A business helping businesses, Brazos Licensing and Development, plans to open an office on Austin Avenue to help entrepreneurs “stay one step ahead of competitors by securing and exercising patent and intellectual property rights,” according to a press release.

Its address at 605 Austin Ave. places it next door to the Hustle coworking space that offers fledgling companies a place to grow.

Brazos Licensing and Development includes inventors, attorneys and veterans of capital markets who will offer advice, serve as mentors, share space at Hustle and sponsor events, according to the press release. The office also will consider investments involving equity, debt and IP.

“If you’re working on interesting technology in the Waco area, we want to meet you,” managing director Matt Hogan wrote in the press release. “Our partners can help strategize about your business ideas or inventions.”

Hogan said by email that Brazos Licensing and Development hopes to work with Hustle and has touched base with Hustle CEO Jon Passavant.

Governor’s Cup dominance

Texas for the eight straight year has won Site Selection Magazine’s Governor’s Cup award, meaning it remains a good place to do business. The eighth award, presented early this month, reflects achievements in 2019.

The honor is not to be taken lightly, Waco-based economist Ray Perryman wrote in a column available on his Perryman Group firm’s site.

“Texas has been at or near the top in rankings for about 15 years,” Perryman wrote. “Not coincidentally, that’s about when notable economic development legislation was passed and implemented.”

Texas last year had 859 projects that counted as “major projects,” meaning they involved “a capital investment of at least $1 million, 20 or more new jobs, or 20,000 square feet of new construction,” Perryman wrote. Texas’ count lapped the field. Ranked 2 through 5 were Ohio with 448, Illinois with 423, Georgia with 296 and Indiana with 194, according to Perryman.

The number of Texas projects also was well above the 608 in 2018.

“The Lone Star State ranked seventh in projects on a per-capita basis, no small accomplishment given its large population,” Perryman wrote.

Texas attracted three of the six largest projects nationally in terms of capital investment, and the fact they are from different industries means the state is demonstrating its diversity, he said. A $3.1 billion Texas Instruments semiconductor plant in Richardson was tops nationally.

Still, Texas must not rest on its laurels said. He said the state needs to attract innovative workers, improve workforce training and educational opportunities, upgrade infrastructure and keep in mind, as Gov. Greg Abbott noted in accepting the award, that trade agreements are crucial.

“Eight is great, but eight is not enough,” he said of Texas’ Governor’s Cup run.

Raising Cane’s $1.5 billion

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and now with three Greater Waco locations, is celebrating passing $1.5 billion in annual sales.

That represents a tripling of sales the past four years, and employment has grown to 25,000, according to a press release announcing the creation of a new Raising Cane’s Restaurant Leaders program that would let managers “attain a level of compensation and quality of life unmatched in the restaurant industry.”

It would provide: best-in-class education, development and training; best-in-the-business support structure, with assistance in marketing, training, recruiting and operating; a holistic approach to wellness, including health and financial support; and industry-leading compensation programs, “including base salary and bonus to exceed $100,000 annually, and business-building incentives with the ability to accumulate a net worth of over $1 million within 15 years,” according to the press release.

“We’ve done our research and we’ve been mapping out this plan with compensation experts for more than a year,” Co-CEO and Chief Operating Officer AJ Kumaran said in the press release.

GreenPal in Waco

GreenPal, an app that connects homeowners with local lawn-care professionals who have been vetted by the Nashville-based company, has expanded to Waco, according to a press release.

“After successfully launching in 200 other markets, we are excited to help homeowners in Waco find reliable, local lawn care,” co-founder Gene Caballero said in the press release.

GreenPal now operates in 46 states, with more than 20,000 landscaping professionals running their business through the app and 1 million homeowners having signed up to use the service, Caballero said.

“Homeowners can list their lawns with their service date and lawn care needs,” according to the press release. “Vetted lawn care pros can then bid on their properties based on the Google street and aerial images and any other lawn details the homeowner provides. Homeowners can then select who they want to work with based on the vendor’s ratings, reviews and price.”

Outlook at Bosque Ridge - office condo space

This rendering shows offices and condos at the proposed Outlook at Bosque Ridge development.

Outlook at Bosque Ridge

The Outlook at Bosque Ridge, a mixed-use development taking shape on U.S. Highway 84 in Woodway, is attracting out-of-city interest from a pair of prospects needing office space, said Gregg Glime, who is marketing the site for Coldwell Banker Commercial.

He has lease spaces of 6,300 square feet and 15,000 square feet at his disposal, and also is pushing to find restaurant users for outparcels. He said he has secured a commitment from one restaurant but declined to name the brand for now, since the entity itself wants to make an announcement.

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