I’ve found a lot of resources while building my own startup in my homeland, Mexico. I’m a part time entrepreneur, although I’ve said before that that doesn’t exist. Along this journey I’ve been challenged with a “come-back-down-to-earth” talk. Things have their timing and rushing them won’t get them done earlier. Thank you, Guillermo.
Earlier this year I read an article by Álvaro Rodriguez in Harvard Business Review titled “Mexico Needs a Venture Capital Industry”. There are a lot of “totally true” moments in that article but what really got my attention was the part where he establishes that Mexico has few funds that want to make early-stage investments. I think that this is still true today. The most important VC in Mexico, which is a “startup accelerator” by definition, is 500 Mexico City. Their model is really simple. They evaluate your idea and if they like it they invest a couple of Ks and you give up a % of your to-be company. They give you space to work and mentorship. Really cool, huh? I’m still not sold to that idea and here’s why: You are giving up too much too fast. My recommendation? Work somewhere else, save some money and fund yourself. You still own 100% and will give you more leverage when growing.
Mexico is waking up. It is using the “snooze” button a lot, though. Thanks to the “Entrepreneur” and “Startup” buzz, Mexican government took action and created the “Entrepreneur’s National Institute” which is a perfect way to say “Here we are and we’ll help and support you”. This is really amazing and will further help the startup movement. I hope that they carefully evaluate what is being done. There are some startups that are just copying proven models and don’t add value. I won’t name them but you can look at the portfolio of the previous mentioned accelerator, you’ll find them quickly (if you follow the startup industry worldwide).
My last message for the Mexican entrepreneur: Avoid the “easy money” and work as hard as you are currently working to execute your idea to get that “seed round” you need. Employ your time and start saving for your startup to happen. Avoid all those unnecessary “startup nights” drinks, all those endless startup events that want your money (there are more events about startups than startups) and focus on what you need to do to secure money and keep your ownership.