About Mauricio


Born in New Jersey to Colombian parents, spent the second half of my life in Florida, and then became a student at Virginia Tech. My major is Business Information Technology, and I don't think it could have come at a better time when technology is fueling so much of our life and our work right now. I'm the co-founder of TEDxVirginiaTech, and I've met so many new people along the way because of it. I've begun to think about entrepreneurship in a new way and I've become inspired by people's efforts to make a difference.


English, Spanish

TED Conference

TEDActive 2013

An idea worth spreading

I miss the days of the arcades, but not the simple play-for-ticket games. Today's games focus on either sitting at your computer or TV, talking to others through a microphone. Sometimes, you're stuck in your own world playing a game on your phone or tablet. The days of being there with another person playing the same game aren't there like they used to be anymore. I'd like to see that communal experience of the arcade brought back someday. Maybe it doesn't have to be arcade games, but it should be something where we can all get back together and hear everyone's screams, hands-in-the-air motions, and settling tests of skill face-to-face.

I'm passionate about

Learning about the latest technologies and how they will affect us in the future. Exploring the world beyond our neighborhoods. Making the world a more helpful place, one person at a time.


Virginia Tech

Talk to me about

A book I should be reading. An app that will make my life easier. A new technology that more people should know about. A lot of things.

People don't know I'm good at

Drumming on the desk with my hands (and occasionally doing a bit of beatboxing if I get carried away). Taking well-composed Instagram photos (@themauricio). Writing at length about certain things.

My TED story

I was sitting around watching TEDTalks in my spare time when I thought to myself, "I want to attend one of these." Of course, with Virginia Tech being so far away from most major cities, it didn't seem there were any in the southwest Virginia area. So, I thought to myself: I go to a major research university. We have our own students, faculty members, and alumni with stories to share. We'll make one ourselves! Along with the help of Dr. Eddie Watson (a former faculty member who has since moved on to the University of Georgia), we reached out to people we knew to create an 18-person steering committee for the first TEDxVirginiaTech conference in November 2012. And today, it's still going strong!

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

Mauricio Castro
Posted about 1 year ago
Hugh Herr: The new bionics that let us run, climb and dance
This is amazing, but I can't help but wonder what this means for humanity in general. I don't know if I want to be reliant on machines to help me move. If I took an exoskeleton off and then felt immediately weighed down by my legs, this could spell bad news for if these exoskeletons fail over time. Technology can be amazing, but also a bit concerning.
Mauricio Castro
Posted over 1 year ago
Edward Snowden: Here's how we take back the Internet
I'm glad to hear that he's pushing for SSL encryption in all sites, especially in a room that has CEOs of large corporations and websites all in the same room. Firewalls used to be what everyone said that we should all have at the very least, and now SSL is next.
Mauricio Castro
Posted about 2 years ago
Peter Attia: Is the obesity crisis hiding a bigger problem?
I was always of the belief that not all obesity is the fault of the person, so it's nice to see that a doctor is helping spread that idea - and a very interesting hypothesis at that. I'm looking forward to seeing what their multidisciplinary team finds (the best type of team, in my opinion). And, of course, the doctor's admission at the end was powerful. You rarely hear that from a doctor, but I know that this is the baggage that they have to live with sometimes.
Mauricio Castro
Posted over 2 years ago
Ron Finley: A guerilla gardener in South Central LA
One of my favorite talks of the week! Taking the taxi from TEDActive to Palm Springs Airport, I saw all of the empty lots and thought, "This could be a community garden." This was the seed you planted in my head! I don't know if you're still reading the comments, Ron, but I hope this talk gets you some more attention from the LA city government! How are you finding more places in LA to plant even more gardens?