In the last few years, the city of Guadalajara has developed into a lively technology scene, which combines local startups funded by venture capital and foreign companies such as Intel, IBM and Oracle.

A key contributor to this has been the intentional development of local talent, through the Universidad the Monterrey for example, or the “Internet of Things” research center at the Centro Mario Molina.

While local creativity and initiatives began with small venture capital seed grants at first, this has developed into hundreds of start-ups, many of which are doing mobile application development, software engineering and electronics.

Merida, and the Yucatan more broadly, are at an earlier stage of technological development. The city is beginning to invest more resources in new technologies in its universities, building offerings in machine learning, software engineering and mobile development. In addition, Merida has recently created a tech park that allows new companies to access server space and other infrastructure, as well as a tax rebate.

There are a lot of opportunities for Merida to learn from Guadalajara’s experiences as it develops its own Yucatec Silicon Valley.

  1. Promote partnerships between businesses and universities to develop research center in artificial intelligence, mobile technologies and software engineering.
  2. Create programs for students in these fields to compete for small venture capital grants and develop their own start-ups.
  3. Attract more Mexican start-up development with slightly bigger VC grants.
  4. Attract Mexican or foreign VC firms to start allocating seed and Series A funding to these new companies.
  5. Start attracting foreign companies that will be drawn by local expertise, convenience, culture and safety.
  6. Foster special programs that would differentiate Merida from other areas of Mexico, such as artificial intelligence, women in technology, energy technology.

The Yucatan is a safe, well-governed state with a lot of potential for technology investment. We are looking forward to participating in the creation of a new tech hub in Merida.