Government, academic and industry officials are doing a good job working together to boost Guadalajara’s growing IT sector. But while this has drawn many big-name IT companies to Guadalajara, the area’s start-up sector needs to grow more before the city can earn its nickname of “the Silicon Valley of Mexico.”
Those were among the candid comments Nearshore America’s Kirk Laughlin heard from Dr. Gildardo Sánchez Ante of Tecnológico de Monterrey during a recent visit to Guadalajara. As a professor in the school’s Department of Computing and Digital Animation, and director of industry relations, Sanchez Ante had a lot to say about what colleges and the government are doing to meet the needs of IT employers in Guadalajara, as well as about the unique creativity Mexicans bring to the IT world.
The state of Jalisco (in which Guadalajara is located) has done “a good job putting the universities, governments and companies” at the same table, he said, with the academic community tailoring courses to the needs of employers.
He also said Mexicans are bringing the same creativity they have long showed in areas such as dance and the arts to information technology, launching startups in areas including multimedia and digital games. “Of course, we still have a long way to go compared with Stamford (where Sanchez Ante was a visiting fellow) but it is happening.” Encouraged by outreach programs in colleges and high schools, more and more students are moving into IT and related fields such as biotech and bioinformatics, he said.
Guadalajara is the “Silicon Valley of Mexico” in that “we have many of the big guys in the industry,” said Sanchez Ante,” but the growth of smaller companies in incubators such as Centro Del Software “is not as big as we would like.” While universities and the government are funneling money, advice and other support to IT entrepreneurs, “Guys in IT know all about the technology,” he said. “What they don’t know is how to make a business out of that, and that is what we are trying (to help with.”
Watch the full interview here.