(El Paso, Texas) September 14, 2017 — Nearly 200 area students across 11 high schools will participate in a world-wide competition to celebrate science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) education and entrepreneurship, powered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Launch program. This program will serve in “empowering young people to build the future.” Participants will convene on Saturday, September 16th, starting at 9:00am at CoWork Oasis located at 114 Texas Ave, El Paso, Texas 79901.
“Locally and regionally likeminded organizations “have come together to support this initiative and showcase that we can foster entrepreneurs and compete on a global basis,” said Beto Pallares, co-founder of CoWork Oasis. Cathy Chen, co-founder of FabLab El Paso added, “We are excited to be a host, as well as showcase the capabilities and resources of the FabLab during this prestigious event.”
“The idea was brought to us by Jorge Ramos Putz, a sophomore at Cathedral High School, and when we reached out to MIT, they embraced the idea of having our region participate and form a first-time club. MIT Launch has been amazingly supportive, and we believe this will become an ongoing activity in the region,” said Pallares.
“Launch provides materials and mentorship support to high schools throughout the school year to allow students to develop entrepreneurial skills and mindset by launching startups. This is not a business plan contest. The aim is to create a real startup – to solve a real need in a differentiated way. The focus is on taking action, learning from results, and making changes to improve chances of success. Through Launch Clubs, entrepreneurship clubs are being started at high schools around the world, with teams of aspiring high school entrepreneurs becoming entrepreneurs and launching real startups. Classes are taught by Launch staff, business professionals, MIT professors, HBS professors, and successful entrepreneurs,” said Mariah Ramos, Launch Partnerships Manager, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship.”
“The City of El Paso values our partnership with CoWork Oasis, Workforce Solutions Borderplex, FabLab El Paso, and the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. We are always looking for ways to support our Entrepreneurial community, and this is an excellent way to begin growing the pipeline,” stated Jessica Herrera, Director, City of El Paso Economic Development Department.
The Entrepreneurship Club Powered by MIT Launch Comes to El Paso, Page Two
What are team requirements?
All team members must be enrolled in high school. Each team should include 3-5 founding members. There is no cap on how many teams can participate from an affiliated school, however, students cannot participate on multiple teams.
How long does the Launch Club program run?
The program runs from September through mid-March. There is an initial elevator pitch deliverable early in the program to allow matching of mentors, so any applications received past October 1 will be placed on a list of interest for the following year. The final pitch event will take place at MIT in April.
What do finalists receive?
Finalists are invited to a final mentorship and pitch celebration event will take place at MIT in April. Teams attending will network with like-minded peer teams, receive feedback to progress their startups, plus may receive a series of prizes that will support the development of their company.
“Expanding the collaboration and competitive capabilities of our students, particularly in the STEAM areas is fundamental in building a high-skilled labor force,” said Joseph Sapien, STEAM Project Manager, Workforce Solutions Borderplex.
ABOUT THE PARTNERS
CoWork Oasis is a community based shared office workplace enabling and promoting a tech based entrepreneurial ecosystem in the El Paso Borderplex region. It is a communal space to network with fellow entrepreneurs, freelancers, service providers, web developers, etc. and meet your next client, cofounder, and/or mentor. The community will be empowered to create more tech enabled startups in the region via workshops, educational courses, development tools and an affiliated investor network that will all be built and housed in the coworking space. Memberships run month-to-month with no long-term obligation and provide flexibility based on needs. For more information, visit our site at coworkoasis.com
Workforce Solutions Borderplex is the public workforce system in the six-county Borderplex region that assists employers in finding quality employees, and training individuals with the skills necessary to thrive in the workplace. It administers a broad range of programs and services to effectively address local workforce issues. Workforce Solutions establishes partnerships with various stakeholders within the region to improve education, employment, and economic development. The organization and its initiatives have been recognized and awarded by the Texas Workforce Commission for our innovative approach to assisting employers and job seekers. http://www.borderplexjobs.com/
UNDERGRADS College Tours is an educational travel company dedicated to helping El Paso’s youth in reaching their fullest potential of experiencing, networking, and being admitted to prestigious Ivy League universities and top-tier colleges across the US. http://www.undergradscct.com/
City of El Paso – Economic Development:
As the sixth-largest city in Texas, El Paso is a top 20% U.S. performing economy and continues to experience positive economic growth by attracting new businesses and helping existing companies to grow. The City's focus is to create new employment opportunities in 21st century industries, maintain a great quality of life, and facilitate business growth at the local and international levels. https://www.elpasotexas.gov/economic-development
Fab Lab El Paso is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization established in 2013. Located in the international metropolitan area of Paso del Norte, Fab Lab El Paso provides community access to digital fabrication tools and resources for skillset learning, workforce training, creative collaboration, prototype development, and product manufacture. Fab Lab El Paso is the first in the western Texas region of the United States. It is an entirely grassroots organization and has grown organically from support from the community offering free STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) education for kids known as Fab Kids program as well a summer Maker Camp, co-hosted with Maker Media. Currently, we are working on partnering with governmental and private sectors to bring more fabrication spaces to El Paso, Juarez City, and Las Cruces. In addition, it is working with the school districts and city government to bring Fab Kids curriculum to public schools in El Paso. http://fablabelpaso.org/