Tel:   915-493-6689

Mark Frazer on Judging Panel

Mike Loya Center Start-Up Weekend - October 24-26 2014

The Mike Loya Center for Innovation and Commerce sponsors, conducts and promotes three main avenues of research: research in innovation and commerce, research for commercialization of innovation, and research in entrepreneurship education. The Center was founded in 2012 through generous contributions from UTEP alumnus Mike Loya. The Center connects the College of Business Administration and the College of Engineering. The Center is part of a UTEP and El Paso ecosystem to support innovation and commerce. This ecosystem includes as partners the Center for Research on Entrepreneurship and Innovative Enterprises and the Hub of Human Innovation. As Innovator in Residence at the Mike Loya Center, Mark (who was Vice President at RedSky at the time, was delighted to serve as a judge on the final evening of this very intense weekend.


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.