In a world where technology and the Internet make communication more convenient, publications like RGVision Media Creative Agency have told regional stories for 14 years. RGVision Media has made it its mission to connect local businesses with the resources and tools to thrive and to tell the stories that make up our colorful Rio Grande Valley.
“RGVision started because I fell in love with storytelling,” said Gabe Puente, RGVision Media founder and chief marketing officer.
“I moved back to the Valley to tell the story of the Rio Grande Valley and represent an area traditionally underrepresented.”
RGVision Media launched in 2009, and for several years, its offices were located in Mission inside the Center for Education and Economic Development (CEED). The Mission Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) operates the CEED, which offers resources and tools for growing entrepreneurs.
In that time, RGVision Media grew. The company publishes a bi-monthly magazine, RGVision Magazine, and offers local businesses services like web design, social media management, marketing, and branding. The operation continues to grow, and so does the demand for RGVision Media’s very own space. It was time to move and to operate out of its very own facility.
The RGVision Media office will open this summer. Located in McAllen off South Bicentennial Boulevard and Austin Avenue, the space will open up to a sizeable open-concept coworking and professional space. There, coworking space members can work at desks or lounge spaces. There will also be soundproof booths for tenants to take private calls. Offices will be available for rent if a specific business requires more space, and tenants will also have access to conference rooms. Puente hopes this space will provide business owners with a supportive community and the resources to generate growth.
The collaborative space will also have a coffee shop located inside for members and visitors. Other amenities include access to high-speed internet, printing facilities, monthly rent availability, and the unique opportunity to get support and resources to help their small business.
RGVision Magazine operations will be located at the far end of the building.
“As an entrepreneur, I’ve gone through many of the struggles that many small businesses have,” Puente said. “I started noticing a lot of businesses needing a lot more help in sales and marketing, but also need help in operations.”
Puente envisions the RGVision building becoming more than just a hub for small business and networking but a space that begins offering local businesses a roadmap that will allow them to succeed and maintain that successful track. Puente has an Executive MBA from the University of Texas Austin McCombs School of Business. The McCombs School of Business is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the #1 business school in the state of Texas and 18 in the country. The two-year program has connected him with other executives from all over the country who have offered a unique perspective on business and also sparked the idea for the business space.
“You have all these individuals who are extremely accomplished and have had a major impact in their industry sectors,” Puente said. “I went to that program because I wanted to understand things like business valuation, and I wanted to be able to understand private equity and see how venture capitalists evaluate companies and how they negotiate. This program has given me the knowledge and skills to do that.”
This building is just the beginning of what Puente has planned. Puente has recently partnered with other professionals in the community, and the group has begun plans to create a private equity fund or a search fund. A search fund is a financial vehicle made up of private investors to help grow and support business owners and entrepreneurs. This unique fund allows investors to acquire a percentage of the business and help them make improvements in terms of financials, business operations, human resources, marketing, and in general, supporting the company and securing future success.
Plans have yet to be finalized for this fund, and more details will follow, but one sure thing is the new RGVision Media building this summer. The media company will settle into its new home and open it up to other small businesses to grow and succeed.
“We’re hoping to launch the fund in 2024, but this building will be our first real headquarters,” Puente said. “People can gather right here in the middle and discuss their ideas with others.”
Standing in the shell space, with the ductwork exposed, and the office spaces framed by wood beams, Puente talked about the layout and the plans to build a stage where entrepreneurs could pitch their businesses to investors one day. He pointed at a space at the north end of the building that would be an art wall featuring inspirational and fun art to inspire those working there.
“I was scared when I started the publication because there’s a lot of unknowns, but you know, there’s this thing inside that tells you, ‘Hey, this is something that the area needs, this is what you need to do,’” Puente said.
He stepped up to the challenge, and 14 years later, he is defining a new path by opening his new building and creating a path for entrepreneurs through the search fund he and other investors are developing.