East LA College Foundation Receives $160,000 Grant from MUFG Union Bank Foundation

(front row left to right)  Sylvia Castillo, Dr. Raul Rodriguez, Mercedes Barajas-Tondre, Andra Hoffman, Marissa Castro-Salvati
(back row right to left) Paul Chang, Dr. Armond Aghakhanian, Lissette Arceo, Jorge Luis Gurrola
Los Angeles, CA–On Wednesday October 30 the East LA College (ELAC) Foundation and OmniWorks™ were presented with a $160,000 check by MUFG Union Bank to be invested in The ESTEC™ LA Incubator – Powered by OmniWorks™ offering programs to incubate and accelerate startup and growth-phase businesses. The program focuses on serving women, veteran, minority, formerly incarcerated, and LGBTQIA owned start-ups in Los Angeles.
The attendees included Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees President Andra Hoffman, ELAC Foundation newly elected Chairwoman Marissa Castro-Salvati, ELAC Foundation Board member Paul Chang, East Los Angeles College Interim President Dr. Rodriguez, Union Bank Director, Foundation and Community Outreach Officer, Sylvia Castillo, LA CEI co-founder and Chief Development Officer of ELAC Foundation Dr. Armond Aghakhanian, Co-Founder of OmniWorks™ Mercedes Barajas-Tondre, and two ESTEC™ LA Incubator – Powered by OmniWorks™ entrepreneurs, Lissette Arceo, Founder and CEO of Confetti Fiesta and Founder and CEO of Mazatli Footwear Jorge Luis Gurrola, Founder and CEO of Mazatli Foot Wear.
Entering its second-year, the center’s primary focus is to incubate and accelerate startup and growth-phase women, veteran, minority, formerly incarcerated, and LGBTQIA owned businesses in Los Angeles and the region. Providing business curriculum and high-touch incubation focused on equitable access to markets, service providers, financial resources, and capital. This is the first such incubator program for ELAC and the East Los Angeles region.
Working with a network of mentors and advisors, the program strives to support economic prosperity, quality job growth, intellectual property development, and emphasizes the growth of generational wealth in under-served communities. The 2019 program begins on November 23rd on the ELAC Corporate Center campus and offers free services to qualified applicants including:
  •  2-day Entrepreneur’s Blueprint for Success workshop
  • 14-week Optimizing the Entrepreneur program
-Courses integrated with 40 hours of advanced entrepreneur workshops
  •  9-month Incubation Lab
  •  High-touch incubation with executive mentors
  • A network of active executives, mentors, and advisors
  • Preparation for capital/contract ready presentations
-Certificates of Completion
“The Center and its incubator provide a pathway for students and community members who are interested in launching or growing their entrepreneurial venture or who wish to harness their creative problem-solving skills to boost their professional and career education development.” said Interim President of East Los Angeles College, Dr. Raúl Rodríguez.
“As the newly elected ELAC Foundation Chairwoman, I am honored to help support the ESTEC LA™ Incubator that continues to empower and motivate more underrepresented entrepreneurs from the East LA and surrounding regions to make tangible differences in their communities. The incubator helps to highlight ELAC’s role in the community as being the center for social and economic development, revitalizing a new entrepreneurial spirit of innovation through good-paying jobs” said Marissa Castro-Salvati, Chairwoman, East Los Angeles College Foundation.
“The goal of the second year of the ESTEC LA incubator program, is to expand the resources available in East LA for student entrepreneurs and community business owners including training, capital, and networks that will improve business outcomes, create quality jobs, and build generational wealth” commented Brent Imai, Founder of OmniWorks™.
“ESTEC LA™ is designed to inspire and engage participants in the technical and fundamental aspects of an entrepreneurial mindset and the unlimited opportunities it can provide” said LA CEI co-founder Dr. Armond Aghakhanian, Chief Development Officer of ELAC Foundation.
“Through the foundation, Union Bank is proud to provide financial support to help launch the first business incubator program in the East Los Angeles region” said Kathy Patoff, Chief Operating Officer, MUFG Union Bank Foundation. “This grant demonstrates our commitment to equipping students, who may have more significant barriers to entry, with the skills and support they need to make their entrepreneurial dreams a reality.”