At the beginning of November last year, Alejandro Delgado, former president of the National Institute of Entrepreneurs (INADEM), took the stage of the INC Mty Festival, organized by the TEC of Monterrey, to give a story: The agency in charge was about to disappear.
He had been notified by members of the incoming administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who pointed out that the institute would not be part of their plans as they would take a different path in terms of policies related to entrepreneurship.
The fact meant at the time uncertainty for entrepreneurs, especially because there was no clarity around two things: The first, if the ecosystem would be able to survive a disappearance of this nature, and, the second, who could be in charge take their place in terms of the capital injection given to startups.
Almost a year away from this fact both answers have been resolved, as indicated in an interview with Forbes Mexico, Rogelio de los Santos, co-founder of Dalus Capital, and Hugo Garza Medina, director of the Entrepreneurship Institute of the TEC of Monterrey.
And the assessment that, in general, both make to what happened this year with entrepreneurship is positive, since even though INADEM did indeed disappear, the ecosystem has continued to advance positively.
“Entrepreneurs have the best voice, but the reality is that the ecosystem had the ability to turn the issue around and keep moving forward despite the disappearance of the institute”, said De los Santos.
From his point of view, what happened with this fact that was generated is that things were rebalanced, without impact entrepreneurship projects being generated in any way.
“In my opinion, what was put to the test with this fact was the capacity of connection and development that the community related to entrepreneurship had, including all its players, and the perspective I have is that it was possible to continue advancing in the ecosystem”, said the co-founder of Dalus Capital.
On the other hand, regarding who could take the place vacated by INADEM, De los Santos said that throughout this year the appearance of foreign funds interested in projects in Mexico and throughout Latin America has intensified.
“The reality is that one of the biggest concerns in this case was that of capital, however, this year numerous actors related to the Silicon Valley environment have arrived in the country that gradually began to invest in the companies here”, he said.
The most popular case in this regard was that of the Japanese giant Softbank, which arrived in the region with a fund of more than $ 5,000 million to invest, a figure that, according to De los Santos, could very likely double in the future.
Another slice of the cake, says Hugo Garza Medina, was taken by the different Mexican family offices, which have been increasing, both through funds and direct investment in startups, the capital they previously occupied for this issue.
“Monterrey has always been a forerunner in the issue of family offices and their investment in entrepreneurship, and this fact has been replicating this year throughout the country”, he says.
Finally, Garza Medina adds, also in this last year they have observed a growth in interest by companies and large corporations to intensify their presence within the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“Today we see that there is already a new network of corporate venture capital, which involves many Mexican and multinational companies that are increasingly active in their investment initiatives in terms of entrepreneurship, we find teams within the companies fully focused on this work”, he says.
Strengthen the basics
Despite this positive outlook, Garza Medina says that it is important to continue working in Mexico not only to consolidate the venture, but to professionalize it, something that will give an opportunity to achieve even greater growth.
“We need to systematize the practice of entrepreneurship more, so that the founders of the new companies are very clear about the skills they need to learn to get their companies to develop”, he says.
In particular, in addition to working on things such as resilience in entrepreneurs, the head of the Entrepreneurship Institute of the TEC maintains that it is relevant that those who decide to open a company learn to detect opportunities and execute them.
“If you are an SME and you do not have the ability to locate the different opportunities to grow the business, you will always be small, so it is important that we continue to promote this capacity in entrepreneurs”, he concludes.
Also published on Medium.