Panama’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem – Interview with Gregory Clark

Gregory Clark is Managing Partner of Co.Vida a corporate social responsibility consulting and cause marketing firm in Panama. Greg began his journey to entrepreneurship through working in international development but when Panama’s official status was changed to middle income country and many of the international development organizations from abroad began to pull out of the country, Greg saw a gap that needed to be filled and became an entrepreneur.

“I saw this kind of niche, this hole in the market, this gap in the market,” he told me, “and I said, ‘how I can I fill that?'” 

So he teamed up with two Panamanian business partners and created his online platform for cause-based projects and project financing.

Interestingly enough, since he tries to connect the dots for cause-based project financing, his biggest challenge as an entrepreneur in Panama so far has been trying to attract outside investment. According to Greg, small financing is tough to find. You have to be working on a project that needs $500k plus or you have to bring the money yourself. He says,

“[In Panama], you can easily launch something as long as you’re bringing all of the money with you,”

but if you need outside investment for your idea it’s very tough to find. “There are a lot of new organizations within Panama for startups and entrepreneurs…and it’s all about trying to create this entrepreneurial environment here in Panama but, at the same time, they don’t offer any real services to help push it forward.”

At the end of the day, Greg says, Panamanian business runs on who you know. As Greg sees it,

“Everybody knows everybody and networking is really the only thing that gets anything done in this country. The Panamanian networks are very strong and it’s all based on nepotism. At the end of the day if you’re not somebody’s cousin or have somebody’s cousin on your team, you’re not going to get the deal.”

This is especially true, he says, if your innovation is going to cause problems for an already established business whose owners are connected. “If you’re going to be a threat to an already existing company and you’re not tied into a strong network system, they will shut you down before you even open,” he says.

Another challenge that he’s discovered and that he’s heard other entrepreneurs complain about is collections. “Nobody pays their bills on time here,” he says, which can destroy a startup’s cash flow and put it in a precarious situation.

So, given all of these hurdles why does Greg think entrepreneurs are attracted to Panama? He has a few reasons. For one thing, Panama operates on a solid, pegged currency (they use USD) so expats from the United States don’t need to worry about currency fluctuations affecting their investments. He also sees the laws as pretty favorable to aspiring entrepreneurs.

“To start your own company here is literally just the swipe of a pen,” he says. “It takes next to nothing.”

Perhaps more importantly though, Greg thinks that many people see Panama as a land of opportunity. “Especially for expats coming down as entrepreneurs,” he says, “they see what there isn’t. They’re looking at all of the holes and instead of being more pessimistic…they’re coming down and seeing the opportunity. They’re saying, ‘Wow, they don’t have this. I can do that…This sucks, oh I can improve it.” Additionally, “the infrastructure’s already so much in place where it seems like a little America, a little Miami and Panama City is the safest capital city in all of Latin America.” Given that,

“[Panama] seems really enticing because…the sense of you personally can make a difference is really strong. So many people consider it this developing country still and you want to be on the verge, you want to be in the boom. You want to be able to say, ‘I was in the boom, I was in before the rest of the world was.'”

Panama Startup Overview

I had a fabulous time in Costa Rica but I have to keep moving along on my journey through Latin America’s startup hubs so next I am headed to Panama City, Panama.

Panama is very unique within Latin America in that it is the home to the Panama Canal – key to international maritime trade because it connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the isthmus of Panama saving ships the hassle, time, and expense of traveling all the way around South America. The Canal was operated by the United States for nearly 100 years, so Panama uses the U.S. dollar – a distinct difference between it and the rest of Latin America. Additionally, the city’s feel and culture have a visible U.S. influence and the country is well-accustomed to international business people and investors. It’s also a central travel hub throughout the rest of Latin America and into the United States.

While it seems like the atmosphere is ripe for a startup hub, I honestly didn’t find all that much going on (if you feel otherwise, please respond and let me know why). Searching for meetups and activities I could only find 1 startup group and it didn’t appear to be all that active. Speaking with entrepreneurs in the space I was told that the climate is more competitive than collaborative and that nepotism is a force to be reckoned with.

