Meet the First Cohort Fellows

Carlos Ivan Cuesta

NMSU - Las Cruces

Carlos is an MBA student at New Mexico State University. He is interested in Fintech startups and financial management.  

Iffat Fatima

UTEP - EL paso

Iffat is an MBA student with a concentration in Finance at UTEP. She is interested in Saas companies, VC and Cryptocurrencies.

Javier Brandon Lopez

UTEP- el paso

Javier is an Engineering Leadership student with a concentration in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is interested in aviation, transportation, and automated systems. 

Jose Flores Gomez

utep - el paso

Jose is an Engineering Leadership student at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is interested in green tech startups, automation and venture capital

Maximo Gamez

UTEP - El Paso

Maximo is an Engineering Leadership student at the University of Texas at El Paso. 

Misael Hernandez

UTEP - El Paso

Misael is a Financial Analyst student at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is interested in Financial Advising and Venture Capital.

Priscila Terrazas


Priscila is a Financial Management student at the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Chihuahua. 

Paul Thallner

Coach To Fire Fellows

Paul Thallner is is an organizational development expert, advisor, executive coach, and facilitator committed to helping teams make the world’s best workplaces. He will be serving as a coach for the FIRE Fellows. 

Executive Summary

It is widely recognized that most of the world has entered a fourth industrial revolution economy driven by emerging technologies that are radically changing societies.  According to the World Economic Forum, “the fourth industrial revolution can be described as the advent of “cyber-physical systems” involving entirely new capabilities for people and machines.”  

The Fourth Industrial Revolution Economy (FIRE) Venture Fellowship is a competitive program focused on training select Borderplex university students in venture capital for the benefit of the regional startup ecosystems. FIRE Fellows will undertake a one-year training and apprenticeship. Over the course of this year, fellows will learn about investment, venture capital, and startup entrepreneurship. Students will put this learning to practice by creating investment memos on real companies, creating their own investment theses, and working within their desired field of focused investing. All of this will be supplemented through curated internships with partner firms outside of our ecosystem.  This will enable the fellows to gain valuable knowledge to our region and put that knowledge into practice.

Our Mission 

Our mission is to create a greater talent pool in the field of Venture Capital as an additional resource offering to our developing startup ecosystem. 

Our Vision 

Our vision is to create the future generation of venture capitalists which will allocate capital to our region and drive growth to the next wave of entrepreneurship which will consume traditional industries.


Who is this for? 

The FIRE Venture Fellowship was built for university students of all majors from the Borderplex region. This includes El Paso, Las Cruces, and Juarez. Applicants should be interested in entrepreneurship and investing as their potential future career path. 

What is it? 

The fellowship is a new concept to our region with the purpose of giving the fellows a new career path in venture capital after completing their studies. 

What will I do if I am accepted?

Fellows are expected to do minimal reading each week in preparation for weekly  meetings. Weekly meetings will cover the content read during the week and additional content to better grasp the learning. There will also be various modules that the fellows will complete that will mirror real work that they will encounter working at a venture firm. Total work per week will vary as the fellowship progresses, but a minimum of 3 hours is expected for readings and the weekly meetings. 

How long is it?

The fellowship lasts one year with a summer internship to finish. 

How much does it cost?

Free. There is no cost for fellows, including materials and travel. 

Program Outline

Phase 1:  Fundamentals of VC and Ecosystems

Phase 2:  What does it take to get a deal done? Terms and Practices

Phase 3:  Personal Project

Phase 4:  Personal Project Implementation

Phase 5:  Pursuit of Intership

Our Sponsors

Investing in the future