Writer: Cassie McClure, 575-312-3242, firstname.lastname@example.org
Carlos Murguia of New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center has been named director of the Foster Innovation Exchange (FIX), the premier collaboration space and network for entrepreneurs and emerging business leaders in the regional Borderplex.
“FIX is an ecosystem where innovative, entrepreneurial students, universities, economic development organizations and community-based projects are cultivated, where new connections are made, and where vital partnerships are forged,” said Murguia.
Currently an Arrowhead Center economic development officer, Murguia is a former entrepreneur in Mexico who earned a master’s degree in industrial engineering from NMSU and is a 2017 NMSU Outstanding Graduate awardee.
“The call is out for researchers, students, industry, government entities, and community agencies to use the resources of FIX to address challenges facing the Borderplex,” he said.
The Borderplex is the unique and booming tristate and binational economic region of Las Cruces, New Mexico; El Paso, Texas; Ciudad Juárez, Mexico; and Chihuahua, Mexico. According to the Borderplex Alliance, it is home to 2.5 million individuals and one of the world’s largest bilingual workforces in the fourth largest manufacturing hub in North America.
In November 2019, Arrowhead Center signed a memorandum of understanding with the State of Chihuahua, Mexico, to enhance entrepreneurial and business collaboration between both sides of the border. A key component of that collaboration on the Arrowhead Center side is FIX.
FIX was first established in 2017 and allows members to get detailed help with building their business initiatives from the ground up, developing new relationships to take them to the next level, or transferring their business into a global arena. FIX helps businesses with technology challenges, soft landing services for startups looking to move to the U.S., and hosts business accelerators in Spanish and English.
Murguia will be guiding FIX to even expand its expert networking services, like Enterprise Advisors, to Santa Teresa, El Paso and Chihuahua. He hopes to continue two flagship programs: Product Design Awards and Community Entrepreneurship Partnerships, thanks to support by the Foster Family.
“Paul Foster and Alejandra de La Vega Foster understand the potential for business opportunities that is enhanced by our location on the border and that our global competitiveness needs a place to grow and explore,” said Murguia. “We hope to build on the energy, innovation and mindset that we see in our region to enhance even greater community entrepreneurship partnerships.”
Partnerships allow smaller companies to gain technical assistance they may not have dedicated staff for yet. For example, the FIX Product Design Awards allow inventors and entrepreneurs in the Borderplex region to apply for assistance with CAD modeling, 3D printing, prototyping, and manufacturing for physical products. Another program, the Foster Community Entrepreneurship Partnership, seeks to make entrepreneurial opportunities available to broader audiences, will focus on two minority entrepreneurship populations: women and armed services veterans.
“Arrowhead Center is committed to making entrepreneurship accessible to all, particularly groups who traditionally have fewer opportunities to launch their own ventures,” said Kathryn Hansen, Arrowhead Center director. “By teaming Arrowhead staff, programs and networks with community-based partners for outreach and delivery efforts, this program will strive to increase the number of women- and veteran-led businesses in the Borderplex region.”
If you are interested in solving Borderplex issues or would like to learn more about what Arrowhead Center’s FIX could offer your business, contact Murguia at email@example.com, 575-646-2025 or visit: https://arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/program/fix/