500 Startups selects 2 Mexican companies to join their program
By Celeste North of emprende.la for Opinno. Emprende.la focuses on entrepreneurial innovation in Mexico.
In past posts we have talked about the big difference new incubators and investment funds have been creating in Mexico’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Among these is MexicanVC, a discovery fund for Mexican start-ups, that continues to disrupt traditional incubation processes with Silicon Valley’s best practices. Recently their first generation of entrepreneurs graduated with a Demo Day in San Francisco. It is important to note that this is the first time a Mexican fund has displayed their results in this fashion.
From their first batch of seven start-ups two have been selected by 500 Startups to join their program: Yogome, a start-up that develops educational games for iPhone/iPad and the browser and Fontacto, a phone routing service for entrepreneurs and freelancers. “It has been a very active start, our team is more creative than business oriented and we are now learning the importance of focusing on this. Anything we learn we can put in practice immediately, which helps you learn it is not important to make mistakes as long as you do it quick and learn in the process.” commented Manolo Diaz, founder of Yogome on their experience in 500 Startups so far.
It is important to note than in the past only one Mexican company had been selected for 500 Startups: OVIA (nowWowzer), a video interviewing platform for recruiters. After their program they raised their first series A from DCM.
“The biggest difference is mentality” commented Ricardo Cacique, founder of Fontacto, “Instead of rationalizing the reasons why an idea can’t work, people think how they can make it possible. And they don’t only think about it, but seek a way to make it real. There are more people trying and by doing so they push everybody involved to get to the top. Fortunately programs like MexicanVC are changing the start-up ecosystem in Mexico into more Silicon Valley style dynamics”.
“I don’t see a difference in quality products and passion in the teams” shared Manolo Diaz when talking about the differences in Mexico and Silicon Valley, “the difference is that here thousands of people are doing the same thing; you have access to more information and people than in Mexico”
Demo Day for these companies will be on July 17 and 18, it will be very exciting to discover the growth they’ll go through with the program. In addition, MexicanVC is now taking applications for their second generation until May 18.
Diaz and Cacique share some final thoughts for Mexican and Latin America’s entrepreneurs:
Cacique: “It’s great. We are a group of people that is creating products and services for the future that will help people all over the world. In Mexico and Latin America we have all the potential to solve and improve things around us. Let’s take this opportunity and solve problems to help make people’s lives better.”
Diaz: “Don’t let anyone ever tell you your idea won’t work. You have to keep going and learn everything you can in the process. Don’t think that because you are in Mexico there is no way to make your passion a reality.”
Congratulations to Yogome and Fontacto on this important step in their development and to MexicanVC for such amazing results on their first generation. The best is yet to come…