Curacubby, a fintech startup, announced Wednesday that it is expanding into El Paso – the second Silicon Valley startup to move into Downtown this year.
“We felt that El Paso was a top choice because of the great educational institutions in the area and the lack of opportunities for graduates to get work in startup environments,” Curacubby CEO Steven Khuong told El Paso Inc.
The startup, which has developed technology that enables schools, daycares and afterschool programs to use automated billing for their students’ tuition, plans to open the office in January and hire 19 employees its first year. The jobs will pay around $40,000 to $45,000 a year on average
Khuong said they are accepting applications for software engineers, sales and marketing representatives, support staff and other technology jobs.
The Borderplex Alliance held a joint news conference with city and county officials Wednesday at the One San Jacinto Plaza building, where the company is setting up its offices.
Jon Barela, CEO of The Borderplex Alliance, said Curacubby’s interest in El Paso is thanks to the combined efforts of business leaders and economic development officials.
"Young, ambitious, talented entrepreneurs are choosing the borderplex to do business. We're at the start of a something special," Barela said in a statement. "This feels like the seeds of a tech boom in Downtown El Paso."
On Wednesday, El Paso County Commissioners Court unanimously approved a $32,000 incentives package for the company to provide training to El Pasoans.
“They were looking at these other cities and they chose El Paso,” said El Paso County Judge Ruben Vogt. “When we come together as a community, we have made significant investments and transformed our ability to attract businesses like them.”
The City Council will consider incentives for the company at next week’s meeting, according to Olivia Zepeda, Mayor Dee Margo’s chief of staff.
Earlier this year, FiveStars, a San Francisco-based startup that has created customer loyalty software for small businesses, opened a sales and operations hub at the One San Jacinto Plaza building, formerly known as the Chase building. It was among the first Silicon Valley companies to move into El Paso.
At the news conference, Khuong was joined by his brother, Daniel Khuong, who has worked at Google for more than 10 years as an engineer and project manager. Brian Meckler, the startup’s chief technology officer, and Pierre Wolff, an advisor for Curacubby, were also in town for the announcement.
Curacubby has received significant financial support from MHS Capital, a venture capital fund in San Francisco.
Wolff, who is involved with several startups in Silicon Valley, said Curacubby and its backers were impressed by the University of Texas at El Paso and nearby New Mexico State University, as well as Microsoft’s investment in the community and programs designed to help tech startups and entrepreneurs.
“(El Paso has) the makings of an environment for entrepreneurship,” Wolff said.
Email El Paso Inc. reporter Aaron Montes at email@example.com or call (915) 534-4422, ext. 105, or (915) 777-4154.