CELEBRATE | November 9, 2016

How Mexico is Tweaking Their Startup Community

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Angel Ventures invited a few investors and ecosystems builders to take a peek under the hood of Mexico’s developing entrepreneurial vehicle. As far as the ecosystem is concerned, Mexico is demonstrating a rare collection of traits that are mixing together in a way that resembles that of a budding innovation rainforest. With an estimated 200,000 participants attending the event leading up to Global Entrepreneurship Week Mexico this year, we can learn a few things about what they are doing right.

One feature that the Mexican entrepreneurial ecosystem has is the CDMX TECH Tour, which is similar to a fellowship abroad program. It aims to link the Mexican industries of technology with international entities. The weeklong program was hosted jointly by INADEM and Mexico's Secreatary of the Economy. During each day of the conference, participants had packed schedules full of site visits to explore local startups, conferences and networking meetings throughout the city. A mix of venture capital firms, angel investors and leaders of the entrepreneurial ecosystem were together. Check out the latest attendees by clicking here.

Our agenda was pretty packed. In short:

Wednesday
The group met briefly and explored a marketplace for startups in the food industry. Dozens of startups with new creative spins on food and beverages, lined the marketplace -- selling various products and desribing their personal entrepreneurial journeys. The food startup marketplace was a cross between mall and co-working space -- a chic local watering hole for the tech community -- and was a great snapshot of successful businesses who are starting and scaling in the country. Wednesday also held other events, including speaker Marcus Dantus, CEO of Startup Mexico.

Thursday
Though roads were blocked off because of a public transportation industry strike, the site visits to startup hubs and support programs around Mexico City were amazing. The startup ideas were impressive, and illustrate how Mexico’s startup community has flourished over the past few years – with burgeoning tech and social ventures that are continuing to elevate the country’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. We also had the chance to chat with leading investors in Mexico, and got to take a peek into the life of startups in fintech, health and media information technology. 

Friday
On Friday, the main conference hall for the final day was massive. It was a startup village -- representing startups with product demos, exhibitors to help entrepreneurs hone new skills, and booths that focus on entrepreneurs and investors in specific Latin American corridors like Colombia. What amazed me further is the government’s interest in entrepreneurship. Almost every school in the surrounding cities brought their students in for the day to expose them to the entrepreneurial culture of Mexico, and to encourage them to think about how they can someday disrupt industries and start a business. A diverse population of participants attended the event. 

The Road Is Just Beginning
While I was sad to see the week end, those who attended left inspired by the engagement and outreach to the local entrepreneurial communities that both public and private sectors are doing in Mexico. We were also inspired by the group members and the efforts they are making in their own countries to spread entrepreneurship. It served as a three-day icebreaker that helped attendees form deeper relationships with each other.

STEVEN A. RODRIGUEZ serves as Startup Community Manager at the Global Entrepreneurship Network, a 501(c)3 non-profit. Rodriguez oversees four… About the author