The Medical Center of the Americas Foundation is helping create a thriving biomedical industry in the Paso del Norte region. To this end, the MCA offers several initiatives—from incubation to acceleration—to help entrepreneurs and startups blaze a path to success.

The MCA’s incubation and acceleration programs help entrepreneurs take their product or service to the next level. This includes guidance from industry veterans with broad knowledge of the biomedical sector, access to world-class laboratory facilities, and opportunities for seed funding.  

MCA Innovation Center

The MCA Innovation Center, located on the third floor of the Cardwell Collaborative building, is a facility and program designed to provide early-stage technology entrepreneurs with the resources needed to launch successful startups.  

With world-class laboratory facilities, offices and conference rooms, the Cardwell Collaborative is the ideal place for new companies to start and grow in El Paso. The MCA Innovation Center provides programming to help companies develop their technology, refine business plans and investor pitches, expand professional networks, and pursue grant and investment opportunities.

Visit the Innovation Center Website >

Innovator & Startup Development Programs

Building on its 2017-2018 MCA Proof-of-Concept Program, the MCA Foundation is looking for aspiring innovators, entrepreneurs, and startup companies to participate in one of two programs launching in September, 2018. (1) The Innovator Program will help introduce participants to the Paso del Norte region’s (El Paso, Juarez and Las Cruces) innovation ecosystem and assist with the first phases of development of a product or business. (2) The Startup Development Program will provide training and support to newly created startups to maximize their success.

Learn More About the Program   

Proof-of-Concept Grant Competition

In 2017, the MCA Proof-of-Concept Competition drew 25 entries, from which 11 startup companies were selected to receive between $5,000 and $50,000 in financial assistance, lab and office space in the Cardwell Collaborative, and mentoring from business experts. Selected startups received:

  • Between $5,000 to $50,000 in funding to commercialize technologies
  • Nine months of free lab and office space in the Cardwell Collaborative’s MCA Innovation Center.
  • Business incubation and accelerator training from MCA Innovation Center staff, local business professionals and guest speakers.
  • Mentorship and access to the MCA Investor in Residence, Entrepreneur in Residence and Executive in Residence.

Space Race

In 2016, the MCA Foundation partnered with the Center for Advancing Innovation (CAI) to launch the Space Race, a competition designed to spur regional economic growth by launching new startups to advance and commercialize NASA technologies.

Teams selected for the competition went through five months of comprehensive entrepreneurship training, developing a business plan and delivering a live business pitch to challenge judges. Fifteen teams, including five from the Paso del Norte region, were selected as winning finalists. They received a cash prize of $2,500 and moved on to compete for up to $1.2 million in seed funding from NASA.

Learn more at the Space Race web site, and stay tuned for future startup challenges.

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