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CampusLink 2016 Technology Conference Unites Border Communities, Organizes Ultra-Hackathon Competition and Supports Local Startups

CampusLink 1 RSCampusLink 2 RSEl Paso, TX/Cd. Juárez – On September 8 and 9, CampusLink 2016 hosted its eighth annual forward-thinking technology and innovation conference, uniting border communities through a dynamic program that featured pioneering technologies, companies, industry leaders and hands-on tech workshops. The Ultra-Hackathon student competition brought out friendly rivalry between teams, requiring students to apply technology to solve pressing environmental, health and education global challenges. Ten local startups also participated in CampusLink's first-ever "Shark" Innovation Frontera, all vying for investment by four local successful business and tech leaders.

The Ultra-Hackathon challenged students in three categories: environment, health and education. Close to 500 students between the ages of 15 and 25 participated in the competition over the two days. In Cd. Juárez the winning student teams were Martech, formed by Ulises Martinez and David Teutli, Team Equipo, made up of Omar Muñoz, Alex Muñoz, Jorge Garcia, Salvador Morales, Miguel Valdez and Javier Chacon, and Team Arrow formed by Jorge Luis Jaquéz Rodriguez and Paul Rodrigo Vitela Payan. Team Martech won $1,000 dollars and six months of free coworking space at TechHub for 3 participants in the environmental category for creating Web App, which allows users in the community to report where public maintenance is required while gathering data and dates to locate areas of high risk. Team Equipo won 2 Smart Watches, 1 Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and 1 Drone Syma X5C-1 Upgraded Version in the education category for creating the mobile application Crowded that allows users to find people who are willing to teach subjects in which they are experts, facilitating learning from others and sharing your own knowledge. Team Arrow won 1 Drone Phantom 3 in the health category. In El Paso, the Energy Challenge Team formed by Jonathan Esquivel, Victor Reyes, Christian Murga and Orlando Gordillo won $1,000 dollars and six months of coworking at Hub of Human Innovation in the environmental category, while Martin Mazanec won 1 Samsung Note 5, 1 Drone and 2 Smart Watches in the education category for a mobile app that helps correct posture while sitting at a computer through facial recognition, and Byrl Hunt Burdick IV won 1 Drone Phantom 3 Pro in the health category.

Out of 50, 10 local startups were chosen to participate in the "Sharks" Innovation Frontera, giving leading area entrepreneurs the opportunity to present their idea or product before four regional investors to receive honest feedback on the viability of their product and the possibility to receive seed funding to scale up their products. Among the capital investors were Miguel Fernandez, CEO and co-founder of Transtelco, Julio Chiu, CEO and founder of SEISA Medical, Alejandra de la Vega, co-founder of MountainStar Sports Group, and Ricardo Mora, CEO of TechHub. Ultimately, 4 entrepreneurs left with a deal totaling an investment sum of $55,000 dollars, including: Manuel Ignacio Moñarrez of Dunas Tech for a drone monitoring system, Lucia Lujan of Novotronic for a stress measuring device, Eduardo Macías of Water Plus for a patent and shower water efficiency system, and Santiago Sanchez of Wemaz for software as a service (SaaS model) that connects cleaning service providers to potential clients.

CampusLink 2016 engaged more than 3,000 students and participants from the Cd. Juárez-El Paso, TX region, 13 academic institutions and 34 sponsors. The two-day binational event fostered a unique commonality among participants by leveraging the use of technology and innovation in every-day life and demonstrating its importance in addressing shared future challenges.

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