Cross-Border Innovation Groups Establish Manufacturing Accelerator
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Ansir Innovation Center in late 2010. His family owns a small consumer electronics manufacturer in Tijuana, and he speaks Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and Taiwanese.
In a statement today, Flavio Olivieri of the Tijuana Economic Development Corp. says, “HardTech Labs is providing a bridge between San Diego and Tijuana that offers great promise” by combining the development skills of San Diego with the implementation prowess of Tijuana.
The sustainable advantage of the cross-border ecosystem in San Diego and Baja includes high-level software engineers, strong biomedical research and development centers, and a cluster of businesses that specialize in manufacturing and assembly, Footer says. As a result, he says, startup companies could greatly reduce their costs and time-to-market in half.
Footer says Origo could provide as much as $150,000 in upfront startup funding, most likely as a loan that could be converted to an ownership stake, and up to $300,000 more when the company exits the HardTech program. The accelerator plans to admit 10 startups for its inaugural class, but Footer says after a couple of years, the program could be graduating as many as 30 companies a year.
“We’re really trying to take advantage of the strengths on both sides of the border here,” Footer says. He tells me he wants to raise a $20 million venture fund just for HardTech startups by September 1, when the first class of startup companies is expected to begin.
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