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (which has only kept stats on Panama since 2009), entrepreneurship was starting to tick up a bit from 2009-2011, but it’s since started declining again. Take a look at the graphs below to get a feel for what’s going on in Panama versus the United States:

Total Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA)
Total Early-Stage Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA): Percentage of 18-64 population who are either a nascent entrepreneur or owner-manager of a new business.
Established Business Ownership Rate
Established Business Ownership Rate: Percentage of 18-64 population who are currently owner-manager of an established business, i.e., owning and managing a running business that has paid salaries, wages, or any other payments to the owners for more than 42 months.

 Next week we’ll jump into the interviews with entrepreneurs to hear their takes on what the entrepreneurial ecosystem is like in Panama City.

Startup Costa Rica

Costa Rican Countryside
This is just a gratuitous photo from Costa Rica so the post wouldn’t be all text.

While I experienced an epic fail last week when my dog ate my homework (aka my computer had a meltdown and lost my video interview with Ignacio Castro, the Founder of Startup Costa Rica) I think that the work Ignacio is doing through Startup Costa Rica is valuable and interesting so I am giving the organization its own post.

Ignacio is a Costa Rican who’s relocated to the U.S. but still has high hopes for building the entrepreneurial ecosystem in his home country, which is why he founded Startup Costa Rica. While he sees entrepreneurship building momentum throughout Latin America, he believes there is a gap in Central America with most of the major activity and growth happening and South America and Mexico. Partly, that is because of the small size of the countries located in Central America. Costa Rica, for example, has a population of around 5 million. However, if you take Central America as a whole, you have a viable market with approximately 45 million potential consumers.

According to Ignacio, Costa Rica has a lot going for it: it’s population is very well-educated and has the talent to build exciting new companies. Additionally, many people speak English – a definite advantage for entering the global marketplace – and the country is a Green leader. He’d like to see companies attacking the Central American, or larger Latin American, market with a base in Costa Rica, and that’s exactly what he hopes to encourage through Startup Costa Rica and would be thrilled if Costa Rica could develop to the point of having a model similar to that of Startup Chile or Startup Spain. It will be tough to get that level of monetary support from Costa Rica’s government, however, so he’s hoping to work with international agencies to help develop the program.

Ignacio’s vision for the future of Startup Costa Rica is based on two pillars: learning and acceleration. The organization will promote learning through an annual conference, startup school, angel school, hackathons and similar events, meetups, and workshops. It will also help to accelerate startups’ growth through the creation of competitions, a diaspora network, co-working spaces, demo days, investment, growth support, and promotion abroad.

If you’d like to get involved with Startup Costa Rica, visit the website and signup.

Oops! :(

Today’s Startup Nomad post was supposed to be a video interview with Igancio Castro, the founder of Startup Costa Rica. Unfortunately, my computer had a bit of a meltdown and I lost the video file. Live and learn I suppose, and let that be a lesson to you all: back up your files!

Next week we’ll head to Panama to see what’s going on in the world of entrepreneurship adjacent to the canal.

Costa Rica’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem – Interview with Adrian Garcia and Allan Boruchowicz

Adrian Garcia and Allan Boruchowicz are the Founding Partners of Carao Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm and startup accelerator in the capital city of San Jose, Costa Rica. While their accelerator space is currently undergoing a major remodel to create the perfect environment for emerging companies to thrive, Adrian and Allan have already jumped into working with entrepreneurs and building up the San Jose startup community.

Both men were educated outside of Costa Rica and then returned to the country to develop their skills working at the premiere private equity firm in the nation. Having established themselves in the PE arena, they decided to leave the corporate world behind and create Carao Ventures to support the entrepreneurial community in Costa Rica and haven’t looked back since. These experiences give the pair a unique take on where Costa Rica’s entrepreneurial ecosystem stands in relation to those in the United States and in other Latin American countries.

Firstly, unlike many others whom I’ve spoken to throughout Latin America, neither Adrian nor Allan felt that access to capital was the true issue in Costa Rica. Rather, they felt that the entrepreneurs in the country need to develop their understanding of the entrepreneurial journey as it applies to high-growth companies  and to develop their ideas, their companies, and their skills in a way that would make them attractive to investors. Adrian put it simply saying:

“Money is never an issue when there are good ideas.”

