TIJUANA.- In one of the city’s most emblematic abandoned buildings on Avenida Revolucion, 10 start-ups were given the opportunity to deliver a one-minute pitch, an innovative way for them to seek financing and support to enable them to continue furthering the city’s entrepreneurial spirit.
The event was organized by Angel Ventures Mexico (AVM), which is a self-described "group of investors seeking to support entrepreneurs and small business growth," with offices in several cities throughout the world.
HUB STN was similarly founded by three entrepreneurs that salvaged an old bus station, the Mexicoach building, and have transformed its second floor into a collaborative workspace for projects seeking support, financing, or growth.
HUB STN is following a model of renovating public spaces in the city that have fallen into abandon due to the current economic state, and decrease in tourism. On Friday, visitors got to see the transformation of this old bus station into a new collaborative space to unite those who innovate and those with capital.
Once the organizers were ready (a bit delayed) each startup got a minute to pitch their projects and their needs — be it money or labor.
The event was labeled “binational”; although most of the participants were from the border region, we did see at least three projects that are trying to embrace possible cross-border benefits.
Only 9 teams presented their fire pitch, as Tijuana Innovadora was unable to send a representative. The projects were pitched in the following order:
Uber: a service that has become extremely popular in many cities, which consists of users being able to request a car via a mobile app, or carpool with others.
Mujer Pyme: an incubator that supports micro, small, and medium businesses that are run by women, which was pitched by Liliana Castro.
AVM Incubadora de Alto Impacto: the organizers took advantage of the event to pitch their own idea and educate everyone on the opportunities that they offer other startups.
Spanish Fifty-Five: young entrepreneurs that have created a platform “to teach and provide online conversational Spanish tutorials.” They are seeking employees in Tijuana, even though they are based in San Diego.
Turista Libre: Derrik Chinn, who delivered his pitch, currently runs “atypical” tours for foreigners aboard an old modified bus.
HardTech Labs: helps entrepreneurs develop and market their designs, specifically in the field of hardware and software.
Startup Weekend Health & Care Tijuana: invited all to participate in an upcoming event on June 6, a new addition to its current startup weekend line-up.
Mind Hub: this company provides three months of support to tech startups with expert mentors and strategic networking.
V2 Business Competition: a competition organized by the University of San Diego School of Business, which startups from both sides of the border, for the first time this year, participated in — represented by Richard Ramos of the School of Business.
Finally, Miguel Buenrostro, Marco Antonio Soto, and Miguel Marshall — founders of HUB STN, the event’s host — described this place as a “binational co–working space that integrates techies, entrepreneurs, and culture in a synergistic manner in order to develop ideas and the economy.”
After the pitches had concluded, there was time for the investors to approach the startups to discuss their ideas on an individual basis and see how they could help.
HUB STN is located at #1025 Avenida Revolucion in Tijuana, between 6th and 7th street, in the former Mexicoach Station, which still looks about the same from the outside, but until recently had been abandoned.