Borderland AI

Unveiling the Future: A Comprehensive Recap of the Borderland AI Event

In an era where technology continuously reshapes the boundaries of possibility, the recent Borderland AI event, hosted by STTE and Microsoft, marked a significant milestone in the journey towards innovation and economic growth in the Borderplex region. This gathering of minds, not only showcased the transformative power of artificial intelligence but also set the stage for a new chapter of entrepreneurial ecosystem development. Here’s a detailed recap of the event that is already being hailed as a game-changer for local small businesses and startups.

A Morning of Introductions and Insights

The event kicked off at 9:10 AM with warm welcomes by notable figures including J.J. Childress, the Texas Community Manager at Microsoft; Andrea Hutchins, CEO of the El Paso Chamber; and Joseph Sapien, CEO of the STTE Foundation. Their opening remarks set an inspiring tone for the day, emphasizing the collaborative spirit and the collective aim to harness AI for regional advancement.

Demonstrating Practical AI Solutions

By 9:45 AM, the focus shifted to practical AI solutions, with a captivating AI Creative Demo presented by John McMinn and R. Eric Bowers from ABC-7 KVIA. Their demonstration provided tangible examples of AI’s potential to revolutionize marketing and creative industries. Following this, Joseph Sapien showcased STTE’s novel Open AI Hackathon model, illustrating how local developers are already making strides in AI innovation. The session was rounded off with an industry perspective from Frank Spencer III and Nancy Camarena of Aztec Contractors, who shared insights into the real-world applications and benefits of AI in the construction sector.

Engaging Breakout Groups

The morning progressed with attendees dividing into breakout groups, focusing on key sectors such as Education & Renewable Energy, Manufacturing & Supply Chain, and Life Sciences, Community & Social Services. These discussions allowed for deep dives into specific challenges and opportunities for AI integration across different industries, fostering a collaborative environment for idea exchange and problem-solving.

Navigating the AI Landscape

After a brief interlude, the event resumed with an enlightening session by Ian Love, Co-Founder and CTO of Aizen Flow, who navigated the landscape of AI applications and development. His presentation underscored the importance of understanding AI’s capabilities and limitations, providing a roadmap for businesses looking to adopt AI technologies.

A Grand Finale with a Big Announcement

The event culminated with a series of presentations from Microsoft and STTE, highlighting their ongoing and future AI initiatives. The grand finale was the big announcement by Richie Hatch, Co-Founder and CEO of Squadpilot, revealing a groundbreaking partnership with STTE to offer AI services to local small businesses. This collaboration promises to be a leader for innovation, offering unprecedented access to AI technologies for startups and small businesses in the Borderland.

Looking Ahead

The Borderland AI event was more than just a gathering; it was a launchpad for the future of innovation in the Borderplex region. By bringing together industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and technology enthusiasts, STTE has laid the groundwork for a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem powered by AI. As we look ahead, the potential for growth and transformation is limitless, with AI at the forefront of driving change.

The partnership between STTE and Squadpilot is particularly exciting, offering a new horizon of opportunities for local businesses to leverage AI in their operations. This initiative is set to revolutionize the way small businesses operate, providing them with the tools to compete on a global stage.

In conclusion, the Borderland AI event has begin the process for technological hackathons in the region. As we move forward, the insights and partnerships formed during this event will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping the future of the Borderplex region’s economy and its global competitiveness in the tech-driven world.

Stay tuned to STTE’s webpage for more updates on AI initiatives and opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses in the Borderplex region. The future is here, and it’s powered by AI.


Duane Murphy

President, Gamer Logitics

“STTE’s Open AI Hackathon provided a pivotal platform for addressing my business challenges. The caliber of solutions developed by the teams was exceptional; I was so impressed that I ended up working with one of them. The ability of the Team to transform an idea and a conversation into a viable and effective product has been great to watch. I see a great future as a result of their work.”

Frank Spencer III

President at Aztec Contractors

“The impact of AI on our workforce is undeniable, and STTE’s hackathon has emerged as a game changer for industries seeking to harness technology for process optimization. I urge fellow industry leaders to participate and explore how embracing technology can propel your organization forward in the forthcoming industrial revolution.”

Alexandra Chavez

El Paso Market Executive, Bank of America

“Participating in the Open AI hackathon gave me a firsthand glimpse into the transformative power of AI. Witnessing developers craft innovative solutions in a short timeframe has illuminated the potential for technology to enhance financial literacy significantly.”

Open AI Hackathon 2023 Recap

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, 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. 

STTE Open AI Hackathon Report

1st Place Winner: Bosque Labs

Team: Zeke Chavez, Brett Schuster, Rafael Ferreira, Zachary Myers

Industry: Construction

Description: Materialize.AI is optimizing construction inventory management with data-driven insights. Presentation

2nd Place Winner: DropDev

Team: David Marek, Marco Alanis, Derek Cisneros, David Gamez

Industry: Finance

Description: Musa FI is your personal financial assistant, where you can connect your bank accounts and ask it anything you need help with.  Presentation


3rd Place Winner:  Supply AI Sense

Team: Aldo Sanchez, Alvaro Mendoza, Esteban Lozano, Luis Cedillo

Industry: Logistics

Description: Upload physical documents and generate usable data and visualize the supply chain by being able to extract information from lots of attributes. Presentation