TSTC Alumnus Takes Career to New Heights

(WACO, Texas) – Michael Mojica has the products you need to go on your next adventure. 

Mojica, a graduate of Texas State Technical College’s Waco campus now living in Centennial, Colorado, has invented products and owns a company combining his appreciation for the outdoors and design.

“If we have unique, novel ideas that have true utility, there is a real opportunity in America to chase those ideas,” Mojica said. 

Mojica’s evolving inventions began with a fire-starting quick release slide buckle and moved to a survival paracord bracelet that people can use to start fires. His invention, The Firebiner®, was named “Best Gadget” by Backpacker Magazine in their 2019 Gear Guide. It was also given a “Radical by Design” award at the Summer Outdoor Retailer Show, the largest outdoor gear show in the nation.

“I thought most people can roll a wheel, like on a lighter,” Mojica said. “I also thought most people who love the outdoors have a carabiner as a keychain. I put the two together and added a couple of other simple features, and the Firebiner® was born.”

Mojica will soon launch a multi-tool carabiner called the “Fire Escape.”

The items are part of Outdoor Element, the adventure survival gear company Mojica founded in 2012. He said he loves controlling his own path and thinking freely for new ideas to come to life. 

Mojica grew up in Hillsboro and always loved taking things apart and building off of one thing to the next. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies and a minor in Textile Design from The University of Texas at Austin. 

“I knew I was meant for design,” he said.

After graduating, Mojica sought out a skills set to enter the engineering industry. He enrolled in what is now TSTC’s Architectural Drafting and Design Technology program in Waco.

“Drafting on the board gave me the ability to think and understand in 3D, and represent in 2D,” Mojica said. “The CAD (Computer-Aided Design) hours that TSTC provided gave me the perfect base training to deal with the stress of the real word and hard schedules.”

Manny Avila, an instructor in TSTC’s Architectural Drafting and Design Technology program, said Mojica was an intelligent, driven student who always sought to learn more. 

“He worked hard and would investigate various designs that were offered to him, and he produced excellent work,” Avila said.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, go to  tstc.edu.