EL PASO, TX – July 25, 2019 – The Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced the winners of the EDA’s Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Seed Fund Support grant competition this week, naming the Medical Center of the Americas Foundation as a recipient of a $300,000 grant to help launch the MCA Innovation Fund that will help increase startup success in the El Paso region. This follows the EDA’s i6 Challenge Grant award to the MCA in the Fall of 2018 supporting its Innovation Center. Through this investment, the EDA entrusts winning organizations with creating and expanding high growth entrepreneurship and increasing the access to capital needed to further advancement in their respective regions.
The entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems in the El Paso region have suffered in the past as startups struggle to find capital to help fund their endeavors locally. This tends to draw them out of the region to areas with more robust capital infrastructure that can help their company or idea grow.
Through this grant, over a three-year period, the MCA will plan and launch a seed fund – the MCA Innovation Fund – that will improve access to early-stage capital for startups in the MCA’s Innovation Center Program. The grant will also allow the MCA to educate and recruit potential investors, thereby increasing the total available capital in our region and accelerating the growth of our local tech ecosystem.
“Increasing access to capital will be invaluable to the startup companies incubating and training at the MCA’s Innovation Center at the Cardwell Collaborative,” said Emma Schwartz, President of the MCA Foundation. “Successful startups add to our community’s economic development by increasing living wage jobs, improving the local technology-based industry and creating a culture of innovation that attracts R&D, entrepreneurship, higher-level manufacturing, and young talented professionals.”
The MCA Innovation Center Program consists of targeted boot camps, supplemented by individual office hours, expert panels, a distinguished speaker series, networking opportunities, mentors, a professional resource network and connections to capital. The program seeks to provide innovators and entrepreneurs with a competitive edge to help build and scale their business or idea. Applications for the 2019-2020 cohort are now open. For more information about the program or to apply, visit: www.mcamericas.org/innovation.