The culture of Silicon Valley has fascinated and transformed technology around the world. For years the technology revolution and innovation that has emerged from the Bay Area in northern California has been admired for the immense amounts of capital and futuristic building blocks it has created.
However, the ever-growing and accelerating global demand for managed IT services means this San Francisco Bay hub is no longer enough. The world is beginning to look elsewhere; in fact, Latin America seems to already have its own tech gem in the making: Mexico.
- Mexico has more than 130,000 individuals graduating as engineers per year and has competitive operating costs close to those of the U.S. and is one of the largest economies in the region.
- In 2016, its seed capital investment averaged approximately USD$100,000. Startups that include apps for microcredit, real estate platforms, food delivery services and mobile payment services have represented some of the most famous local success stories.
- The country also has a young population, where half are under 20 years of age, all of who are cyber natives.
- Today, cities such as Guadalajara attract more than 6,000 technology companies and almost 500 startups
Guadalajara is becoming the ‘Silicon Valley’ of Mexico, but with a very unique local culture. The city is home to several IT companies including IBM, HP, Oracle and Intel, among others. The home of mariachi music also boasts five public and several private universities.
At Cogeco Peer 1 we have recognized the growing opportunity in Mexico as we continue to invest in the region. With all that Mexico has to offer, the country is vying for tech companies’ attention to do business with its pool of talented techies and entrepreneurs, but nevertheless there are some improvements to be made. It is important that Mexico inject its own special offerings into this model. Imitating Silicon Valley will only result in a replica that has the difficult task of competing with the original hub. To retain talent, attract investors and make the most of its potential, Mexico must offer its own unique strengths.
On the other hand, the socioeconomic context also presents other challenges that can possibly hinder its growth as a tech hub. Instability and inadequate regulatory frameworks hinder the growth and flow of capital into Mexican soil. Therefore, public-private partnerships have a role to play in this regard.
Has the potential for a Latin American Silicon Valley piqued your interest? Take your first step in discovering how to do business in or with the region (including Mexico)!