Dia de Los Muertos El Paso, TX

🌼✨ Summoning the Spirits of Innovation ✨🌼

Read about the winning Dia de Los Muertos startups and their groundbreaking innovations that are about to change the industry. Meet the leading VCs and angel investors ready to support the next big venture. Learn about the excitement of the STTE’s First-Ever Southwest Collegiate Cup. Witness college teams in action as seven southwest startups send their best and brightest to vie for the coveted startup cup. 

As the marigolds continue to bloom and the entrepreneurial energy soars, we are excited to share the highlights of the Dia de Los Muertos Startup Competition, which unfolded as a spectacular celebration of groundbreaking ideas and entrepreneurial spirit.

The return of the Dia de Los Muertos Startup Conference was a success as participants from all over the nation came to the border and celebrated the entrepreneurial journey! The two-day event was filled with entrepreneurs showcasing their innovations to a wide range of venture capitalists, angel investors, and more! Amid all the rivalry, participants had opportunities to take advantage of the many diverse panels and workshops and the many chances to network.

A special thanks to the supportive spirit 💀 from all our sponsors. Their belief and support are the magic that makes all of this possible.

Día de Los Muertos: Newsletter

STTE Ventures Report

Success Through Technology Education (STTE) Ventures, an influential catalyst in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, is excited to announce the selection of its inaugural cohort for the 2023 Startup Program. This program funded by the City of El Paso, Economic Development Department is a testament to our continuous efforts to promote entrepreneurial talent and innovation. STTE is proud to introduce the following startups, each demonstrating a unique blend of innovation, potential, and commitment:

  • Aizenflow: Co-Founders Marco Vallejo and Jaquan Bryant, Aizenflow is a service assisting logistics companies in optimizing their operations through expedited freight quotes.
  • Seide: Founded by Roland Rios and Xochite Torres, Seide is building software for the water softener industry.
  • Panoculum: Founded by Jack Loveridge, Panoculum is a photo-sharing platform designed to foster meaningful engagement with users’ photographic memories.
  • Squadpilot: Founded by Hunt Burdick, Squadpilot is geared towards boosting organizational efficiency across various sectors through an advanced AI model.
  • VeraTech: Founded by Diego Fogle, VeraTech is a telemedical service specializing in the early detection of skin and oral diseases.


Through STTE Ventures proprietary program, startups will undergo an intensive industry-leading business model training, high-tech sprint, and ultimately an access to capital pitch event. The program’s core aim is to support these startups in identifying new customer segments, enhancing user engagement, accessing venture capital, boosting revenue, and expanding their team.

For further details about STTE Ventures, please visit sttefoundation.org/ventures

S4S Program Now Enrolling

We are proud to introduce the “Skills for Sustainability” program. Imagine having a free education and top-notch professional development in El Paso’s buzzing water industry. Yes, you read it right, it’s absolutely free!
Have you ever thought of water as a source of your future success? Well, you should! El Paso-Ciudad Juárez is about to benefit from a groundbreaking binational program, the first of its kind, that will train and place over two hundred new water and wastewater operators. You could be one of them, kick-starting an exciting career and helping serve our community.

Thanks to a partnership between the STTE Foundation, El Paso Water, and the Trust for the Americas, supported by the North American Development Bank and Microsoft, the Skills for Sustainability Program (S4S) seeks 200 eager individuals interested in getting the skills, training, and mentorship needed to launch next-gen careers in the sustainable water industry.

If selected for the S4S Program, you’ll receive six weeks of hands-on training at Western Tech’s (9451 Diana Dr., El Paso, TX 79924). You’ll learn professional skills and instruction in mathematics, chemistry, biology, among other essential topics for an entry-level technical employment in private companies and public utilities like El Paso Water.

Some of the program graduates will advance to further training, apprenticeships, and secure permanent positions at El Paso Water and other regional employers involved in the water industry. All participants will receive career advising and professional development resources through the program.

