Hispanic Heritage: The Man Who Would Be Kiosk King - NBC Chicago

Hispanic Heritage: The Man Who Would Be Kiosk King



    Hispanic Heritage | Entrepreneur George Burciaga says his strong but hard knock upbringing prepared him for his latest venture, "SMARTECH.NET." (Published Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010)

    Growing up in Pilsen, entrepreneur George Burciaga always knew he wanted to do more to help his family.

    "The idea was how do I move them out of poverty, how do I move them out of being tired, sick , working three jobs, " he recalls.

    He was the first one in his family to graduate from College, and after getting his degree from Depaul, he started his own information technology company smarTECHS.net. "That hard knock life I grew up with, really [helped me to] leverage here in the boardroom when structuring a deal."

    Buriciaga has worked on developing programs to help New Orleans rebuild after Katrina, and played a key role in developing the City of Chicago's internal communication system.

    He now has his eyes set on conquering the country with his latest invention, SmartKiosk. The tall, internet ready kiosks, do everything from allowing you to search for nearby restaurants, to checking bus schedules, and even taking pictures and selling movie tickets. The information can then be sent to your mobile phone.

    Burciaga hopes to scatter them in public and private places across the country, free of cost to the consumer.

    "They'll really help change the way we communicate. We'll put them in underserved communities, and help to bridge the digital divide, " he said.

    Because they are camera-equipped, Burciaga hopes to one day link the kiosks with local police departments as well. "You'll be able to tell someone, what's going on,  an accident, [or] some sort  of crime."

    Burciaga says helping others has also become a big part of what he hopes to do.

    "I want to inspire change. I want to be able to change the cycle within our community, to help people think about what can be."

    Chicago will be the test market for The SmartKiosk. 190 of them will scattered across the city sometime in January.