Accelerating the Ecosystem

A few days ago, we had the chance to attend the closure event of a program from the MTI (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) to support the acceleration of the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in Monterrey.

It started with the concern of a co-worker who had already experienced the program and proposed it to a directive as a project to improve the city’s ecosystem, through a model proposed by the MIT. Along with a colleague of the institution I work for, and who is enthusiastic, active, smart and bold, and to whom this project was assigned and have lived the process before, the initiative was proposed to a couple corporations that, seeing the impact it could have in the region, did no hesitate to finance the project along with Tec de Monterrey.

Thus, it started with the integration of the work team, people with a lot of engagement and time to work for it were needed, the first one was the representative of the investors group, a person native to the city with experience in investment funds and strongly involved in the ecosystem. Later, two other representatives from corporations, one of them working in innovation with a lot of experience in business processes and work teams integration, and another from other of the corporations with great experience in change process and currently energy. After that, a representative from the government came, with a wide experience in innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as ecosystem involvement. Also, an entrepreneur joined, from the health industry, inquisitive, chatty and with jovial spirit. Also, as an expert in data management, another specialist in entrepreneurship was integrated to the team, organized, structured and a negotiator. Supporting this data process, a researcher that have been studying innovation ecosystems for years.

Within the team is a person who has been the engine and follow up of the project, a structured, organized professional with great patience for the team’s management. Other base element is a young man that supports the investors, with great dedication, centered and effective, and another professional supporting the government group.

During the process and because of a change, an entrepreneurship directive came in, who leads several institution’s ecosystem projects, and who has worked as structure and follow up effectively. And, well, I, supporting from the beginning, and eager for the building and development of the ecosystem.

Thus, with this great team we work following the guidelines being showed to us by MIT’s model to accelerate the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. Based on the system’s structure, the strategy, and the stakeholders, the first steps were to collect statistic and objective data about the status of the ecosystem, as well as its analysis and interpretation. Then, a series of meetings took place, to create the vision we wanted for the city, for this stage people from the different groups were interviewed, and the innovation and entrepreneurship capacities were analyzed. Universities and their engineering programs, research centers and industrial clusters were some of the found strengths. That is how we visualized Monterrey as an entrepreneur friendly region, which project is based on innovation, and with a big number of potential entrepreneurships.

Our mission is to design and promote initiatives for the development and integration of a technology-based ecosystem, this through the effort and coordination of investors, universities, corporations, and government groups, and centered on the entrepreneurs.

This ecosystem acceleration has as a purpose to transform Monterrey from a city based on the industry, to a city based on innovation.

Following up and with the active work of the team, extended teams were integrated, from each stakeholder the society’s actors were invited to participate in this ambitious project, getting to integrate a big number of participants working for the ecosystem, for the city. The universities’ work and activities is outstanding, which with great leadership, energy and synergy vision, got to implement several joint projects and to strengthen the union and purpose for a common end. Likewise, the work of the investors establishing a “Demo day” and the government involvement spreading the goal achievement through a website, or in a special way with the formidable performance of entrepreneur women.

An ambitious action plan is under development, focused on promotion and communication, causing the collaboration of the different actors. It is outstanding the implementation of a project where connections will be boosted through a model already in use at world level.

There is still a lot to do, the closure of the program’s cycle announces the beginning of an acceleration stage for the ecosystem, to a scheme of self-regulation, and big continuity challenges, as well as the inclusion of more actors that can contribute to the strengthening of Monterrey’s ecosystem.

It has really been a huge personal growth experience, but even more so, of growing as a system, of joining efforts, ideas and coordination of people such as the core team and the extended teams. Now, it is time to enter a stage of constant action, of relationship consolidation and of model institutionalization.

I congratulate and thank my team partners and to everyone that one way or another has participated in this project, and I invite you to continue with more focus, to make out of our city an attractive Monterrey for its environment and features, build up for innovator entrepreneurs.