Silicon Valley’s culture of entrepreneurship and technological innovation has quickly spread to other parts of the world. Tech hubs are cropping up everywhere; there’s Silicon Taiga in Siberia, Silicon Allee in Berlin, Silicon Plateau in Bangalore, Chilecon Valley in Chile. Mexico, too, is now among these technological hubs, thanks, in part, to population growth in its major cities. This has helped create market demand for innovative technologies often aimed at improving the quality of life for everyday citizens and inciting a boom in the Mexico tech industry.
The next Silicon Valley
The Mexico tech industry contains a substantial market for testing and refining products before going global. Tech companies in Mexico, positioned between North and South America, often serve as a regional base for major global enterprises. In addition, shared geography and different free trade agreements make international business affairs easier to manage. These facts are not lost on companies like Motorola, IBM, HP, and Gameloft, which are included among the growing number of tech companies in Mexico.
Mexico tech industry talent
Mexico is quickly becoming a powerful global resource for IT and tech talent. According to Techflier, graduates from renowned institutions like Tecnológico de Monterrey enter the Mexico tech industry workforce each year. These graduates have consistently won global awards and garnered international attention for electronic and robotic research.
With a continuous increase in the number of regional grassroots startups, much of this young talent goes to the research and innovation divisions for such organizations. According to a Washington Post interview with Anurag Kumar, chief executive and co-founder of iTexico (a software development firm in Austin, Texas), “Doing business here is almost like doing business in the U.S.” Of its 121 employees, 107 of iTexico’s employees are in Guadalajara.
The importance of the Mexico tech boom
The Mexican economy is steadily growing, making it the 15th largest in the world in nominal terms, according to recent figures. With this growth comes growth in technological development and a boom in tech companies in Mexico.
According to Andy Kieffer, former Silicon Valley entrepreneur and founder of the Agave Lab accelerator and venture fund in Guadalajara, there is an immense benefit to the recent focus on tech in Mexico: “This is a great opportunity to focus inwards and apply our technology here,” he recently told Motherboard.
Working in Mexico
Mexico City has seen significant advances in government-sponsored tech start up initiatives over the last few years. For example, in 2015 the Instituto Nacional del Emprendedor (INADEM) helped over 400 tech companies jumpstart their projects in Mexico City.
And for North American companies looking to work in Mexico, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) makes the transition relatively smooth. NAFTA ensures U.S. companies in Mexico retain full copyright and patent protection and promotes tariff-less commerce between Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. Mexico is an ideal spot for the next Silicon Valley, according to many. As Anurag Kumar puts it, Mexico has “proximity to the U.S., NAFTA, IP protection, the ability to have people travel back and forth, the visa ease — you don’t need H1s, you don’t need L1s.” What’s not to like?