Entrepreneur in Residence Apprenticeship Program

A one-of-a-kind program available to aspiring entrepreneurs in South Texas

In Case You Missed It!

EIRA's 2022-23 Cohort of the Entrepreneur in Residence and Apprenticeship Program and community entrepreneurs pitched for prize money.

Entrepreneur in Residence Apprenticeship Program

Unleashing the Entrepreneurial Spirit of South Texas

The Entrepreneur in Residence Apprenticeship Program aims to attract and prepare the best and brightest students and aspiring entrepreneurs in South Texas to successfully launch startups in the space, energy, and technology industries.

Recent high school and college STEM graduates report having too few job opportunities in the area. Yet many of these students have an interest in entrepreneurship, they just don’t have a clear path on how to begin. ExF’s EIR apprenticeship program was designed to specifically solve this problem.

This initiative offers aspiring entrepreneurs time, training, compensation, and access to vetted technologies ready for commercialization. Participants in the program receive interdisciplinary business training, direct access to the startup community, tailored mentoring, and compensated work experiences, all of which help them launch successful companies. The goal of this program is to advance hardware technology commercialization, develop and retain local talent, and unlock the entrepreneurial spirit in South Texas.


Program Features

Accepted apprentices go through a structured 16-week program for developing and launching a company. The professional staff at Expanding Frontiers select cohorts of apprentices every year. These apprentices then receive the following services to help them launch a business:

  • Exposure to promising technologies from federal labs that have been vetted by industry experts and are prime for commercialization
  • Guidance on licensing those technologies
  • Mentoring from seasoned entrepreneurs and subject-area experts
  • Feedback on the need for further business development courses or additional laboratory skills
  • Opportunity to possibly launch a startup based on your own idea
  • Exposure to state of the art methodologies by world-class experts
  • Opportunity for paid part-time work experience with a company in the Expanding Frontiers Sponsor Company Network
  • Access to the ExF office and prototyping facilities
  • Weekly seminars will expose participants to industry opportunities and chances for professional growth
  • Pitch presentation training and practice
  • Structured Networking opportunities
  • Exclusive access to previously vetted Department of Energy and NASA technologies ready for commercialization

How to Apply

Applications for the 2021 cohort have now closed. Sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date with our programs and to learn when the application cycle opens again. Applications are now open for the 2022 Cohort! 

Frequently Asked Questions

There is a fee to participate, but that fee is flexible. Like many incubators, we can entertain a variety of ways, including with equity, for you to cover the fee.
Time requirements will vary throughout the program. Mandatory meetings will be scheduled to try and accommodate the cohort’s availability. Minimum of 10 hours weekly commitment is required.

Preference will be given to candidates that have STEM and business backgrounds or experiences, but no specific skill is necessary to apply. The most important requirement is a fierce determination to succeed.

No, you do not have to have a background in STEM or business, but both are likely to be helfpul. Candidates with exceptional aptitude and drive will be considered.

Yes. As part of the program curriculum, participants will be trained in communication and presentation skills.
International applicants will be considered but positions are limited. Applicants can be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, non-U.S. citizen with DACA, or international with appropriate visa and work authorizations.
Yes. If you are in the ideation phase of your startup but have not yet formed a legal entity, you are still able to participate.

College students are eligible to apply. High school students who meet eligibility criteria can also apply.

For questions, please email eira@expandingfrontiers.org.

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