They both do admit, however, that, “there’s a bridge that needs to happen between U.S. or developed economy-based VC money or institutional financing and Latin American startups.” Adrian describes the search for funding as akin to the dating game arguing that while,  “if you ask entrepreneurs they’ll complain that there’s no access to capital,” they feel that way because they don’t appreciate that you can’t just walk up to the first person at the bar, by them a drink, and expect them to be your soul mate, so to speak. To develop a good relationship it’s much more difficult and the same is true for entrepreneurs talking to investors.

Additionally, step one of building a successful relationship is to be prepared and to be an attractive potential mate, or potential investment, as the case may be, and both Adrian and Allan think that Costa Rican entrepreneurs need to work harder to be prepared before seeking out investment if they want to be successful. According to Allan,

“an American entrepreneur already knows what he needs to do before he approaches an investor. In Costa Rica, they don’t.”

He also feels part of this may be cultural. His take is that part of the culture in the U.S. is that people don’t have much patience so you have to come prepared to a meeting, whereas Ticos are much more willing to have a 4 hour conversation.

In addition to the differences between the entrepreneurs’ level of preparedness that both men mentioned, there are also quite a few structural differences between the United States and Costa Rica that affect the entrepreneurial ecosystem – some for the better, some for the worse. Firstly, the size of the market is clearly an obstacle for Costa Rican entrepreneurs. A U.S. based company can focus only on the domestic market and still have a huge number of potential customers to target. A Costa Rican company, however, really needs to look outside its own borders and be, at least, a regional company in order to be able to have even the hope of the success that would make the company attractive to investors. As Adrian says,

“we don’t encourage entrepreneurs to start a business that will focus on Costa Rica only because you won’t have the critical mass to succeed. You can’t really think of Costa Rica as your market, you need to look at all of Latin America.”

Additionally, because the startup ecosystem has not fully developed, it’s difficult to find lawyers, mentors, or other resources with experience focusing specifically on startups and the unique challenges they face. At the same time, however, Costa Rica has a highly educated work force coming from top universities, it’s within close proximity to and shares a time zone with at least part of the United States, and its workforce speaks very good English, all while salaries can be as little as half what they would be for equivalent talent in the United States.

So what do the two see for the future of Costa Rica’s entrepreneurial ecosystem?

“In 5 or 10 years I think the ecosystem is going to be about the same,” says Adrian, “but everyone – entrepreneurs, investors, incubators – will be able to play a better game. We’ll be able to play in the major leagues where right now we’re playing in the minor leagues.”

He doesn’t see any major catalysts that will change everything, but hopes that Costa Rican entrepreneurs and supporters, like Carao, will be able to connect the dots much faster with U.S.-,Europe-, or Isreal- based institutional sources of financing. “And we’d like to think that some people will remember or think of Costa Rica as a place to start a business.”

Allan expects to see the creation of role models. “In 5-10 years, to be realistic,” he says, “we probably will see a couple of success stories that will come from the private sector…maybe between 5 and 10 success stories of local entrepreneurs that followed the typical path, raised outside investment, go to accelerators in other countries, and come back and set up a regional business.”

And they both hope to be a part of that change through their work with Carao Ventures. “It’s like any other innovation,” says Adrian, “you have to take what others do best and try to adapt it to your own environment, and that’s what we’re trying to do here.” “I have this secondary objective of helping Costa Rica, but the first objective is to grow businesses,” states Allan. He continues,

“We know how to help businesses with potential realize their potential.” 

 

Do you have experience with Costa Rica’s entrepreneurial ecosystem? Let me know your thoughts on what Adrian and Allan had to say in the comments below. 

Costa Rica’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem – Interview with Jose Cayasso

Jose Cayasso is the Founder and CEO of Saborstudio, the creator of Pota-toss – a game dubbed the next Angry Birds by Techcrunch and CNN. He’s a Costa Rican that has participated heavily in the U.S. startup community including being selected for Dreamit Ventures, so he has a very interesting take on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Costa Rica and how it compares to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the US. He was kind enough to sit down with me and discuss how he sees the entrepreneurial community in San Jose. Take a look at the video below to hear his thoughts:

Do you have experience with Costa Rica’s entrepreneurial ecosystem? Let me know your thoughts on what Jose had to say in the comments below. 

Our next interview will be with Adrian Garcia and Allan Boruchowicz of Carao Ventures. 

