Orinoco creates jobs on both sides of the border
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Hector Correa came to the United States seeking opportunities, and he's made it his personal mission to create them himself -- both here and back in Mexico.
He is the co-owner of Chicago software developer Orinoco Systems, which has created programs for local governments and companies like Sara Lee and Kraft.
But he has humble beginnings.
Correa was raised in the poor outskirts of the Mexican city Chihuahua, inside a tiny, single-room, cinder block home where the stove was a few steps from the beds. His mother had dropped out at 17 to give birth to him, and his father juggled college and work at a lumber company.
Immigrant entrepreneurs outpace native-born
On his parents' savings, he attended an American college and later earned a Fulbright Scholarship for graduate school.
An H-1B visa allowed him to work for a tech consulting firm in Chicago.
But in 2008, he and a Venezuelan counterpart, Diego Ferrer, noticed the firm kept losing deals to Indian companies.
Indian tech firms were able to undercut American companies because of lower labor costs. That's when Correa and Ferrer decided to launch their own U.S.-based firm, using engineers in both the U.S. and Mexico, where wages are also lower. Another advantage on their side: Mexico is largely in the same time zone as the United States.
Now 38, Correa prides himself in having created more than two dozen jobs in Chicago and Chihuahua, where he said few opportunities exist outside of free trade-zone factories, known as maquiladoras.
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Posted in Business, Computers and Digital Technology