Field Notes: Mexico City

This spring, my startup friend Elva and I traveled to Mexico City to meet local entrepreneurs. In Latin America, Mexico is the 2nd largest market after Brazil. We visited ITESM, a reknowned university just 1.5 hours from CDMX and met with the Business School's directors and selected entrepreneurs.

Overall, we were impressed with the entrepreneurs' hyper focus on solving hard problems across energy, healthcare, and B2B services (not just the typical food delivery startup):

  • Energy startups, Nimblu and Energy for Today, are tackling local issues like lack of energy consumption awareness and energy waste. The country has a goal of achieving 35% of the nation's electricity generation from clean energy sources by 2024.

  • Gamifying health education is Alban's goal, a company that is building tools to motivate children to participate in physical activity. Mexico ranks 1st in childhood obesity rates globally, and Alban aims to teach kids about the importance of relative exercise to food consumption by selling cheap pedometers that allow children to barter exercise for food. This is an important problem to be solving and I'm excited to see if this model works!

  • Custodian and Ment are two B2B startups just taking off. Ment is a development agency for startups in the US/Mexico, with a plan to help companies build brands, find founder and product-market fits, and mobile app design. Although consultancies are hard to scale since growth is directly correlated to manpower, the startup already has clients across Mexico and in the US. Custodian is an insurance startup targeting claim companies who need to scale operations and automate manual processes like claim management. This is quite niche and it's too early to tell if they've found product-market fit, but I love the founders' enthusiasm and tenacity.

We only spent a day with these entrepreneurs but would love to go back to get a more holistic view of the ecosystem and run workshops. Technical and design skills are already abundant locally, but marketing and product management are two areas we can contribute.