Costa Rica’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem – Ricardo Arce Interview

Ricardo Arce is the co-owner of InterGraphicDESIGNS and Quazar Web Design as well as co-organizer of BarCamp Costa Rica. He fell into entrepreneurship after college when he was doing freelance programming work, loved the freedom of freelancing, and his business took off to the point that he needed to hire employees and build a company. At the time Ricardo started his business, Costa Rica didn’t have a lot of high-quality web-design companies so Ricardo and his partners -Steven Guzman and Pablo Barrantes- were able to develop a solid reputation quickly and build InterGraphicDESIGNS to 35 employees (a mid-size company in Costa Rica). Computer science and programming are where Ricardo’s expertise lie so he has been learning how to be a entrepreneur as his company has grown and merged with others and has a unique take on the tech entrepreneurship world in Costa Rica and some of its issues.

According to Ricardo, Costa Rica has very high-skilled and well-educated people so it’s been attracting companies like HP and Intel who want to access its human capital. This has resulted in competition for programmers – and a steep increase in the expected salaries for those programmers – that’s forced many of these small web design firms out of the market. In fact, Ricardo says, many Costa Ricans who were entrepreneurs are now employees of these larger, mostly U.S.-based companies.

“The competition now is not for clients anymore, but for human resources…Web design is a matter of talent, of skills, so it’s important that you have the best designers.”

This competition has led Ricardo and his business partners to adapt their company’s growth strategy and has shaped the way they do business:

“[Big companies] can hire a lot of people with good salaries because they are selling in bigger markets. So we can do the same,” he says, “but we need some international presence, we have to change our business model, and we are at exactly this point…Some years ago, 90% of our clients were from Costa Rica and now it’s just 40%.”

While international expansion may sound like any entrepreneur’s dream, it also comes with its own set of hurdles. Until now, Ricardo has built his business by reinvesting the profits back into his company, but he’s currently exploring the possibility of raising outside funding to expand his company’s international presence and he’s noticed that access to capital isn’t so easy in Costa Rica.

For one thing, he says, Costa Ricans just aren’t as educated about or comfortable with the concept of equity investing. This seems to be the case in a lot of the Latin American countries I have and will be exploring, but Ricardo thinks Central America is even less educated about it than Mexico or South America. He says:

“If you look in the Latin American ecosystem as a whole, you can find more opportunities, but if you stay just in Costa Rica you will not find a lot of opportunities. You have to go to Colombia, to Mexico, to Argentina, to Chile.”

But while he sees Costa Rica as not on par with Mexico and countries in South America, he does identify Costa Rica as standing out from the rest of Central America:

“I think Costa Rica is a little bit different [than the rest of Central America] because of the talent. We have the same quality of talent as the countries that we’re talking about [Mexico, Colombia, Chile,etc.], but things with funding and investment are a little bit different. We have not developed that type of culture and ecosystem.”

But that culture is beginning to change as organizations like Startup Costa Rica and Carao Ventures try to fill in the gaps in Costa Rica’s entrepreneurial ecosystem (stay tuned for interviews with leaders from both organizations).  Ricardo sees this progress as good and wants multiple stakeholders to be involved in the ecosystem’s growth because – as he sees it –  journalists, the government, investors, and entrepreneurs all have a role to play. But he doesn’t see this growth happening quickly enough. The culture is changing, he says, but too slowly.

“If you grow slowly and the other countries grow faster, you will always have less even though you’re growing. So yes, we are growing, but we are growing too slowly.”

One sign that Ricardo says shows that entrepreneurship hasn’t taken it’s spot as a highly desired career choice: in Latin America there are a lot of entrepreneurs who are entrepreneurs because they have to be, not because they want to be. In Costa Rica right now there are a lot of multinational companies hiring and offering good salaries and benefits, so people are becoming employees and get comfortable not having the risks associated with building a business. This is happening so much that Ricardo predicts Costa Rica will actually have fewer entrepreneurs (as a percentage of total population) over the next few years.

As a lover of entrepreneurship, I can only hope that Ricardo is wrong and that entrepreneurship in Costa Rica continues to expand, not to contract.

 

Do you have experience with Costa Rica’s entrepreneurial ecosystem? Let me know your thoughts on what Ricardo had to say in the comments below. 

Our next interview will be with Jose Callaso of Sabor Studio. 

Costa Rica Startup Overview

Mexico was amazing and I can’t wait to get back there to dig a bit deeper into all of the opportunities that I discovered, but now I’ve moved on to Costa Rica and looks like this is going to be a wonderful stop on my Latin American journey as well!

