Is Tijuana The New Tech Mecca?
Friday, March 1, 2013
Aired 3/1/13 on KPBS News.
As far as tech expos go, this was no CES, but some at Tech Expo at the BIT Center really believe the border city has a future as an innovation mecca.
TIJUANA, Mexico As far as tech expos go, this was no CES, the Consumer Electronics Show held every year in Las Vegas. Here at the BIT Center in Tijuana, there were only a few dozen vendors — a social media firm; a consulting company that helps maquilas manage their inventory and customs paperwork.
But some here really believe the border city has a future as an innovation mecca, like Silicon Valley.
“It’s got all of the right ingredients,” said Olin Hyde, vice president of business development for a La Jolla-based company called ai-one.
“Mexico graduates twice the number of engineers per capita as the United States," Hyde said. "We have the opportunity to do cross-border collaboration. There’s already a burgeoning high-tech industry here manufacturing everything from TVs to cyber-security products.”
Hyde’s company just developed an artificial brain that he says can learn in the same way children do. And he hopes Tijuana’s young and tech-minded will find ways to put it to good use. His company is holding a hackathon here in April, inviting developers from Tijuana and San Diego to do just that.