AI & AR Entrepreneurship Education

Sponsored by

Unicorn Academy, the first-ever augmented reality (AR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) education program focused on advancing entrepreneurship. 

Unicorn Academy is geared toward students grades 8-12 who are curious about entrepreneurship and want to develop the fundamental skills needed to launch their own businesses. Currently offered in English and Spanish and accessible from anywhere, the course is led by a virtual teacher who guides students on the impact of starting a business utilizing augmented reality.

Launched from a physical textbook, Unicorn Academy includes supplemental AR coursework that immerses students in design thinking and business model canvases from leading brands such as Tesla, Nike, Instagram, and TikTok. Students can also use the Startosphere to take any idea into the Lean Business Model Canvas powered by AI.  Throughout the program, students will learn to create human-centered solutions in AR through a variety of assignments, and ultimately have the opportunity to develop their own AR-based businesses and accompanying marketing content.

There are several key advantages to Unicorn Academy’s book experience. First, personal information protection is essential in the K12 education sector. Therefore, readers need not provide any information to access the education experience. Additionally, the book has no walled gardens and is a fully “web-based interface,” which provides a frictionless user experience, eliminating the barrier to downloading an app to experience learning. Lastly, statistics confirm students remember 90% of the material if it is learned through experience. Thus, readers are introduced to a hologram teacher with the option to select English and Spanish as their preferred languages.

Startosphere.io STTE's AI BMC Generator

Create your first AI business model canvas for free. Select start below.

Building a Future STEAM Workforce

On February 18, 2023, Insights Science Discovery and the Success Through Technology Education (STTE) Foundation hosted the Insights’ Sun Country Regional Science and Engineering Fair at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).

Thanks to the support from our sponsors, we were able to host a successful event that provided an opportunity for over 1,000 student competitors with 286 finalists from 89 schools across eight school districts to showcase their scientific knowledge and skills. We are also providing $6,000 in STEAM scholarships to deserving students, which will go a long way in helping them pursue their education and career goals.

AR Science Fair

AR Science Fair: Climate Change Solutions

Both science and technology are at the intersection of global competitiveness and the existence of humanity. COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of new technologies faster than at any point in history. A virtual learning gap has been highlighted during this crisis and must be addressed for our students to succeed. Equally as important, never in history, as demonstrated during the pandemic, have trust and understanding in science been more critical. How we prepare and engage the next generation to choose STEM and technology pathways is critical to the future success of our workforce and employers in professional disciplines of national priority.

STTE and Insights Science Discovery are offering the Augmented Reality Science Fair (ARSF), a first-of-its-kind model that complements the traditional science fair by introducing augmented reality to student research and innovations. 

Statistics confirm students remember 90% of the material if it is learned through experience. According to VR in Education Report, Learning Gain and Motivation are two critical areas Augmented Reality enhances. Studies stated that, when using AR systems, students improve their academic performance and feel more motivated by AR applications compared to other pedagogical tools.

STTE is designing our next interactive science fair book to educate students about climate change solutions. The book will feature immersive augmented reality student projects, youtube news, and fun quizzes.

Stories That Will Make You SayWhat?!

STTE created SayWhat.tv, a teen-based news program launched online during the pandemic. The platform and its various segments feature news related to education, innovation, tech, entrepreneurship, culture, and other topics that are of interest to youth. 

More importantly, it also follows a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) format that’s reflective of a process where youth learn to better understand their emotions in order to make positive and responsible decisions. It’s especially crucial today as CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) data has revealed concerning details regarding youth, depression, and suicide. This includes 34% of Texas high school students reporting feelings of sadness or hopelessness on a daily basis and 12% attempting suicide.

The STTE Foundation would like to partner with school districts to provide SayWhat.tv content and its SEL-based programming and instructional materials for educators as a part of its educational-based efforts.

Open AI Hackathon

The Microsoft OpenAI Hackathon, organized by STTE in collaboration with a council of startups, was held from March 31st to April 2nd, 2023. The hackathon aimed to advance regional talent, build industry products, and transform the region by incorporating AI technology into local businesses. The targeted industries for the event were Advanced Manufacturing (with a focus on Logistics), Construction, and Financial Services.

