East LA College Foundation and OmniWorks™ Launch ESTEC™ LA Incubator For Women, Veteran, Minority, Formerly Incarcerated, and LGBTQIA Owned Businesses

The Small Business Incubator, Funded In Part by JPMorgan Chase,
With additional Support from Union Bank, and the California State Strong Workforce
Program, Will Assist Local Students and Entrepreneurs with
Business Start Ups and Growth Opportunities

Press Release

Friday, March 23rd, 2018

Contact: Paul De La Cerda, ELAC Foundation,

(323) 265-8901 Email: delacep@elac.edu

Click Here for Press Release PDF Copy


March 23rd, 2018 (Los Angeles, CA) – The East LA College Foundation and OmniWorks™ announced today a new initiative to incubate and accelerate startup and growth-phase women, veteran, minority, formerly incarcerated, and LGBTQIA owned businesses in Los Angeles. The new program is funded, in part, by a $150,000 investment by JPMorgan Chase, with additional support from Union Bank and the California Strong Workforce Program.

The ESTEC™ LA Incubator – Powered by OmniWorks™, hosted by East Los Angeles College, will provide twelve months of 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’s goal is to help build economic prosperity, support quality job growth, develop intellectual property, and create generational wealth in under-served communities. The new initiative launches on April 13 on the ELAC campus and offers free services to qualified applicants including:

• A two day Entrepreneur’s Boot Camp
• Fifteen weeks of ELAC business curriculum integrated with OmniWorks interactive
workshops on contemporary business strategies
• Planning, launching, building, and growing community based businesses
• Marketing strategies, interpersonal skills, legal roadmap, and building financials
• Notable guest speakers actively working in relevant California industries
• Nine months of high-touch incubation with executive mentors
• A Pitch Day with cohort and executive feedback
• A network of active executives, mentors, and advisors
• East LA College Certificates of Completion

“This program demonstrates our college’s commitment to open a Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at ELAC to provide a pathway for students 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 Marvin Martinez, President of ELAC.

“By focusing on entrepreneurs that are often overlooked by other incubator and accelerator programs, we are democratizing access to capital, markets, and financial and business education, resulting in more sustainable community-based businesses, quality jobs, and wealth generation,” 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. Built on a rigorous and relevant framework and network of partners, our highly interactive program will enable participants to learn first-hand from successful entrepreneurs,” said
Paul De La Cerda, Dean of Resource, Economic Development and Innovation & Executive Director of ELAC Foundation.

“Too few businesses, especially those owned by women, minority and veteran entrepreneurs, have access to flexible financing and the support services that are so critical to growth,” said Joseph Skowera, a Senior Vice President and Business Banking
Market Manager for Chase in Los Angeles. “Yet it is these businesses that are uniquely positioned to revitalize local economies. Creating greater economic opportunity must be a responsibility for all of us. JPMorgan Chase is delighted to support the ESTEC LA Incubator- Powered by OmniWorks and its important mission.”

“Through The MUFG Union Bank 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, The 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.”

If you are an entrepreneur interested in the program please create a profile for consideration at ESTECLA.COM


East Los Angeles College Foundation (ELACF) is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The Foundation's singular goal is to support the programs and students of East Los Angeles College. The staff and volunteer Board of Directors embark upon advocacy, building community goodwill and promoting and elevating the College in fulfilling its mission and reaching its goals through marketing and advocacy, community and industry connections, and financial support. The Foundation strives to improve the quality, sustainability, and student involvement in many of the campus programs, such as Entrepreneurship, Logistics, Business Administration, Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) and Advanced Manufacturing. Community college foundations statewide are expected to play a pivotal role in college advancement and social impact in the years to
come and the ELAC Foundation is building social enterprise programs and capacity to lead that charge by launching ESTEC LA Incubator – Powered by OmniWorks. The program name “ESTEC LA” fuses the words Este “East” and Technology “Tec”, which stands for the region and innovation coming together to create the next generation of entrepreneurial minds and small businesses. To learn more about the ELAC Foundation programs visit: www.elacfoundation.com

OmniWorks is a new platform for small business growth. Our mission is to help underserved, underestimated entrepreneurs succeed by democratizing access to business intelligence, markets, and capital with a focus on women and minority business owners. OmniWorks is upgrading the existing ecosystem of business support by incorporating elements of the tech/venture capital model with place-based and virtual business services, extended mentorship, and equitable access to loan capital for startup and growth phase businesses. OmniWorks’ programs are designed to enhance small business success by helping business owners achieve greater efficiency, create and sustain quality jobs, increase revenues, and generate long term wealth in traditionally underserved communities. For more information visit: www.omniworksus.com

East Los Angeles College (ELAC) is now in its 71st year of service, continuing its mission of transforming the lives of students in the eastern Los Angeles area through education and career opportunities. ELAC has an international, multicultural student body that complements the 14 communities comprising its primary service area. The college offers both academic transfer courses, which prepare students for admission to four-year colleges and universities, and occupational programs, which prepare students for careers in two years or less. ELAC boasts an 86% retention rate and a 71% success rate and continues to increase the number of graduates and transfers to four-year universities each year. Ranked #13 in the nation and #2 in California by Washington Monthly magazine’s 2016 “Best Two-Year Colleges for Adult Learners”, ELAC is one of the largest Community Colleges in California with over 60,000 students enrolled. ELAC is Ranked 12th in CSU Transfers (up from 20th) and ranked 15th in UC Transfers (up from 20th) for transfers to 4-year universities. To learn more about East LA College please visit: www.elac.edu

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at: www.jpmorganchase.com

As of December 31, 2017, MUFG Union Bank, N.A. operated 361 branches, comprised primarily of retail banking branches in the West Coast states, along with commercial branches in Texas, Illinois, New York and Georgia, as well as 19 PurePoint Financial Centers and one international office. We provide a wide spectrum of corporate, commercial and retail banking and wealth management solutions to meet the needs of customers. We also offer an extensive portfolio of value-added solutions for customers, including investment banking, personal and corporate trust, global custody, transaction banking, capital markets, and other services. With assets of $118.5 billion, as of December 31, 2017, MUFG Union Bank has strong capital reserves, credit ratings and capital ratios relative to peer banks. MUFG Union Bank is a proud member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (NYSE: MTU), one of the world’s largest financial organizations with total assets of approximately ¥312.5 trillion (JPY) or $2.8 trillion (USD)¹, as of December 31, 2017. The corporate headquarters (principal executive office) for MUFG Americas Holdings Corporation, which is the financial holding company, and MUFG Union Bank, is in New York City. The main banking office of MUFG Union Bank is in San Francisco, California. 1 Exchange rate of 1 USD=¥113.0 (JPY) as of December 29, 2017

The MUFG Union Bank Foundation (“The Foundation”) is a nonprofit public benefit corporation that serves as an agent for charitable contributions made by MUFG Union Bank, N.A. Since its creation in 1953, The Foundation has supported the bank’s commitment to help meet the needs of the communities that it serves. Its mission is to make philanthropic investments that expand access to economic opportunity in low- and moderate-income communities especially in the areas of affordable housing, community economic development, education, human services, and the environment.