“Making Entrepreneurship Equitable”
Erika is Co-Founder of StitchCrew, a firm aiming to democratize access to resources and social capital to increase entrepreneurial participation in underrepresented communities. In partnership with the Oklahoma City Thunder, she runs an accelerator program that connects underrepresented founders with the capital, network and resources they need to launch and scale businesses.
Born and raised in Mexico, Erika started her career facilitating the establishment and successful operation of several international companies in Mexico. Prior to launching StitchCrew, she was President of a Private Equity Firm with investments in the U.S. and Europe. As part of the leadership team, she worked closely with the firm’s partners to evaluate new investment opportunities and managed the integration of new acquisitions into the firm’s operating business model. Post acquisition, she worked closely with the leadership team of each company to develop growth strategies along with scalable operating models to ensure governance and growth trajectory was in line with defined investment goals.
At any given time, she actively managed the operational performance of at least 15 companies (some overseas). Previously at the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Erika served as Global Director and led the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Trade team as well as the Marketing & Communications team. During her tenure 38 international companies located or expanded in the state, accounting for $260M in investment and 4,100 direct jobs. In addition, she secured and implemented the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant designed to help eligible small business compete in the global economy by providing financial assistance for international marketing. A total of $1.6 million was awarded and as a result 50 Oklahoma small companies participated in the program and reported more than $67 million in expected sales.
She is also co-owner of a digital gym franchise and co-founder of Lift4Charity.
Erika currently serves as Chair of the Aerospace and Technology Committee of the Oklahoma State Chamber and is a Board Director of Arvest Bank, the Oklahoma Policy Institute, the Oklahoma
Department of Commerce, the OKC Port Authority, Teach for America Oklahoma City and the Potts Family Foundation. She is also Board Member and Finance Chair of the Oklahoma City County Health Department and the Governor’s Joint Commission on Public Health. She often speaks on the subject of immigration reform and increasing participation of minority and female entrepreneurs.