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Mexico’s Digital Creative City

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World Heritage Site, Hospicio Cabañas, in Guadalajara
Credit: Elenathewise | Fotolia

Guadalajara says it is Mexico’s Digital Creative City and the growth of its high tech industry seems to support that claim, pumping out more than US$21 billion in tech products and services each year, according to the Washington Post.

Guadalajara is home to eight of the top 10 contract electronic manufacturers worldwide, including Solectron, Flextronics and SCI Systems. Mexico IT, which is operated by Mexico’s National Chamber of Electronic, Telecommunications and Information Technology Industries, dates the arrival of IBM and Motorola to the 1960s when those companies began producing semiconductors and silicon wafers in Guadalajara.

Tech companies have long favored Guadalajara because of its educated work force and IT infrastructure. The city is home to many universities, including the prestigious Tecnológico de Monterrey and the Universidad de Guadalajara. The local schools provide about 18,000 IT graduates each year. The city is also creating the infrastructure necessary for advanced technology centers to develop, mainly in the northwest part of Guadalajara. The Software Center and the Integrated IT Services Park are just two of the technology centers located there.

More than 70 international companies offer advanced IT services, including application design, software development and testing, embedded software for the automotive industry, wireless applications, printers, medical devices and multimedia, according to Mexico IT.

Start-up companies are also a part of the tech growth in Guadalajara. The Washington Post reports that since 2011 when a Mexican venture capital firm called Mexican VC began investing in early stage companies, the median seed investment has grown to between US$80,000 and US$120,000. Several years ago VoxFeed, an advertising tech venture, raised nearly US$2million.

Guadalajara’s mayor, Enrique Alfaro Ramírez, is implementing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) school programs, developing a technology zone within the city and developing new infrastructure, like the new light-rail system that will link northwest Guadalajara to the southwest part of the city through downtown and a new 940 acre media business center.

The state of Jalisco’s governor, Jorge Aristóteles Sandoval Díaz, recently visited a wide range of tech companies in California and the state’s governor Jerry Brown to promote Guadalajara and Jalisco as technology centers. Technology currently represents about 55 percent of the state’s exports and 25,000 of its jobs.

A sure sign that business is on the upswing between Silicon Valley and Guadalajara is new air service. Aeromexico will begin offering daily service between the two tech centers on July 1, joining Alaska and Volaris.

If you or someone you know has started a business in Mexico, we would like to hear from you. We publish a monthly feature called Expat Entrepreneurs in Mexico and profile people of all ages and all types of businesses. If you have an interesting story to tell, please contact us at: info@expatsinmexico.com.

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