UTEP Students Win 2nd Place in Texas Rural Challenge Business Plan Competition

A team of students from the University of Texas at El Paso’s colleges of engineering and business administration placed second in the student business plan competition of the Texas Rural Challenge, hosted by the University of Texas at San Antonio Institute for Economic Development and the Office of the Governor.

The Texas Student Challenge is a collegiate-level business startup competition centered on the development of technology and services that impact the well-being and economic prosperity of rural areas.

The students were awarded for their potential business startup EcoVFM. Team members are College of Business Administration students Diego Mejorado and Gustavo E. Velez-Arce and College of Engineering students Monica Fernandez, Zuhey Monge and Madai Vasquez.

EcoVFM is centered on developing sustainable technology for water filtration. The students’ business plan supports EcoVFM’s solution for filtering arsenic from water with the use of a point of use system (POU). POU water treatment devices are designed to treat small amounts of drinking water in the home. The device developed by EcoVFM is design to be easily useable by simply attaching it to your sink’s faucet.

“I am very glad to be able to take EcoVFM one step further toward our goal,” said Velez-Arce. “EcoVFM is a testament to the potential immense impact that collaboration from UTEP’s College of Engineering and College of Business Administration can have on the community.”

EcoVFM’s arsenic filtration solution currently filters more than 97 percent of arsenic from water and is in the process of being certified and patented in order to be introduced to market.