U4F; The role of universities in the entrepreneurship ecosystem

Three years ago, Monterrey decided to enter a technology-based innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem acceleration program. Following the model and tutored by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). This model integrates priority groups such as entrepreneurs, investors, corporations, government, and universities.

Starting with a diagnosis of the current situation regarding aspects of the ecosystem, such as talent in engineering and technology areas, research centers, industrial clusters, entrepreneurial communities, and areas of opportunity in biotechnology, nanotechnology, industry 4.0, fintech or health technologies, among others.

Thus a vision is established; “Monterrey as an outstanding and friendly innovation-driven entrepreneurship ecosystem (IDE) fueled by a strong funnel of high-impact start-ups and scaleups.” Also defining a purpose “The evolution of Monterrey in an IDE ecosystem, launching and scaling new business models and market-creating companies, to reach a level of sustainable prosperity in 2030.” With this vision and this purpose, work began to extend the network of each of the participating groups and initiatives related to; collaboration, information platforms, connections between groups, university-industry collaboration, access to capital and startup scaling, each of these led by the groups. Thus, we are making progress in this consolidation of the ecosystem.

One of the roles that has managed to break down barriers and unite towards a common goal are the universities of Monterrey, coexisting, integrating, exchanging best practices, proposing linkage schemes and sharing capacities. Within this synergy of universities contributing to the strengthening of the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem of technology-based projects, on September 21, 22 and 23 the intra and inter-university event U4F (University for Founders) virtual event was held, with the shared objective and the commitment of the universities towards promoting, supporting and connecting entrepreneurs and their projects with investors, corporations and entities of the ecosystem.

The event featured a presentation by the representatives of the universities highlighting the importance of innovation in entrepreneurship, but on the entire commitment of the universities with their physical infrastructure and talent towards these projects. There were also conferences sharing best practices from the industry and startups that have grown to so-called unicorn levels. Combined with helpful workshops for entrepreneurs facilitated by experts. The DemoDay was also part of the event, presenting technology-based entrepreneurship projects from universities to investors, seeking investment. Tying to this effort, the beginning of a project was presented where the corporations present a problem and the entrepreneurs participated in proposing innovative solutions. This is how this year, and under a virtual scheme, this great effort was made by the universities of Monterrey, achieving a synergy and contributing to the strengthening and acceleration of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in our city.

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