Thursday, March 16, 2023
  Around Campus

By News and Internal Communications

By Tawny Turner

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – We all have a purpose.

For William Brown, a senior mechanical engineering major at UTRGV, that purpose is meaningful entrepreneurship.

Last April, Brown took his company, Embedded, to the UTRGV Business Plan Competition in Weslaco. He won, and that success eventually led to him being named a 2022 Future Texas Business Legend by the Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation.

The Business Plan Competition is hosted by the UTRGV Center for Innovation & Commercialization, a Blackstone Launchpad that makes entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills available to college students to help them build successful companies and careers. There, he pitched Embedded to a panel of judges and took first place, securing $5,000 to put toward growing his company and toward networking and mentorship opportunities.

Brown said the path forward has always been clear to him, and now he’s seeing his purpose come to life.

“I always knew I wanted to be a business owner and create technology to help people in some way,” Brown said.

To that end, Embedded utilizes RFID (radio frequency identification) tags to help monitor patients, especially older persons, by letting nurses, family, or other caretakers know when the patient is about to get up. The notification can help prevent a fall and serious injury, Brown said.

RFID tags use radio frequency to automatically track and identify the tag attached to an item and communicates that information.

Brown’s Future Texas Business Legend honor awarded him $15,000 to put toward his company as well as access to a network of business owners and entrepreneurs.

He said his selection to the Texas Business Hall of Fame gave him confidence that he is fulfilling his purpose.

“Being treated with so much professionalism, and being trusted with so much money, recognition and networking connections gives me reassurance I am on the right path,” he said.

Brown is on track to graduate this spring and plans to begin his MBA in the fall. He continues to develop his company by finalizing the prototype and introducing it to nursing homes to get feedback back that will ensure the business model will cater to healthcare providers specific needs for their patients.

He also plans to keep as much of his business in his hometown, Brownsville, to create more job opportunities.

Laurie Simmons, director of UTRGV’s Center for Innovation & Commercialization, worked closely with Brown at the Business Plan Competition.

“His entrepreneurial curiosity was evident,” Simmons said. “William is the type of student UTRGV should encourage and nurture, the students who are going to make a difference in our community and, potentially, the world.”

Brown said he has always dreamed of seeing his company become a statewide service, so it can help as many people as possible. Now, that dream is closer to reality given all the opportunities he has received to help grow the business.

“I am beyond grateful for the experience, accomplishment and knowledge I have gained while at UTRGV, as it will all benefit this business, Embedded, to ensure it will be of service to as many people as possible,” Brown said.


The Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation serves to help future business leaders and entrepreneurs while they are actively working toward receiving a degree through the Future Texas Business Legend Award Program. This program honors the efforts of students working on a business while getting an education by awarding the winner with $15,000 and become permanent and active members of the Texas Business Hall of Fame network. 


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.