Center for Innovation and Commerce provides UTEP students resources for developing successful businesses


Photos courtesy of Mike Loya Center of Innovation and Commerce.

Sophia Villalobos, Contributor

The Mike Loya Center for Innovation and Commerce, Blackstone LaunchPad and Studio G is an entrepreneurship platform that serves UTEP students. They provide guidance for students seeking to create their brand or a new business, encourage them to join organizations and serve as a welcome platform for incoming freshmen.  

The purpose of the MLCIC is to assist students, staff, or faculty to find organizations that allow them to learn how to establish, administer and succeed in their startup businesses. They have also created a space for students with common interests and goals to meet and network.  

The Mike Loya Center for Innovation and Commerce (MLCIC), located at Prospect Hall 320, was founded in 2012 and is committed to bringing together faculty and students to work together on business and technology challenges. Students have thrived with the help of the MLCIC in developing their own successful businesses.  

“The Mike Loya Center for Innovation and Commerce is there to transform Miners into entrepreneurs,” said Carlos Mora, former lead of the event planning business for the MLCIC and Marketing Assistant for Studio G.  

Carlos Mora shared Tristan Hernandez’ success story. Tristan is a former UTEP student who began going to the MLCIC workshops in pursuit of starting a project. Consequently, he created a non-profit organization aimed at helping Canutillo High School students graduate.  

The Mike Loya Center for Innovation and Commerce works together with Blackstone Launchpad and Studio G to provide students with information, resources, legal and financial advising, and funding opportunities to create businesses from scratch. The center looks to represent Latinos and our community by sharing stories and helping Hispanics become entrepreneurs.  

“This is a great place for students to come with ideas to be developed; we provide the necessary resources to develop those ideas and connect them with mentors from NMSU,” said Carla Ramirez, Program Manager for the Mike Loya Center for Innovation and Commerce.  

Kimmy Chacon, an incoming freshman, said that the event had given her the necessary tools to start a new business and that it helped her know all the resources the university has to offer  

“I now know where to go to find resources and support if I plan to start my own business,” Chacon said.  

I encourage all UTEP students to take advantage of the resources that the MLCIC is providing for them. If you are looking to create a new business but do not know where to start, contact MLCIC. The center is open to any UTEP student and recent alumni. 

To learn more about the Mike Loya Center for Innovation and Commerce visit: 

To see future events, go to: 


Sophia Villalobos is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected]