We’re winding down my time in Latin America and this week’s interview is with Bianca Loew, Founder of Life of Two, the makers of Twyxt, a messaging app for couples. Bianca is originally from Germany, lived for many years in Mexico, and is now based in San Francisco.
Comparing the ecosystems of Silicon Valley and Mexico City, Bianca said: “How do you compare it: It’s day and night I would say.” She continued on:
“Silicon Valley is so developed. There is an ecosystem there, it’s already developed and it’s huge and here in Mexico it is everything but...
…When I started up with Life of Two there was no ecosystem, it was non-existent in Mexico, which is the reason that we decided to go to San Francisco, because here in Mexico there wasn’t anything or, if there was something, it was only just starting…It’s only starting to get organized, there are lots of funds being created from one moment to the other…
…things are really happening but it’s really, really early stage…
There are people that are doing things right, organizations that are really serious, but there are also those that really aren’t…I think it’s a matter of time before it will get more mature but still, Mexico City, there is not going to be a second Silicon Valley.”
Getting into more detail about what is missing from the Mexican ecosystem she said: “I don’t know if it’s one thing, I think it’s many things together. 1 thing is of course capital, access to capital. [Also], really great talent is still pretty scarce so there are great people but they are not looking around for jobs. When it comes to money, when it comes to talent, when it comes to the whole infrastructure like legal issues – there are very few legal firms that specialize in startups…
…This whole framework has yet to evolve.”
She does see it changing, however:
“It’s very small, it’s not yet very mature, but it’s very exciting and it’s growing a lot,” she said.
“It’s important that Mexico is finally giving more attention to the entrepreneurs, it’s important that there are finally funds available for entrepreneurs…these things are happening now and they’re very important for Mexico, for the country, for the economy…This new wave that is happening right now in Mexico. A lot of things are going to happen in 5 years – I don’t know if [the ecosystem] is going to be mature, but definitely we can expect a lot of things happening here in Mexico…
…I see a lot of progress. Mexico is on a good path. I don’t know what’s going to happen in 5 years but it’s definitely going to look different.”
So what is Bianca’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?:
“Not everyone is made to be an entrepreneur,” she told me. She encourages everyone to give it a try if they have a great idea, but warns that it’s not all fun, freedom, and glitz. It is hard work that requires discipline and self-motivation and is not right for everyone. She also said,
“You need to have the right people around you, you need to have the right cofounder. You can have the best idea but if you don’t have someone to help you develop it, if you don’t have a reliable cofounder [you won’t succeed].”
Finally, “You need to be fast; don’t try to make the perfect product, just test it very fast with something basic and see if that takes you somewhere.”
What do you think of BIanca had to say about the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Mexican? Let me know in the comments section below!