level forum to advance the jobs and prosperity agenda."



Dec. 1, 9 a.m.

CITE Venture Competition & Exposition

The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus

Dec. 3, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert

This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus

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Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

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UTSA's Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

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