With ten team participants from various backgrounds and industries, the event was a huge success. The hackathon featured an esteemed panel of judges, including Alexandra Chavez, Senior Vice President of Bank of America, J.J. Childress, Community Engagement Manager at Microsoft, Duane Murphy, President of Gamer Logistics, Samuel Moreno, co-founder of Musicstar.ai, and Frank Spencer, President of Aztec Contractors.

After three days of intense coding, brainstorming, and collaboration, the winner of the hackathon was the team from Bosque Labs. Their innovative AI solution aimed to revolutionize the financial services industry, providing users with customized financial planning and investment advice based on their personal preferences and goals. The team received a prize of $2,000 and the opportunity to work with STTE to develop and implement their solution.

We would like to thank all the judges, competitors, tech council, and sponsors who made this event possible. Special thanks to Microsoft for their generous sponsorship of the hackathon.

As we look towards the future, it is important to note the transformative power of AI technology. According to a report by McKinsey Global Institute, AI has the potential to create an additional $13 trillion in economic value by 2030. The Microsoft OpenAI Hackathon is just the beginning of transforming the Paso del Norte Region and beyond with the latest advancements in AI technology.

We look forward to continuing this important work and creating a brighter future for our communities through innovation and collaboration.


Free AI Tools To Know About

Advancing Economic Development Through a Startup Ecosystem

As of 7.18.2022, STTE and our community partners are proud to share our Startup Report highlighting ten LatinX startups from the Borderplex region. STTE startup support services included mentorship, investor pitch deck preparation, IP protection, trademarks & agreements, startup sprints, pitch events, and co-working space. Thanks to the Hispanics In Philanthropy, LatinXPV program, Inicio Ventures, Sun Cruces Angels, VelaWood Law, and various sponsoring organizations for pitch events, efforts were made possible. The University of Texas at El Paso and New Mexico State University Arrowhead Center also supported cultivating the STEAM talent pipeline and providing impactful resources. 

stte startup report
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Funds Raised by Startups

Innovare -a platform that empowers education leaders to make data-driven decisions. Featured at Miami and London EdTech Week, alumni of the Latin XPV & now in the StartOut Growth Lab sponsored by JP Morgan, and continues to scale across the country with 2 million in annual reoccurring revenue. https://innovaresip.com/

Parabeac – a SaaS company that helps app development teams automate their design to development workflow. A recent recipient of Google For Startups Latino Fund, the company has raised $1.2m to date. https://parabeac.com/

Metalx Biocycle – a deep tech company that reclaims critical metals from e-waste for a sustainable, carbon-free future. MTLX has been awarded $500K in non-dilutive funding from the Department of Energy and $525K from a San Francisco-based accelerator program. https://www.metalxbiocycle.com/

Alpha Back – a browser extension that pays users crypto to view ads. Launched in June 2022 and celebrated 1,000 installs in less than a month. https://alphaback.xyz/

InternBytes – a diverse internship community platform with over 1,200 students in the community. Secured Amazon as the first customer on July 15, 2022, and will help scale MVP while creating opportunities for interns. https://internbytes.com/

OTEN Medical -the Original CPAP Hose Holder, HSA & FSA eligible with patented curvature that provides a smooth surface to allow tangle-free movement for better sleep. Sold to 1,265 customers through website/Amazon/eBay/Walmart and $60K fundraised. https://otenmedical.com/

Thyroid HQ – an alternative blood analysis online platform that identifies thyroid function optimal zones for minority populations is closing on a partnership with Ordrs.io to source 250 Thyroid hormone test kits, growing userbase and raising awareness on thyroid health. Over 200 customer discovery interviews were conducted for validation.

