America’s #SBDC Congressional Showcase – Elevate Systems

10 Days to the Showcase!

Elevate Systems
San Antonio, Texas 

Elevate-Systems-StaffElevate Systems is a full-service organization providing engineering services, primarily for the Department of Defense; energy services, including lighting assessments and LED retrofits in the commercial sector; executive and professional consulting services; information technology services; and senior program and project management support services.

Once Maricela and Scott Gray started their new firm in December of 2012, they contacted the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) for advice and guidance. They had their first meeting at the SBDC PTAC in early 2013, with SBDC PTAC business advisor and project manager Sheriley Smith.

Sheriley provided contact information for all of the local Military Installation small business specialists in the area. She also provided information concerning certification programs for small business owners, including local, state and federal certifications, so that Elevate Systems could maximize its opportunities when bidding on contracts. 

Elevate-Systems-quoteUnder Sheriley’s guidance, Elevate Systems became federally certified as a Woman Owned Business (8(m)), Economically Disadvantaged Woman Owned Small Business (EDWOSB), and applied for Small Business Administration (SBA) 8(a) certification. Additionally, Sheriley provided information on several small business networking opportunities that were advantageous for the Grays to attend, to meet local, state, and federal small business specialists (federal contracting points of contact) and purchasing points of contact.

Sheriley also highlighted SBDC PTAC training programs available to clients. The Grays attended the SBDC Quickbooks series, which consists of a 3-day workshop starting with the basics of Quickbooks and ending with the ability to set up the company’s Chart of Accounts. Sheriley informed the Grays of other services available through the SBDC, such as the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). To date, Elevate Systems has met with MBDA personnel on more than one occasion to discuss the diversification of Elevate Systems’ capabilities across multiple markets. As a direct result of SBDC PTAC assistance, Elevate Systems has been able to interact with the UTSA SBDC PTAC, MBDA, Institute for Economic Development training services, and several other groups, organizations and service that contributed to the growth of the business.

In November of 2015, Maricela Gray, CEO of Elevate Systems, was selected for an award for Excellent Contracting Support at the 2015 San Antonio Business Council (SABOC) Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Event. This would not have happened without the SBDC PTAC.

Elevate Systems’ first contract in 2013 resulted in the engineering design and production of the first 3D printed part being flown in the B-52 Stratofortress aircraft for the United States Air Force, resulting in eight jobs created and eight jobs retained. 


The America’s SBDC Client Showcase & Reception will be held from 5:30-7:30 pm on Monday, February 1, 2016, in Caucus Room 345 of the Cannon House Office Building . Invite your Members of Congress to the showcase and reception! Contact your Representative and your Senators.

For more information about America’s SBDC or to find an SBDC near you, visit