Mike Loya Weekend Startup 2017

October 20 - 22, 2017: College of Business Administration

In reaching its goal of promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in the Paso del Norte region, the Mike Loya Center provides students with the tools and opportunities to successfully develop innovative businesses. One such opportunity is the Mike Loya Weekend Startup, an entrepreneurship education initiative. The 72-hour program enables students to face real-life and hands-on experiences while starting their own technology-based business.

Be it an app, website, piece of software, etc. every participant regardless of their background or expertise is able to share their business ideas with colleagues from multiple academic disciplines. Thereafter, peers consider the feasibility of the ideas in the real world market and select the best.

After forming teams, students are taken through all aspects of business development. From identifying their target market, validating their product, identifying expenses, deciding roles, projecting their financials, valuating their company, identifying an investment need, all the way to delivering a working prototype.

Through the intensive weekend, students are faced with the realities of the business world and receive the assistance of seasoned business owners and investors to finally deliver a business pitch.

If you would like to know more about MLWS2017, please contact Ms. Sandra Jimenez via email. Or if you are down for this, then simply fill out and submit the Intent to Participate Form to the email address on the form no later than October 16.


Grand Challenge Workshop 2016

September 23, 2016: College of Business Administration Room 318 and Texas Gas Student Service Center
September 24, 2016: College of Business Administration Room 312 and Texas Gas Student Service Center

Hosted by The Mike Loya Center for Innovation and Commerce the Grand Challenge Workshop is an opportunity for students to have a real impact on the Paso del Norte region. The Center partners with a public or private entity to analyze an issue that is currently affecting the community. Thereafter, students in multi-disciplinary teams are challenged with the task of taking proactive approaches and unique perspectives to solving the issue with the potential of having their idea implemented.

It is widely known that a nutritionally adequate, high-quality diet includes sufficient amounts of fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, less than 25% of Americans, and even fewer in the Paso del Norte region, report consuming at least 5 servings a day. The recommended amount for most Americans is 10-12 servings a day. It is important to highlight that inadequate fruit and vegetable intake is associated with increased risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and all-cause mortality. Many people in our region lack “access to enough food for an active, healthy life” and have “limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods” (defined as food insecurity by the USDA). In El Paso county, 11% of the population is food insecure (over 90,000 people), but over one-quarter of the children are food insecure (more than 61,000 children).

This year's challenge is to create innovative public/private policies or programs that will increase fruit and vegetable access to food insecure people.

This challenge is posed by Dr. Leah Whigham, first Executive Director for the Paso del Norte Institute for Healthy Living, an entity tasked with the development of innovative and sustainable solutions for healthy eating and active living in the Paso del Norte region.

Designing for Creativity with Iain Kerr

April 1-2, 2016

In this intensive workshop, participants will take a deep dive into the experience of creativity. The workshop emphasizes lateral thinking that leads to unexpected breakthroughs. For entrepreneurs, and for anyone who wants to take an entrepreneurial approach to work and life, the workshop will help you go beyond solving problems to making new possibilities emerge. The workshop is appropriate for faculty and students across the university, including engineering, computer science, science, communication, and more. Participation is limited to 40 places.

Iain Kerr is a founder and principal at the design firm SPURSE and the Director of Creative Practices at the Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship at Montclair State University. He is a cross disciplinary designer, systems thinker, artist, and writer working at the intersection of paradigmatic creativity, ecology, emergent systems, design for change, process philosophy, and experimental forms of making (everything from tools, to food, cosmologies, apps, clothing, architecture, educational programs and landscape design). At the heart of his work is helping groups apply novel practices of creativity to transform seemingly intractable problems into problems worth having. He has spent the last two decades developing and teaching unique transformative models of creative processes. In addition to working with SPURSE and directing Creative Practices at the Feliciano Center, Iain holds faculty appointments at the University of Maine, and Montclair State University in arts/design. He works internationally as a consultant and lecturer/workshop leader on creativity, innovation and design (including MIT, Harvard University, Columbia University, Parsons, Yale, CCA, and RISDI).

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