ELAC launches its first Incubator program

By Susan Lorenzana

The East Los Angeles College Foundation and Omni Works launch the first ESTEC LA Incubator For Women, Veteran, Minority, Formerly Incarcerated, and LGBTQ Owned Businesses. This program will help students feel comfortable learning about the business world.

Paul De La Cerda  is the Executive Director of the ELAC Foundation, Dean of Resource, Economic and Innovation’s Office and External and Government Relations and Corporate Partnerships. He is who had the idea of starting the incubator and will be the one who will manage the program.

“When you think about when babies are born you put them in an incubator so they can grow and get stronger,” said De La Cerda. “This program will give you knowledge that you need to grow a strong business.”

The new program is funded by a $150,000 investment by JPMorgan Chase, with additional support from Union Bank and the California Strong Workforce Program. Omni Works is part of the program of entrepreneurship. Their role and mission is to support women who want to start a business.

This program will provide twelve months of business curriculum that will help people who want to start their own business. Those who enter will also work with mentors and advisors. The program’s goal is to help build economic prosperity, support quality job growth, develop intellectual property, and create generational wealth in underserved communities.

This new program will launch April 13th and will start off with a two day boot camp. In those two days the program will start talking to the first fifty students who will qualify. They will talk about how business works and how to be successful in the business world.

After those students finish the class, they will qualify to take five more workshops that will be shorter. When those students finish those five workshops, they will qualify to enroll in a series of two classes. Students will be able to earn college credit and will be transferable.  

Students don’t have to be a business major to enter and the program is free. This process will consist of fifteen weeks of ELAC business curriculum integrated with OmniWorks interactive workshops on contemporary business strategies, planning and launching, building and growing community based businesses marketing strategies.

Students will also get helped with  interpersonal skills, legal roadmap, and building financials. There will be notable guest speakers actively working in relevant California industries. Nine months of high-touch incubation with executive mentors.

After the program is completed, who enter will receive an East LA College Certificate of Completion. The goal is to help many students who want to start their own business even if it’s at home.

“I started my first business my sophomore year in college,” said De la Cerda. He invented a dog door that for instance a dog’s collar will have a chip and when a dog gets near the door it will open automatically.

It is why De la Cerda wants to help people because when he started his business, no one helped him and he had to do it on his own. Paul encourages students to take this opportunity because it is rare when you see programs like this.

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