EconomyFinancialVenture Café arrives in Mexico to create a global...

Venture Café arrives in Mexico to create a global innovation district

Venture Café opened its first branch in Mexico, and Latin America, in the city of Monterrey. The firm came with the idea of becoming the new epicenter of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the country and promoting the creation of an internationally competitive innovation district.

Venture Café is not a capital fund, nor an accelerator, business incubator, crowdfunding or public support program, it is a non-profit entity that serves as a meeting point specialized in connecting entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, academics, innovators and people of impact in any area and from anywhere in the world.

Venture Café Monterrey joins a network of global facilities that brings together more than 550,000 innovators, creatives, developers and civic leaders, with the aim of promoting entrepreneurship and innovation.

The firm seeks to promote the local innovation ecosystem of the cities where it is installed, which it has achieved through different experiences and tools, such as the Thursday Gatherings, a free and recurring thematic event that aims to build a global community that expands access to human, social, economic, intellectual and even political capital.

Venture Café was founded in 2009 by Tim Rowe, who is also the founder and director of the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC), a “community of entrepreneurs” formed in 1999 with his partner Andrew Olmsted, both graduates of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). ).

In recent years it has been consolidating and has been named by the Brookings Institution as “the best practice to activate the innovation districts where it is located”. Currently, it already has a presence in 10 cities, six countries, and four continents.

Among the success stories and renowned companies that have passed through Venture Café, the case of Android stands out, founded by Andy Rubin, Rich Miner, Nick Sears and Chris White. They were friends in the community with a basic idea that they managed to achieve, Tim Row told Expansión.

The Tecnológico de Monterrey will serve as a key partner to promote this entity in Mexico and, in turn, Venture Café will strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the Tec, the city of Monterrey and any part of the country, said Hugo Garza, vice president of Strategic Projects of the Tec de Monterrey.

“It represents a watershed in the development of the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. It will be a meeting point in which all the actors of the ecosystem can connect, interact and collaborate, with the purpose of co-creating solutions to the challenges of humanity”, commented Garza.

The idea of having Monterrey as its headquarters arose in 2018 when the city joined an entrepreneurial regional development accelerator (MIT REAP), said Alejandra Buendía, director of Venture Café Monterrey.

“The study was done and it was diagnosed that the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem has evolved and is at the point where there are many actors doing things to support innovation and entrepreneurship in various sectors: government, academia, investors,” said Buendia.

“But the problem is that everyone works on their own, sometimes they don’t know each other, they don’t connect or they don’t collaborate even though they are working for the same goal. So how do we get the government, universities, entrepreneurs, investors, even NGOs, to really connect, get to know each other, collaborate and solve the problems we face faster, we will do it with Venture Café”, added Buendía.

In recent years, large companies, entrepreneurs, investors, universities and the government have worked together, however they have maintained that each of the actors wants to have their own community and that has limited the entrepreneurial ecosystem. “To have an internationally competitive innovation district, a multidisciplinary, purposeful community is needed that learns to work together. It is no use having all the money in the world, all the scientists, all the necessary space and resources, if you cannot connect them in a bond of respect and trust,” says Garza.

There are scientific studies that indicate that trust between a person is only possible through a face-to-face meeting. If we don’t spend time with the other person we can’t really confirm if the other person is someone we want to take a risk with, for example, doing a business that we don’t know if it’s going to be successful, shared Tim Row.

For this reason, Venture Cafe has programs to make connections with other cities where it has a presence. Where you can exchange experiences of how business is done in those countries and there can even be an exchange of entrepreneurs.

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