The Amarillo EDC and the West Texas A&M Enterprise Center is sending eight local entrepreneurs to represent our thriving business community at the INC. 5000 Conference & Gala in San Antonio in October. Each of the attendees has offered to contribute a blog about their experiences as an entrepreneur working in the Texas Panhandle. This is a guest post by Alejandro Magallanes, President of Spirit Solz & EasyMath App.
If I were to ask you, the reader, to describe yourself, how would you start?
Male or female? An entrepreneur or an employee? A professional? A parent? Passionate? Quiet?
Now let’s make things interesting. If I were to ask your friends to describe you, how would they start?
I think it’s very interesting seeing how people describe me: The first-generation immigrant. The old high school football meathead. The math nerd. The aspiring entrepreneur. The shoe guy. The app guy. The loud guy with a confident smirk. Or just Alejandro.
If I’m being honest with you, I’m everything that I just mentioned. I have a great life. I’m blessed and highly favored, but the reason I can be so many different things is because of the support, love, and lessons the City of Amarillo has given me since I immigrated to the United States.
From the first step I took in Amarillo, people have always been there to support me and look out after me.
I remember very clearly my first day at Fannin Middle School; it was a hot, cloudless day with dry heat that I had never experienced before. I had been crying all morning because I didn’t want to go to school. I was afraid because I didn’t know English.
I remember there being a teacher that checked on me after every single class. We couldn’t communicate — after all, he didn’t know Spanish — but he was there every single class. What made things more interesting was that the teacher wasn’t the only one checking on me, but students, parents, administrators and community leaders did as well. Everybody was there to support me, to show me love and to teach me. That’s just how things are done in Amarillo.
My entire life has been full of people uplifting me, and when I decided to quit my first job out of college to become an entrepreneur, the support was overwhelming. To my surprise, the City of Amarillo was there to show even more support. I like to say that I was young, dumb and naive. Now I’m just dumb and naive.
The support came from everywhere in Amarillo, especially the West Texas A&M University Enterprise Center. The people at the Enterprise Center were there on a daily basis to not only help develop and grow businesses, but also to help me mature as an entrepreneur. Additionally, the West Texas A&M University Small Business Development Center assisted me with research, advising and the last-second applications.
I remember there being a time I received a check in the mail from a customer and the business wasn’t even developed yet. I rushed to both the Enterprise Center and the SBDC to make sure everything was ready. We didn’t leave any stone unturned — we were in business!
The Amarillo Economic Development Corporation has not only offered me support, but also provides it to the entire city. It’s unheard of; you don’t hear of any places like the AEDC supporting their community like in they do in Amarillo.
By taking a group of entrepreneurs from different fields and different life experiences to the INC. 5000 Conference to show how Amarillo is not just a West Texas town, the AEDC is proving that it’s willing to stand behind its city’s entrepreneurs. Amarillo is a city with great people, great minds, and a great city for any entrepreneur trying to make it.
I feel honored to be a part of those entrepreneurs traveling to San Antonio next month, and I can’t wait to show everybody how Amarillo has changed my life.
Alejandro Magallanes is the president of Spirit Solz & EasyMath App. Born and raised in Central Mexico, Alejandro moved to the United States at the age of 11 with his mother and brother.Spirit Solz partners with non-profits looking to raise money by providing a fully customized pair of shoes at wholesale price. For each pair sold, Spirit Solz donates a pair of shoes to children in need in Mexico or Texas. EasyMath is a secure, math tutoring application that provides one-on-one tutoring with the snap of a picture.