Latin America’s startup industry, while in its infantile stages and years, is forging ahead and paving a new path for business in the region. The region as a whole is working to become a cohesive unit within the startup industry. To do this, smaller and/or inexperienced countries and startups in Latin America are following the lead of old pros. Startups in Mexico are setting the example for the remainder of the region and its corresponding nations.
The wide array and impressive history of startups in Mexico allows ample opportunity for a developed, robust industry. There to support and model good business development and growth practices, startups in Mexico serve as the lifeblood of the country and as the example for others. A long history of innovation, invention, and economic opportunism ignited the flame which is the industry of startups in Mexico. Years of global partnerships, savvy business decisions, and patriotism serve as the fuel which keeps this fire burning. As an entire industry, startups in Mexico have an extensive history, a lucrative present, and a promising future.
History of startups in Mexico
As mentioned previously, the startup industry in Mexico is hardly new for the country. This system and culture surrounding entrepreneurship and startups in Mexico has blossomed into an intricate and innate practice for many businesspeople in the country. Its roots, while deep and intertwined, are the foundation upon which successful entrepreneurs and startups in Mexico flourish today.
Startups in Mexico didn’t receive quite the attention they do now when they first emerged. It took inspired entrepreneurs and business leaders like Carlos Slim to capture the world’s attention. Slim, one of the richest men in the world, made his start as an entrepreneur in Mexico. In 1966, he founded his first company, Inmobiliaria Carso. From there on, Slim took his earnings, and his ideas, and formed even more startups in a handful of different industries. As Mexico’s savviest businessman, Slim has founded, invested in, managed, and owned startups in as many as twenty-one different industries. He modeled the entrepreneurial spirit, ingenuity, and determination sought after in Mexico today.
Resources for growing startups in Mexico
Part of the reason Mexico’s startup industry has remained so strong, successful, and steadfast is due to the resources it has. Each piece of this industry puzzle is essential in maintaining a successful market, and also in encouraging future success and prosperity. Some of the outlined pieces are purely situational benefits, while others are strategic, well thought-out measures to help build the market.
Population and purchasing power
The first major resource that startups in Mexico have at their disposal is the country’s enormous population. Total, Mexico is home to over 126 million people. This impressive population mostly gathers in the country’s major cities. Mexico City alone hosts over 12 million people. Impressive population figures are not limited to the country’s capital city though. There are eleven other cities in Mexico that have a population of at least one million. Rural-area populations are decreasing at alarming rates as more individuals and families move to big cities in search of opportunity.
With such a large population comes a plethora of advantages and valuable resources needed to fuel and grow an economy. Firstly, large populations in concentrated areas, like those of Mexico City, Guadalajara, or Monterrey, present condensed market opportunities. Whole market segments form in these large cities, making it easier for companies, and startups, to locate and serve them. Increasing demand in a highly populated city becomes easier as more and more people use the product or service.
Moreover, while seemingly relative figures like brand exposure, recognition, and loyalty thrive in populated places like Mexico, so do financial opportunities. The monetary resources disposable for Mexico’s consumer and corporal segments are staggering and impressive. This means that more money is flowing into these startups. Finally, with a large population comes increased access to top talent and entrepreneurial ingenuity. Combined with the educational resources, Mexico’s large population presents startups with millions of well-trained, educated, and inventive professionals.
Educational opportunities and resources are some of the most beneficial investments and incentives a system or country and offer. Luckily, Mexico has already recognized the value in increasing educational opportunities in institutions of higher education so as to benefit the business world and national economy.
One of the country’s leading universities, Tecnológico de Monterrey, is giving a model example. While this specific university focuses on educating its students about technology and invention, it also molds each student into being an entrepreneur. The Entrepreneur Program, established in 1978, takes these tech-focused students and teaches them how to start and run their own tech startup. The initiative was born out of a growing desire for students to have the capacity, confidence, and experience to pursue an entrepreneurial path. Over fifty years later, the establishment offers its infamous Entrepreneurial Program at the high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels.
Backed by the state
While schooling is important, so is institutionalized, political support. Mexico’s government has shown an impressive amount of support for the startup industry. In 2013, the government created the National Institute of Entrepreneurs (INADEM). This organization serves to incentive national, regional, and sectoral economic growth by promoting productivity and innovation amongst SMEs in strategic sectors, with the overarching goal to foster an innovative, dynamic, and competitive economy. In addition to formal institutions, startups in Mexico are also backed by the state monetarily. In 2014 alone, the Mexican government allocated over $658 million to 620,000 entrepreneurs. The state is aiming to develop sectors which will be crucial in the near future. Industries like tech, B2B services, and engineering rank at top importance for both political and economic development efforts.
Looking to the future
The future of Mexico’s startup industry is looking promising. Cities like Mexico City, Monterrey, and Guadalajara are taking steps to become Latin America’s most innovative startup cities. These efforts and goals are manifested with heavy funding, increased educational opportunities, and expanding international business relations and partnerships. Falling under the national spotlight, the tech startup industry will be that which propels Mexico even higher up the global economic ladder. As “the next Silicon Valley,” all eyes are on Mexico City and its startup sector. Further market development, increased human capital, and innovative ideas will make startups in Mexico the model for countries even beyond Latin America.
Dive deeper into Mexico’s startup world
Startups in Mexico have a promising future ahead. With diligent planning and resources, the industry has grown into a successful and competitive one. The bright future of startups in Mexico can only be dimmed by an uneducated business community or the dying breath of an entrepreneurial kingdom. Learning about the opportunities for entrepreneurs and startups in Mexico help deter these otherwise looming concerns. To learn more about what Mexico has to offer and its startup scene, follow The StartupVC on social media. Our accounts on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter provide up-to-date articles and informative pieces to keep you in the know.