Technology Business Accelerator (TechBA)

CONTEXT:

“Provide high-level specialized consulting services to technology-based Mexican companies looking to expand their operations to international markets.” (Source)

SUPPORT MECHANISM:

TechBA connects entrepreneurs to a network of international consultants and mentors. The program develops companies within an international context, providing spaces across the US and Spain for Mexican businesses to sustain growth.

IMPLEMENTING AGENCIES:

Ministry of Economy, US-Mexico Foundation for Science (FUMEC) (bi-national non-profit)

ELIGIBILITY:

Must have at least $1 million in sales and a senior director fluent in English.

Timeline:

Beginning in 2004, this program initially focused on internationalizing Mexican companies that possessed scalable models. The first office, located in Silicon Valley, became operational one year later. Over the course of the next few years, more locations were developed as part of the TechBA program: Austin (2005), Madrid (2006), Montreal (2006), Detroit (2008), Phoenix (2008), Seattle (2010), and Vancouver (2010). Just this year, TechBA opened a new office in Medellin, Colombia. In 2010, the program expanded to include regional activities within the country. Now, companies can access the TechBA network as they grow nationally, with an eye to eventually spread their brand overseas. 

RESULTS:

Results are difficult to verify, as the program doesn’t have any external evaluation instruments. However, according to FUMEC, companies that took part in the TechBA program between 2004-2012 have expanded their international sales by $435 million. While this boils down to just $0.5 million per company, the fact remains that Mexican SMEs are competitive abroad and that international markets provide an effective way to scale immediately.

CHALLENGES + LESSONS TO DATE:

There are calls for TechBA to adopt more rigorous evaluation methods and establish a regular independent assessment. This would help to provide useful quantitative and qualitative data on the programs services, allowing administrators to focus the instrument and improve its efficacy. Additionally, some say that TechBA offices should change their funding process. Currently, offices receive a standard sum for each company they take into the program. This policy saw the program’s budget grow 35% between 2005 and 2012. TechBA could reorient its funding distribution to a results-based approach that rewards effective mentorship and networking. The Inter-American Development Bank recommends a system of “impact indicators” that would guide resource allocation to regional offices.

KEY ADVISOR(S) OR LEADER(S):

Haru Yamasaki (Director General), Luis Medina (TechBA Arizona), Eugenio Marin (TechBA Madrid), Raul Carvajal (TechBA Michigan), Leoncio Salaburu (TechBA Montreal), Itzam de Gortari (TechBA Seattle), Adolfo Tavera (TechBA Silicon Valley), Federico Goroztieta (TechBA Vancouver)

NOTES + ADDITIONAL CONTEXT:

Beginning in 2004, this program initially focused on internationalizing Mexican companies that possessed scalable models. The first office, located in Silicon Valley, became operational one year later. Over the course of the next few years, more locations were developed as part of the TechBA program: Austin (2005), Madrid (2006), Montreal (2006), Detroit (2008), Phoenix (2008), Seattle (2010), and Vancouver (2010). Just this year, TechBA opened a new office in Medellin, Colombia. In 2010, the program expanded to include regional activities within the country. Now, companies can access the TechBA network as they grow nationally, with an eye to eventually spread their brand overseas. 

SMEs make up 99% of Mexican enterprises, provide 72% of all jobs in the country, and contribute 52% of total GDP (World Bank). While roughly 25% of SMEs participate in the export market, they make up only 6.7% of national exports (World Bank). TechBA aims to address this disparity. In 2000, Mexico developed an Entrepreneurial Development Plan (EDP) which provided extensive programs to support the creation of small businesses. Over the next 6 years, the number of SMEs receiving government assistance increased nearly twenty-fold. TechBA was implemented to help guide these businesses to the next level of expansion: accessing overseas markets.

CURATED BY

Global Entrepreneurship Network
United States
Global Entrepreneurship Network
United States
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