With venture capital investments in Mexico rising to hit more than $978 million during the first half of 2015 – up from just $403 million during the same time period in 2014 – it’s become quite clear that Mexico is positioned in the center of a major tech boom,according to USA Today.
“Mexico is emerging as one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in Latin America,with more than $1 billion in investments last year and more than 500,000 IT professionals," wrote USA Today.
Hernán Fernández has a master’s degree from MIT and speaks flawless English,but he opted to run a small team of analysts in the Polanco neighborhood of his native Mexico City instead of taking his talents to Silicon Valley,or settling for an easy gig with a major Mexican Bank. Using personal investments,along with contributions from friends and family,Fernández and his partners created Angel Ventures Mexico in 2008.
The fund is searching for the next big tech startup and helps finance mostly tech companies located in Mexico and Latin America. Today,it has grown to $20 million,with 29 employees in offices located in Mexico City,Bogotá and Lima,Peru,but Fernández says the firm is currently working to grow its total to more than $100 million.
“The new generation of Mexicans are tech savvy,more connected with the U.S.,often U.S. educated,” he shared. “It’s impossible not to feel the attraction of the startup economy.”
Mexico’s impressive start-up scene and its gradual shift away from traditional industries like manufacturing and banking into more entrepreneurial ventures is still a largely untold story. In Mexico City,close proximity to the United States and more than 21 million residents have placed it at the center of Mexico’s growing technology industry.
“The time has come for the world to realize that innovation doesn’t come from the U.S. alone,” stated Marcus Dantus,co-founder and chief executive of Startup Mexico,an “innovation campus” located in northwest Mexico City,in an interview with USA Today.
Inside the Startup Mexico compound,which is housed in a cavernous former warehouse,rows of tables hold shiny laptops,while two putting greens,a number of hammocks stretched over a “beach” made from actual sand,foosball,ping pong,an organic rooftop vegetable garden and glass walls scribbled with programming code are reminiscent of the early days in Silicon Valley.
The space is home to an eclectic mix of entrepreneurs,venture capitalist funds,advisers and angel investors. Dantus told USA Today that his firm fielded 4,500 applications and helped start 130 new companies last year.
“I think you’ll be surprised what Mexico and Latin America in general will be offering the world the next few years,” he predicted.
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