Government funds and private organizations offer a range of options for new entrepreneurs in Mexico.
The first and most difficult step for starting an innovative project is an idea. Similarly to Columbus, who had to visit several courts before he found someone willing to fund his idea, the formula repeats itself at a very small scale. How to find the patron who will turn that idea into reality? There are more options than we think. The market for those who already have the idea is an open playground.
Mexico is in the process of consolidating its own market for entrepreneurs and here are some examples for putting entrepreneurs in touch with their funders:
The Conacyt Stimulus Program for Innovation, supported by official funds, works like one of those platforms for developing new products, in particular those focused on technology. The first step is to register with Reniecyt to apply for the funds. Technology innovation is a wide field and there are three types of funds intended for entrepreneurs: one for setting up technology SMEs, another for those who seek to provide advice to consolidated companies and a third for those who already have a strategic alliance in place for launching the project. Depending on the project's size and progress, the funds can reach five million pesos (around 278,000 euros). For more information, visit the Finnova website.
In the specific case of a startup , another option is the National Fund for Entrepreneurs, which has a page with useful and straightforward information for those who want to embark on an adventure in the world of technology that calculates the accessible credite. The grants are renewed every three months and the procedure is online.
But governmental options are not the only ones available for putting an idea into practice. International organizations like Village Capital or Adobe Capital have already arrived in Mexico. In the case of the first one, one fundamental requirement is that, if initial resources have been obtained, they must be less than one million dollars. As for Adobe, a startup must have fewer than 50 employees and capital of less than five million dollars to qualify for support.
And there are ingenious proposals that, as might be expected in a field that requires swift innovation, are also fast. This is the case of Abaco (Basic agreement for purchase activities), where a startup can get up to 100,000 dollars depending on its project.
As happens with other options, it involves putting investors in touch with entrepreneurs. In other words, crowdfunding with more specific goals. The company that promotes Abaco, Avalancha Ventures, boasts that its system is unique in Mexico by providing in five steps (invite investors, negotiation, reaching an agreement, sign it and launch) the process for funding a startup. Its goal is to channel 200 million dollars until the end of 2016. Rodrigo Ocejo, the company's leader, says: “Avalancha applies a rigorous investment methodology that supplements investment methods tried and tested in Silicon Valley, which it adapts so they can be applied in Mexico and Latin America”.
The task is ambitious: to consolidate a Mexican Silicon Valley, but the options are on the table. Ultimately, the most important thing that an entrepreneur needs is an idea.