The Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC) recently recognized UTEP’s Mike Loya Center for Innovation and Commerce with its 2016 Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Center award during the group’s annual conference in New York.
Aaron Cervantes, the Loya Center’s director of operations, accepted the award during the GCEC2016 conference at the University of Rochester. The honor is given to centers in existence less than five years that have experienced outstanding results. The Loya Center was selected from 20 nominees.
The consortium, headquartered at Rice University in Houston, Texas, serves as a gathering point for university-based entrepreneurship centers, of which there are more than 225 around the world. The group also oversees what are possibly the most prestigious awards in the field, which are announced at the conference.
“I think this is a true testament to all the hard work everyone has done at the Loya Center for the last four years to include staff, students and fellows,” Cervantes said. “I am proud in knowing that we are on a great path and that our efforts and work are being recognized globally.”
The center, which opened in 2012 as a collaboration between UTEP’s colleges of Engineering and Business Administration, was created to sponsor, conduct and promote research in innovation and commerce, commercialization of innovation and entrepreneurship education. During its lifetime, the center has provided more than 1,000 UTEP students with educational programs and experiences that prepare them for life outside the University.
The next example is the Mike Loya Weekend Startup on Oct. 21-23, 2016, at UTEP. The goal is for teams of students from different academic disciplines to launch their own tech company during an intensive 72 hours.
Seasoned investors and business owners will assist the teams as they consider expenses, target markets, product validation, financial projections, member responsibilities, company valuation, and prototype creation. The teams will be judged on feasibility in a real-world market.