The Innovator Program serves innovators and entrepreneurs at the ideation stage of development and those looking to learn more about how to validate a market strategy and business model for an innovative product or service idea.

With a curriculum centered around customer discovery and the business model canvas, participants can build a solid foundation of best practices for how to test a value proposition and deliver it the right way to the right market. In addition to training and support, MCA Innovators will be provided with access to the Cardwell Collaborative facilities and workspaces as well as special event programming throughout the year.  Interested applicants can apply as individuals or as teams. Early stages companies can also apply.

If you have an existing company, or an idea for a company, and you are looking to further develop your technology or business, you are invited to submit the MCA Innovation Center application below.

Application Questions

Please provide as much relevant detail as you can for the following questions. It is not expected that all applicants will have thorough answers to all questions. Do the best you can. MCA Innovation Center programming and support will help participants address these areas as they develop their businesses. Please submit only non-confidential information.


To be eligible to participate in MCA Innovation Center programs, applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • All innovators, entrepreneurs, and companies with a technology focus are encouraged to apply.
  • Preference will be given to companies that focus on healthcare and life sciences, or that have technology applications that can impact the life sciences industry.  Preference will also be given to companies utilizing technologies that come from regional (El Paso, Texas; Northern Chihuahua, Mexico; southern New Mexico) universities or spinning out of regional companies.
  • All participants must be at least 18 years of age.

Exclusions from eligibility from participation in the MCA Innovation Center include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Company or proposed company activities cannot include any of the following:
  • the operation of any private or commercial:
    • golf course
    • country club
    • massage parlor
    • hot tub facility
    • suntan facility
    • racetrack or other facility used for gambling
  • the sale of alcoholic beverages
  • farming
  • the sale or rental of residential real property
  • retail businesses with brick and mortar storefronts
  • investment in the securities of other entities
  • gaming and gambling businesses
  • entertainment-related establishments
  • single-purpose productions (e.g. movies, albums, concerts) Individuals involved, company or proposed company activities cannot be excluded from participating in federal government programs.
  • Employees of the Medical Center of the Americas Foundation or its affiliates, and immediate family of employees are not eligible to apply.

All applicants accepted into MCA Innovation Center programs are REQUIRED to do the following:

  • Startup Development Program participants are required to attend weekly training sessions on Thursday evenings.  Attendance is encouraged, but not mandatory, for Innovator Program participants.
  • Develop a progress plan with MCA Innovation Center staff with agreed upon activities and milestones.
  • Attend monthly office hours with MCA Innovation Center staff to discuss progress to date and evaluate next steps.
  • For companies participating in programming, we require semiannual updates to MCA regarding employment, financial activity, and fundraising during the award period and for a period of 5 years following the acceptance.  MCA will not disclose any information not made public by your company, but may disclose data regarding job creation and capital investment aggregated across Cardwell Collaborative companies.
  • Abide by all Cardwell Collaborative building and facilities rules at all times.

MCA reserves the right to remove individuals and/or companies from any of its programs for misconduct or any other reasons the staff or board find necessary.

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