An "InnovationHub" of Success; Café Emporos

Post Date:12/31/2018 11:35 AM


CafeEmporos_Booth  Cafe Emporos_check
Café Emporos presentation booth at the ASU Venture Devils Demo Day; Ruben Trujillo presented with check for his winning pitch.


Goodyear resident and startup entrepreneur wins investment dollars at a local competition.

Ruben Trujillo started his business venture to open a coffee shop, Café Emporos, but struggled to launch.  In December 2016, Ruben made the decision to learn more about owning and operating a small business and scheduled a one-on-one mentoring appointment with Darah Mann, Goodyear Economic Development Project Manager and facilitator at the The InnovationHub @ GoodyearAZ. Since participating in the InnovationHub programs, Ruben has pivoted and is now focusing on internet sales and local markets.

Café Emporos features hand-drip coffee satchels, cold brew pouches, coffee “tea-bags,” and most recently, Café Emporos roasted whole-bean coffee. Rather than limiting himself to one coffee shop location, Café Emporos specializes in on-the-go products, and Ruben has adopted the tag-line, “Make the World your Café.”

The InnovationHub @ GoodyearAZ is a partnership between the city of Goodyear, ASU Entrepreneurship & Innovation Group, and the Maricopa County Library DistrictThe InnovationHub is located at the Goodyear Branch Library located at 14455 W. Van Buren Street, offering a FREE inspiring space where inventors, problem solvers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses can collaborate, network, expand on their ideas, as well as receive one-on-one mentoring. As one of the food-based businesses seeking guidance from The InnovationHub, Darah worked to connect Ruben with organizations and resources to advance his business knowledge and expand his brand.

In 2017, Darah recommended Ruben for the ASU Venture Devils program, by way of the “ASU Prepped” program. As part of the Venture Devils, Ruben met periodically with an ASU mentor to work towards presenting before a panel of potential investors. While unsuccessful in securing funding in the Spring 2018, Ruben was chosen to return in the Fall, and successfully pitched his Café Emporos brand to the same panel of investors, actually receiving more funding that he requested. The investors responded to Ruben’s pitch for $2,000 for equipment to mechanize his production, and included an additional $500 for marketing.

In October 2018, the Goodyear Police Department selected Café Emporos as a featured business at the National Coffee with a Cop Saturday event. Café Emporos was also featured in the West Valley ViewPhoenix Business Journal, “The List,” and as a paid advertiser on ABC 15’s Sonoran Living.

Ruben also participates in The Hub’s monthly Business Builders and ASU Startup Boot Camp. In addition, we connected him to resources available through SBDC and SCORE. 

Reben's credits his success to the InnovationHub @ GoodyearAZ, stating "On the rollercoaster of owning a small business, this was definitely a win for Cafe Emporos.  Many Thanks to the Innovation Hub in Goodyear for directing me to the ASU Venture Devils at ASU. Looking forward to a great 2019!"

"We are so excited for Ruben," said Darah.  "It's very gratifying to know the programs we offer through the InnovationHub are making a difference for entrepreneurs willing to venture into the business world.  It's a tough road but worth every ounce of your time if you make your dream come true."  

If you are eager to learn more about how to be a successful entrepreneur, register for ASU Startup School; a series of FREE facilitated workshops offered two times per year.  These workshops are designed to assist entrepreneurs in learning what they need to develop a successful venture. 

Or, if you've already attended Startup School and just want more, join us at the FREE monthly Business Builders meeting to connect entrepreneurs and small business owners, helping them succeed and grow in their business venture.  Monthly guest speaker will educate the attendees on different aspect of owning a small business to help develop new ideas, practices and methods that have assisted them in successful business owners. 

The InnovationHub @ GoodyearAZ is completely FREE, so give it a try... you just might be our next featured success story!

For additional questions or to schedule a one-on-one mentoring appointment, please contact Darah Mann at 623-882-7958 or

Business Builders:
ASU Startup School:





Return to full list >>