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Meet Stephanie Bermudez from Nogales:

I’m a bi-national economic developer. I help people develop innovation spaces, create better strategies for their businesses, and I specialize in digital communication. I am from the border of the U.S. and Mexico. I was raised in Nogales, the only city that is divided by two countries. When I was younger it was easier to exist on both sides, both Nogales US and Nogales Mexico. I grew up as a cowgirl on a ranch, with livestock, I was a barrel racer and my dad was a roper. I was everything a Mexican-American living in the south could be.

Why do you do what you do?

I decided to lean into my passions. This is what I love and ultimately this is something I recognize that I’m good at and allows me to live with purpose and make an impact. There’s also a social and spiritual side to helping people, specifically people that are disadvantaged in the light of our culture today. I’m here to amplify our voice and love being around ideas that break down barriers to create change. If I can make an impact on community through systems that change people’s mentality then I am fulfilled. It’s also my passion to inspire others to be their best. It not only makes me feel good but I think it’s the right thing to do.

What’s new for Nogales/Tucson?

Last December through Startup Unidos we did the first bi-national Startup Weekend. We’re continuing to expand these programs and further integrate everything we’re doing to bridge connections across borders. There’s amazing things happening in Hermosillo, Phoenix, Tucson, Nogales, and this is changing the narrative around what’s possible.

Final remarks?

We need to continue to do more to empower women, youth, and introduce technology to improve people’s lives. In the space we operate in we recognize problems as opportunities, not the end of the world. This platform is perfect for fostering growth and we’re not stopping here!

 



Jordan Rothenberg Jordan Rothenberg
Jordan is the Manager for Techstars’ community programs including Startup Weekend, Startup Next, Startup Digest and Startup Week in the Central United States region. @jsrothenberg