Marcus Dantus launched his first tech startup in 1993, selling email addresses through a portal that he hosted on the domain Mexico.com. Born in Mexico City, Marcus studied Media Communications at the University of Pennsylvania, but his career quickly switched to technology when a friend introduced him to the Internet. Since then, Marcus never looked back. He founded a telecommunications company, acted as CEO of a medical device business, was on the founding team of Wayra Mexico, and finally developed and launched Startup Mexico, where he acts as CEO.
Alba Rodriguez is on a mission to solve hunger and malnutrition in Mexico. Alba is the founder and CEO of Gricha, a company that sources crickets as the main ingredient in a high-quality, sustainable protein powder.
On this episode, I sat down with Alba to talk about how she came up with the idea to feed people crickets, how she got started as an entrepreneur and what it’s like building a business from the ground up. Her story will inspire you, whether you are launching your own startup or looking for a creative way to solve a problem. Thanks for listening!
Mexico has all the right ingredients for an e-commerce boom: a young, tech-savvy population, rapidly increasing Internet penetration, and access to the world’s biggest e-commerce retailers, namely Amazon, Walmart, and Alibaba. In fact, Amazon and Alibaba have been vying for territory in Mexico’s e-commerce space for the past three years, betting on explosive growth.
While Mexico accounts for 12.6% of Latin America’s online purchases, only 1.6% of Mexico’s retail spending is conducted online. As Latin America’s second-largest e-commerce market, Mexico is poised for an online retail boom as Internet services reach more and more of the population.
Mexico’s strategic location close to the United States has a lot to do with this market’s growth potential. As one of three partners in the US$1.2 trillion NAFTA trade deal, Mexico is uniquely well-connected to the US and Canada, making international e-commerce much more available to the population.
With startup hubs across Latin America vying to become the next Silicon Valley, Mexico may be ahead of the game, and carving out its own niche south of the border. In 2015, TechCrunch published an article that argued that Mexico’s transition over to the innovation economy might just turn it into one of the world’s biggest economies in the next decade. Bismarck Lepe, a Mexican-American entrepreneur who pioneered Mexico-Silicon Valley cross border companies with Ooyala and now Wizeline, contends that Mexico is one of, if not the most interesting country in the world over the next decade.
Mexico’s unique geographic and cultural positioning allows it to capture both the US and the Latin American markets, while its size and natural resources allow it to compete with South American giants like Brazil.
Three major cities in Mexico – Mexico City, Monterrey, and Guadalajara – are at the forefront of the innovative movement and each city is contributing intensely to the growth of the startup ecosystem in Mexico.
While Mexico City is the most powerful due to its size and the availability of private and federal capital, Guadalajara and Monterrey are important second cities that are vying for technology and startup leadership. Here’s a deeper look at the startup ecosystems in each of these Mexican cities. (more…)