Mexican, US leaders of entrepreneurial ecosystem to meet Thursday in SF

Mexican, US leaders of entrepreneurial ecosystem to meet Thursday in SF

By Bronson Pettitt / San Francisco

Dozens of public and private sector leaders will meet in San Francisco today to address the opportunities and challenges of venture capital and foreign investment in Mexico.

Entrepreneurs, financial experts, incubators and high-ranking government officials will share success stories and discuss cross-border investment and Mexico’s entrepreneurial environment.

This is the second time the Mexican Association of Private Capital (Amexcap) is organizing a venture capital event in San Francisco, following last year’s event, which drew more than 120 participants.

The all-day forum comes shortly after Mexico made sweeping overhauls to its energy and telecom sectors, which the Mexican government says will usher in much-needed foreign investment.

Those reforms will draw in a combined US$100bn in investments by the end of 2018, according to the government.

Yet Mexican entrepreneurs face many challenges.

Among them are the access to capital and the lack of knowledge and access to networks, acceleration program Agora Partnerships recently told Ventura México.

According to the World Bank, 73% of Mexican adults do not have access to loans, and 80% of women do not have access to financial services, making Mexico one of the countries with the highest gender gaps in access to financial services.

The Mexican business sector also invests little in innovation, research and development, according to Mexico-based Alta Ventures founder Rogelio de los Santos. Proof of this is the number of patents emerging in Mexico, de los Santos told Ventura México.

Despite these obstacles, Mexico was recently recognized for its “ambitious initiatives” for promoting its entrepreneurial ecosystem. Mexico ranked No. 2 in Latin America and 31th globally in terms of the best conditions for entrepreneurship, according to the Index of Systemic Conditions for Dynamic Entrepreneurship (ICSEd)

Those initiatives include the creation of the National Entrepreneur’s Institute (Inadem), among others.

Recently, Inadem announced plans to issue a US$100mn bond in the United States to support high-impact projects involving environmental, cultural and social topics.

The pilot would work as part of the Diáspora Latina Project — one of seven working subcommittees of Museic — whose objective is to attract Mexican entrepreneurs abroad so that they support entrepreneurs in Mexico.

Thursday’s event in San Francisco will be organized by Amexicap, a non-profit that aims to promote the development of the private equity industry in Mexico.

Amexicap says it represents 75 venture capital and private equity firms that invest in Mexico. Its members have more than US$20.5bn in assets under management in sectors such as real estate, media and telecoms, wholesale and retail trade and financial services, among others.