Landscape analysis

The technology and innovation industries in Mexico are in the making and are not as developed as in countries of the global North. These industries have been developing in specific states of Mexico, such as Jalisco, Querétaro, Yucatán, and Tabasco. These states have created infrastructure and economic incentives to capture foreign investors in order to innovate and create new technologies.

Guadalajara, capital city of Jalisco, is a paradigmatic case that can illustrate the current state of innovation. Since the end of the 1990s, the local government has created different strategies to bring investors to Mexico and participate in the tech industries. In a first phase, the state became a hub for manufacturing electronic devices and companies such as IBM, HP, Kodak, Philips, Siemens, Texas, Xerox, Motorola, NEC, CP Clare, Electronics, Pentex Mexicana which established in Guadalajara. In that time, Guadalajara was named as the “Mexican Silicon Valley”.

Then, in the 2010s, Guadalajara has transitioned to become a hub for innovation. In recent years, the federal and local governments have created strategies to build a hub for the creation of new technologies and innovation. According to a Washington Post article, “Is Mexico the next Silicon Valley? Tech boom takes root in Guadalajara”, “Around US$120m has been invested in nearly 300 Guadalajara startups since 2014, much of it coming from venture capital in the United States. […] Jalisco annually exports US$21bn in tech products and services, according to the state’s innovation ministry. Jalisco has 12 universities, including the prestigious Tecnológico de Monterrey, creating an IT funnel of 85,000 graduates a year.”

Moreover, Guadalajara is the host of conferences and workshops for innovation, such as Campus Party, Talent Land and various hackathons. These conferences attract young people with digital skills, white hat hackers, and professionals. However, as explained before, Guadalajara illustrates the case of an incipient industry and cannot be generalised to the whole country.