StudioG Ribbon Cutting and presser, Friday, February 7, 2020, in El Paso, Texas. Photo by Ivan Pierre Aguirre/UTEP Communications

UTEP inaugurates Student Business Accelerator Center Studio G

UTEP President Heather Wilson and NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu announced Friday a collaboration between their universities to inspire and increase entrepreneurship in the region.

The creation of Studio G at UTEP, a student business accelerator, is a partnership between The University of Texas at El Paso’s Mike Loya Center for Innovation and Commerce and the Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University (NMSU), where Studio G originated.

The partnership is supported by the Hunt Family Foundation.

Members of UTEP’s Entrepreneurship Community of Practice, graduate research fellows from the Mike Loya Center for Innovation and Commerce, and representatives from NMSU’s Arrowhead Center joined President Wilson and Chancellor Arvizu at the event Friday, February 7.

“Studio G has helped hundreds of students start and grow their own businesses,” President Wilson said. “We want more UTEP students to have that opportunity.  We appreciate the support of the Hunt Foundation and the partnership with NMSU.”

The new partnership will allow UTEP students and recent alumni to bolster their entrepreneurial skills by providing opportunities to attend and participate in startup workshops, presentations from local and distinguished innovators, business contests, and multidisciplinary hackathons, and to receive mentorship and training for forming new business ventures or expanding existing businesses.

In addition, it opens a new avenue for sharing of knowledge and best practices between the Mike Loya Center and the Arrowhead Center.

“We’re excited to bring NMSU’s student business accelerator to UTEP,” Chancellor Arvizu said. “We want all students to share in the benefits of entrepreneurship and business creation, which helps build a stronger economy in our region. We are thankful to the Hunt Family Foundation for its generosity and for providing funding for Studio G at UTEP through the Hunt Center for Entrepreneurship at Arrowhead. This effort shows the value of collaborations between our two universities. Our region is home to individuals whose shared ambitions and commitment to economic development transcend borders.”

“Both NMSU and UTEP have valuable strengths in the building blocks of sustainable economic development,” said Woody Hunt, chairman of the Hunt Family Foundation. “It makes sense to bring together the best each institution has to offer. Entrepreneurial spirit and great ideas are not restricted to any one community in the Borderplex. Sharing resources across the region benefits everyone.”

Founded in 2011, Studio G is Arrowhead Center’s Student Business Accelerator. Studio G has worked with more than 1,700 student entrepreneurs and has raised more the $6 million in investments and grants.

In the last year, 300 people have been hired by Studio G entrepreneurs. Studio G’s mission is to help students start and grow businesses. Studio G’s vision is to grow a community to support student entrepreneurs and make entrepreneurship a viable and sustainable career path.

“Bringing the Studio G student business accelerator to UTEP is an unprecedented opportunity to give students from across our campus, and across all disciplines, a central point of focus and resource for developing their ideas, innovations and inventions into real businesses,” said Michael S. Garcia, commercial director for the Mike Loya Center for Innovation and Commerce.

“Our goal with Studio G is to weave it into a broader entrepreneurial ecosystem that drives new business creation. We envision this entrepreneurial pipeline translating into real economic development in our region, growing as a source of employment for UTEP graduates, and seamlessly bridging to equivalent resources outside of campus. We are grateful to our partners at NMSU’s Arrowhead Center, and the Hunt Family Foundation for making this possible, and look forward with great anticipation to our collaborations and success.”

Photos courtesy UTEP