Costa Rica has a lot going for it in comparison to some of the other Latin American countries: it boasts solid infrastructure (which is always important because it can get pretty tough to build the next Google if your internet doesn’t work), a great education system and well-educated work force, the presence of some power players – like Intel, and growing interest in building the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country. On the down side, however, Costa Rica is a small country of approximately 4.5 million people and it’s becoming increasingly expensive. Entrepreneurs in Costa Rica need to set their sets on the larger Latin American (or other international) market because the country is simply not large enough to provide a customer base able to sustain the type of growth that would interest equity investors and it needs to find a way to differentiate itself from the rest of the region in order to justify the additional costs of setting up shop here, as compared to some of the other, much less expensive countries.

During my first week in San Jose, the Costa Rican capital, I was lucky enough to be able to attend the presentation of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s report on Costa Rica. This is a bit of a big deal because Costa Rica has only been included in the GEM reports for the last few years and the event included a brief speech from the country’s Commerce Minister.  Because data on Costa Rica has only recently begun to be gathered for GEM, the graphs are not nearly as useful as those I showed you for Mexico. However, it’s exciting that Costa Rica’s ecosystem has grown enough that they are at least now on the map and being included in reports like those produced by GEM.

Hopefully, the next few years will show continued growth for entrepreneurship in the country, but there are definitely some challenges to be overcome if Costa Rica wants to become the Central American Silicon Valley.

 

 

In Costa Rica, I began by talking to entrepreneurs so we’ll have 2 weeks of interviews with the business owners on the ground in the country. Then I’ll speak with a couple of former PE professionals who are building a modern business incubator and partnering with Costa Rica’s largest angel investor group to make sure promising young startups get access to the resources – both educational and monetary – that they need to succeed. Finally, I’ll finish off my stint in this Central American startup hub with a chat with the Founder of Startup Costa Rica. 

I’ve also had some pretty great adventures seeing the sites, so make sure to take a look at the Where in the World? section to get a taste of the fun things you can get into in between business meetings. 

Mexico’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Interview 4 – Jackie Hyland: Project Analyst, Angel Ventures Mexico

It’s almost time to leave Mexico (okay, by the time I post this I will have already been in Costa Rica for 2 weeks – but it’s almost time for the blog to leave Mexico) but before heading to the airport I was lucky enough to be able to sit down for a coffee chat with Jackie Hyland. She’s a Project Analyst at Angel Ventures Mexico and interacts regularly with both startups and investors, so she has a pretty insightful take on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Mexico City.

Since Jackie works at an angel fund, our conversation naturally started with a discussion of the investment environment and, according to Jackie, there’s a big gap at that initial seed-stage capital between what entrepreneurs need and what investors are willing to offer. She says:

“There are people who want to invest but very few that want to join in on a company that is at the prototype or even seed stage. [Investors] want to see sales.”

Just like some of the other insiders I spoke to, Jackie says she’s seen a lot of the family business culture and the monopoly culture. While in the U.S. when we think of an angel investor we may conjure images of a serial entrepreneur who’s started and sold numerous businesses, in Mexico the angel investors tend to come from a more corporate traditional background or have run a family business so they’re more risk averse.

On the positive side, however, Jackie says that the investment environment in Mexico is very open, meaning that investors share deals with other investors rather then trying to keep the next hot thing to themselves.

“Between the funding organizations, we want to share what we know,” Jackie says. 

She thinks the risk aversion and openness will change though, and that change process has already begun.  The government is saying the growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem is a priority for them by creating the new entrepreneurship institute  and the entrepreneurs and investors are becoming more active.

“The movement has started now. There are people saying ‘I don’t need to just take over my Dad’s company or get a job. I can start something,'” she says. “But it will take another 3 or 4 years before people start seeing it’s not just about starting a company, it’s about coming up with something really unique.”

Unfortunately, Jackie sees that increased deal flow leading to less open communication between investors: “I think [funding organizations’ openness] is going to change once the deal flow changes and there are a lot of really hot projects with high value,” she says.

These changes are a part of the evolution of the ecosystem. According to Jackie, just a few years ago in Mexico entrepreneurship was just starting to come out of people’s mouths and now it’s exploding. Now that there are numerous incubators and accelerators that have started, people know about them, and people are in them; people are beginning to try to figure out how to make them better.