P.M. Technologies -an advanced manufacturing technology company has invested in an industrial additive manufacturing system to serve its growing customer base. $40K in annual reoccurring revenue. https://www.pmtechs.com/

Sentinel Delivery -leading the way in drone technology and autonomous software design, Sentinel Delivery placed second in the 2022 International Conference on Robotics and Automation CRA. Teaming up with other innovators to explore technology solutions with applications. https://sentineldelivery.com/

Klevy Tea -a beverage brand that solidified manufacturing capability with a bottle fulfillment rate of 1,000 per week. Scaling through cloud retail locations and pitching to ECRM Global Market (online trade show to buyers from Whole Foods, Sprouts, Albertsons etc). $32K in revenue & 2K in new customers in 2022. https://www.klevytea.com/

US EDA Secretary

On October 17, 2022, STTE had two special guests visit our office; the US Economic Development Administration Assistant Secretary Alejandra Castillo and US Congresswoman Veronica Escobar. In addition, four of STTE’s emerging LatinX startups pitched to the leaders. It was a monumental moment for our entrepreneurs to share their journeys and innovative solutions to transform our community one day. We also had leadership from the City of El Paso and Bitwise Industries attend and share how they intend to cultivate the tech sector. Leadership matters!

LatinX EdTech Summit: Bridging the Digital Divide

STTE Foundation, EduLab Capital Partners, and CREEED hosted a half-day intersection of STEAM exploration, education celebration, and action creation as it relates to education technology. LatinX Edtech Summit connects leading national EdTech companies, teachers, and education leaders of influence to develop sustainable and resilient solutions that generate “Action.” LatinX EdTech Summit will Impact:

  • Provide rural areas and small to midsize school districts with options for accessibility to cutting edge technologies
  • Advance underserved Hispanic populations
  • Attract emerging Edtech leaders to the border region and demonstrate how to better serve the Hispanic markets
  • Recognition opportunity for teachers through awards mechanism

Generational Impact

Generational Transformers

On Tuesday, February 8, 2022, members of STTE Sandbox, gathered to capture the generational transformation. Entrepreneurs, creatives, and attorneys living the dream in the startup space are creating products that will change the world for the better. The Generation Transformers are acting NOW with No Opportunities Wasted. At STTE Sandbox, we create change through Stories, STEAM, and Startups. 🔥🎤🚀🦄

Shout out to our members:

Sign up for our #Take5 newsletter that covers inspirational stories,  STEAM education & workforce, and startups that are emerging industries.


Thank You To Our Supporters

Thanks to our trusted network of dedicated supporters, STTE is able to operate and help make a generational impact in the world.

Carnegie Mellon University (https://www.cmu.edu/)

EduLab Capital (https://www.edulabcapital.com/)

Geenee.ar (https://geenee.ar/)

Hispanics In Philanthropy (HIP.org)

Inicio Ventures (https://www.inicio.ventures/)

Pay It Forward (https://pif.vc/)

Sand Hill Angels Charitable Fund (Sand Hill Angels Charitable Fund)

The City of El Paso, Economic Development 

The Trust For The Americas (https://www.trustfortheamericas.org/)

Bank of America (https://www.bankofamerica.com/)

Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREEED) (https://www.creeed.org/)

El Paso Electric (https://www.epelectric.com/)

Innovare (https://innovaresip.com/)

New Mexico State University Arrowhead Center (https://arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/)

Paso del Norte Community Foundation

The University of Texas at El Paso (https://www.utep.edu/)

Success Through Technology Education (STTE) Foundation is a nonprofit organization focused on producing stories that inspire, building a future STEAM workforce, and fostering a startup ecosystem.

Our Mission

To develop and deploy entrepreneurship and STEAM-based educational programs for students and adults that accelerate and advance economic development.

Our Vision

To become a national leader in innovation, entrepreneurship, and STEAM education impacting a globally competitive marketplace.

Our Strategic Goals

  • 100% Digital literacy for youth by 2030
  • Increase Percentage of students going into STEAM Fields
  • Build an entrepreneurial ecosystem through innovative programs, mind setting  products and access to capital opportunities