The organizers of Campuslink, a two-day technology and innovation event that includes a hackathon, venture competition, tech clinics, a panel featuring women technologists and speakers, are bringing the event to El Paso and Juárez this year.
The Autonomous University of Chihuahua, along with the Borderplex Alliance, Hub of Human Innovation, Visit El Paso and others, will hold the two-day innovation and entrepreneurship event Sept. 8-9.
“We are trying to involve students in the world of innovation and technology and empower people to think they can make a difference in their community,” said Campuslink founder Carlos Castañeda Marquez.
This year’s speakers include Fernando Baptista, with National Geographic magazine, Griselda Gomez, managing director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Mexico program, and Haseeb Qureshi, a software engineer at Airbnb.
Pilar Manchon, who works on artificial intelligence systems at Intel, and Rubén Colomo with Samsung will also speak.
The free event is aimed at college students but is open to anyone. It is privately funded and largely supported by corporate sponsorships.
The sessions in El Paso will be in English. In Juárez, there will be a mix of English and Spanish events, according to Marquez.
The “Sharks Innovation Frontera” venture competition finals will be held 1 p.m. Sept. 8 at Technology Hub in Juarez. Entries will be judged by local entrepreneurs Miguel Fernández, Julio Chiu, Alejandra de la Vega Foster and Ricardo Mora.
The Ultra Hackathon, marathon computer coding sessions, will be held Sept. 8 at Technology Hub in Juárez and Sept. 9 at the El Paso Museum of Art.
Last year, Campuslink was held at New Mexico State University and La Rodadora, the children’s museum in Juárez. Attendance topped 5,000 people, according to Marquez.
He said they expect between 3,000 and 4,000 people to attend this year’s events in Juárez and El Paso.
Campuslink was started in 2011, Marquez said, after university officials found a lack of technology and innovation events in northern Mexico. Most of the big technology events are held in Mexico City.
The first three Campuslink events were held in Chihuahua, Mexico, but it became a bination
al event in 2014 when it was held in Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego.