We have a community of entrepreneurship experts ready for you.

You have a great idea, now what? The path from a great idea to a thriving business is filled with challenges. You need a strong management team and a solid business plan along with expertise in markets, finances and product development. Many startups fail trying to navigate those challenges on their own.

Entrepreneurs at the MCA Innovation Center benefit from connecting with seasoned and expert professionals who know what to watch out for and how to adjust to surprises along the way. Let us introduce you to the advisors and mentors you’ll be excited to listen to on your journey.

Entrepreneur in Residence

Erik Pavia

Erik Pavia has a BBA from UT El Paso and a law degree from Stanford University. He gained insight into the startup world as a volunteer at Start X, Stanford’s accelerator program. This led him to the founders of Knotch, Inc., an ad analytics startup company where he became head of operations.

He returned to El Paso as an adjunct professor at UTEP where he teaches a business law course focused on new tech ventures.

The Entrepreneur in Residence:

  • Provides feedback and advice to startup teams, with an emphasis on risk management, gap analysis, pitching to investors and business fundamentals
  • Develops managerial, operational, and leadership skills of company founders and principals

Investor in Residence

Ed Escudero

President and CEO of High Desert Capital, LLC

Edward Escudero is President and CEO of High Desert Capital, LLC, a finance company that specializes in providing capital alternatives to small and mid-size companies. Previously, he was the Executive Vice-President and CFO of C&R Distributing, a major distributor of fuel and lubricants and owner of various convenience stores in West Texas and Southern New Mexico. He also served as the Secretary and CFO of Petro Shopping Centers, L.P.

The Investor in Residence:

  • Provides feedback and advice to startup teams, with an emphasis on business modeling, business planning, and financial analysis
  • Develops financial acumen and leadership skills of company founders and principals
  • Assists in creating investor identification strategies, as well as pitch development and presentation
  • Works closely with the leadership team on programming the MCA Innovation Center’s Tech Talk series by suggesting topics of interest to the local entrepreneurial and research community and helping to recruit speakers

Resource Network

The MCA Resource Network is made up of trusted businesses and individuals who have agreed to provide discounted, pro bono or in-kind services to the technology startups at the Innovation Center.

The following types of businesses play an important part in the economic development of your startup:

  • Sales & Marketing
  • Business Services
  • Banking
  • Legal Services
  • Tech transfer
  • Manufacturing
  • Supply chain
  • Product development

If you would like to become a part of our resource network, let us know by contacting us or clicking on the button below!

Join our Resource Network

MCA Innovation Center Advisors

Experienced business leaders provide indispensable value to the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

At the MCA Innovation Center, the people serving as Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR), Investor in Residence (IIR) and Executive in Residence (ExIR) are important contributors to innovation center programming and the mentorship of technology startup companies.

They are available to:

  • Share real-world experiences about dealing with the challenges and failures in business
  • Help to grow your startup’s professional network, including business advisors, subject matter experts, professional service providers, and investors

In addition to the EIR/IIR/ExIR, a community of mentors actively support the MCA Innovation Center and client companies. The EIR/IIR/ExIR assist with mentor recruitment and development of programs to attract and engage high-value mentors.

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