about us

What is Start Up Waco & Hustle?

Start Up Waco is a Texas nonprofit organization in process of application for 501(c)3 status, formed via collaboration of cross-sector partnerships that aspire to lead Waco’s entrepreneurial support efforts and elevate Waco as a hub for business innovation. We are dedicated to engaging the Waco community to embrace a culture of innovation, entrepreneurship and new thinking by empowering entrepreneurs and innovators to build and grow successful businesses. Located in the Woolworth Suites in the heart of Downtown Waco, our coworking accelerator space called Hustle will provide amenities, programming and resources to foster startup growth. By connecting the dots between valuable resources and budding innovators and entrepreneurs, Start Up Waco aims to transform our city into a place where all who strive can succeed.

Start Up Waco leadership traveled across the country to Nashville, TN, Greenville, SC and Des Moines, IA learn first-hand what it takes to compete for talent and tech-oriented businesses that bring high-value jobs. A focused team from the larger group crafted the current Start Up Waco operating plan by conducting interviews with Waco-area entrepreneurs and support organizations. The research showed that Waco has a wealth of support for entrepreneurial individuals and businesses, but that support is fragmented and disconnected. There are gaps, especially for technology-based startups and underserved groups, including women and minority entrepreneurs who have previously not had access to vital resources needed to grow a successful business.

Start Up Waco’s success means making Waco a vibrant entrepreneurial city that attracts and retains talent, building our economic base of firms that create high-value jobs.

America was founded on the idea that individuals can create their future, called the entrepreneurial spirit. The economic future of America depends on entrepreneurial business growth that is responsible for most new job creation. To succeed, entrepreneurs must move forward in big steps, turning their ideas into reality. These step changes demand processes, culture, and tools that are quite different than those needed for the steady growth of ongoing businesses, and naturally involve higher risks. These ventures are best supported by a flourishing, densely connected network of people and entrepreneurial resources – often referred to as an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Start Up Waco (SUW) will help to unlock the full potential of Waco’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by working towards the following strategic goals:

1. Maximize the impact of existing entrepreneurial resources by connecting, gathering impact measurements, supporting, and promoting them. Common needs among these organizations will be addressed through community-wide training events.

2. Fill resource gaps in the Waco entrepreneurial ecosystem by creating a co-working space called Hustle, developing early stage capital funds, forming a mentoring program that makes finding the right expertise easy, and curating a resource library portal for entrepreneurs.

3. Build a culture that fosters and celebrates entrepreneurship by promoting a full range of events that celebrate and empower all entrepreneurs and support organizations in the community.

SUW will make a significant impact in the local community and surrounding metro areas through increased revenue from businesses that engage, increased volume of start ups, increased jobs through those start ups, increased venture capital in the region, and better paying jobs. Hustle and Start Up Waco will drive real economic growth for Waco.

Research done on other cities with similar programs gives us the following examples of ROI:

Dallas Entreprenuer Center 2013-2016 Idea Village – New Orleans 2000-2016
Companies (out of 270) 66 Companies 5854
Jobs (Full time) 960 Jobs (Full time) 2928
Average salary $60,000.00 Annual average revenue 170 million
Average total revenue 87.7 million Annual economic impact 200 million
Funding Raised 155 million
Economic Impact 130 million

SUW will also work to improve the local Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESO’s) which will have an indirect impact
on the vibrancy of the community. As the ESO’s improve and become more connected, the entrepreneurs will easily be
able to find the resources, tools, or answers they need. SUW will also create a culture that empowers and celebrates
entrepreneurship and innovation, encouraging everyone to get into the game and take the risks necessary to start a new
business or innovate an existing one.

Start Up Waco Happenings

Upcoming Events and Programs

Legal Panel

Join us at Hustle Co-working for an evening with Kyle…

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Community Event: Meet-a-Mentor Happy Hour

Join us at Hustle Co-working to meet current mentors and…

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Legal Panel


LOCATION: Waco , Texas


Community Event: Meet-a-Mentor Happy Hour


LOCATION: Waco , Texas



Share Your Idea Here

Have a start up, innovation or idea? Click below and tell us about it. Then, let’s get you plugged in.

Be a Mentor

Are you a company or individual who wants to support Start Up Waco or Hustle?
How You Can Help: Understanding of the value of the project, labor, money, land, in-kind services, effect policies, buy-in, support, political commitment, champions.
How You Can Help: investment in SUW, venture capital, mentors, networking, relationships, in-kind services, labor, paid memberships, subject matter experts.

How You Can Help: Financial support, real estate, impact measurement, neutral convening, social impact investing, best practices/experience.


How You Can Help: Financial support, talent, research, labor, in-kind services, mentors, SME’s, buy-in/support, resources, lab or other space.


What’s Happening At Start Up Waco

  • Enneagram Stances: Meet Entrepreneur & Enneagram Expert, Dr. Jon Singletary
  • Meet Waco's Interpersonal Wellness Expert: Gary Wardlaw
  • The Side Hustle: How Hobbyists and Freelancers are Changing the Face of Entrepreneurship
  • Planting Roots with Linen and Cake
  • The Good, Bad & Ugly: Ellen Mote of Ellen Mote Jewelry
  • The Good, Bad & Ugly: Alexa Wible of Alexa Wible Fitness
  • The Good, Bad & Ugly: Ashley Futris with Bolt Boutique
  • The Good, Bad & Ugly: Nathan Weekley with Virage Goldsmiths
  • The Good, Bad & Ugly - Summer Shine with Luna Juice
  • The Good, Bad & Ugly: Devin Li with Waco Cha
  • A Hands-on Approach to Entrepreneurship with Maker's Edge Makerspace
  • Supporting Our Community One Connection at a Time – Meet Carole Fergusson
  • Meet Waco's Womanpreneur, Emily Mills
  • Influencing Entrepreneurial Growth Across Central Texas: Our Meeting with the McLennan SBDC
  • Onsite at WacoWork: Rapid Fire Interview with Marshall Stewman
  • Get Schooled on WIBO's Role in Waco's Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
  • 21 Questions with Entrepreneur Mastermind, Cory Dickman
  • In-depth Look at Kevin Renois, Co-founder of Start Up Waco
  • How a Dream and a Juicer Changed the Game for Summer Shine
  • Featured: Start Up Waco on KCEN
  • Meet the Backbone of Start Up Waco: Dr. Greg Leman
  • An Agricultural Revival Taking Root in Waco
  • Featured: Start Up Waco in Waco Tribune-Herald
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Start Up Waco
605 Austin Avenue
Waco TX 76701
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