“Everyone says this is the prototype phase and now let’s go to phase two: let’s make it better,” Jackie says.

And part of making the ecosystem better is about tweaking the models so that they fit with the Mexican culture and ecosystem. “A lot of other countries want to mimic Silicon Valley: What do they do? What do they have? How do we bring that here?” Jackie says. But in order to truly succeed, the Mexican entrepreneurial ecosystem needs to adapt those models to Mexican realities.

“What I think and what I always ask Mexicans,” Jackie says, is “why do you feel like you need to mimic when you’re bringing something from another culture? Why not try to do more than transplant and see how this model fits with Mexico and make it bigger and better?”

However the ecosystem continues to evolve – as an attempted direct copy of places like Silicon Valley or as something intentionally uniquely Mexican – Jackie says, “the flow will pick up when entrepreneurs say: ‘Okay we’ve been doing this, we’ve been making companies, let’s figure out how to do this better, how to make a big difference.'” Thus, the question of the growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Mexico seems to be one of how and how quickly, not if.

 

Do you have experience in the Mexico City startup scene? If so, please let me know your thoughts on what Jackie had to say in the comments sections below. Next up we head off to San Jose, Costa Rica to explore the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Ticolandia. 

Mexico’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Interview 3 – Scott Wofford: Project Leader, Ashoka

After visiting Endeavor Mexico, Josh Ford put me in touch with Scott Wofford, a consultant and project leader at Ashoka who is developing a map of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Mexico City including development organizations, funding organizations, universities, etc. JACK POT – this is just the kind of information that I am interested in.

Unfortunately, Scott’s report isn’t yet released publicly so I can’t share any lovely links, but Scott was kind enough to grab lunch with me and give me another take on what’s happening in the world of entrepreneurship in Mexico City and where the city’s ecosystem is headed in the near future.

One of the key differences he identifies between the ecosystem in Mexico and that in the United States are that there is more classism for aspiring entrepreneurs to contend with in Mexico and that

“classism impacts many things about being an entrepreneur including raising capital and being part of the right networks.”

Additionally, because of the social stratification, there is more need-based entrepreneurship in Mexico than in the United States. Many people become business owners because it is the only option they have to support themselves or their families, however, these are not the entrepreneurs that have the resources or desire to grow those enterprises into fully functioning, scalable companies.

At the same time, there’s a lack of investment capital – specifically venture capital, in Mexico. Scott believes this lack of venture capital has a few causes: venture capitalists have trouble finding a pipeline; lots of monopolies prevent industries from taking off through a startup because those monopolies have a choke hold and since the startups cannot make it “really big” they are less attractive to investors; and Mexico is missing the qualified talent to manage a successful fund.

Scott also identifies more entrenched corruption in Mexico as something that differentiates the ecosystem there from that in the United States. Because of this corruption, Mexico doesn’t fare well on the ease-of-doing-business index and it can be difficult for entrepreneurs without the right connections to get the proper permits and licenses to begin doing business or to expand an existing business.

On the positive side, however, because the social divisions are so defined,

“Once you’re in, you’re in,” Scott says. “Some of the success stories go through all of the programs – Ashoka, Endeavor, etc. even though they don’t necessarily need the help.”

This is a theme that came up in other interviews in Mexico City as well – because the ecosystem is still at its early stages, it’s a small community in which everyone knows everyone.

Mexico also maintains a strong family structure as a deeply entrenched part of its culture so friends and family “rounds” of investment are more common. Additionally, Mexico has a growing middle class and good macro-economic growth that, combined with its proximity to the U.S., position it well to bring established U.S. models and apply them in Mexico – usually for less risk.

So where does Scott see the Mexican entrepreneurial ecosystem in 5 – 10 years?

“Right now, 80%-90% of entrepreneurs who’ve been invested in or accelerated by one of the big programs will increase 25%-30% per year but only a few will be big success cases in terms of ROI.” In 5 – 10 years, “I think that there will be a couple of big success cases where entrepreneurs become pretty famous.”

 

Do you have experience in the Mexico City startup scene? If so, please let me know your thoughts on what Scott had to say in the comments sections below. Our next interview will be with Jackie Hyland of Angel Ventures Mexico.