The 33rd floor of the new BBVA Bancomer Tower on Paseo de la Reforma is the newly opened headquarters of the BBVA Bancomer Innovation Center, the first of its kind in Mexico. It will be a meeting point for the country’s innovation ecosystem, which will bring together entrepreneurs, developers and startups.
The opening of this new center underlines the change of paradigm that the bank is undergoing on its path to digital transformation. “The BBVA Innovation Center will seek to become a meeting place and a core designed for the community interested in creating alternatives for banking around the world, with technological innovation solutions and as recognition of Mexican talent”, said its director, Juan Carlos Arroyo.
This milestone reflects a changing trend in the world of business, where an increasing number of companies support their growth through responsible innovation, with initiatives such as the Sustainability Excellence Club and its Catalog of Best Practices in Responsible Innovation. Along that line, the BBVA Bancomer Innovation Center includes open innovation activities, initiatives focused on entrepreneurs, challenges for programmers and startups, contests, prizes, actions for promoting financial inclusion and, in short, all kinds of actions aimed at attracting Mexican talent and new ideas, while boosting technological and social advances.
Its first activity was a “Design Thinking” workshop led by the professors of the Institute of Design of Stanford University (d-School), which was attended by over 200 students. “People can work in this space and treat it as their own for building and receiving mentoring in an attractive, inspiring space with three strengths: cohesion, meeting point and livinglab and space for coworking”, explained Juan Carlos Arroyo. “To access it, all people have to do is come to the center and find the first available space. Events are free and no one is going to charge them anything. We bear the operating expenses related to its use”.
Its dynamism is reflected in the events and workshops it has organized since its opening in December 2015 and in those planned for this year. As Hugo Nájera Alva, BBVA Bancomer’s general manager for Digital Banking, explains: “The work carried out at the Innovation Center includes a varied agenda of activities that will be open to collaboration with other organizations in the ecosystem that promote the development of new trends, particularly in financial innovation and support for entrepreneurship”.
The BBVA Innovation Centers were implemented four years ago in Madrid, Colombia and the United States. The figures confirm their success: over 20,000 visits, 200 events (in the Madrid Innovation Center alone), a website with more than one million visits and 100,000 followers on Facebook. The open center in Mexico seeks to increase this impact. According to Juan Carlos Arroyo: “This is one more milestone in digital banking for BBVA Bancomer, one of 40 projects. The BBVA Innovation Center is now a reality, our strength to continue making progress in the process”.