Mexican Billionaire Carlos Slim’s Foundation Launches Free Online Educational App

06/16/2016 Forbes

slimAs part of his philosophy that philanthropic foundations do not solve poverty but knowledge does, Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim Helú launched Aprende.org, a free online educational platform aimed at expanding opportunities to anyone with a smartphone and an internet connection, his foundation announced Wednesday.

“This is an important achievement for Mexico and can be a model for other nations,” Slim said during a press conference at his Museo Soumaya in Mexico City, according to Uno TV, Slim’s online TV news channel.

 

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Mexico’s new economy starts to take off

2/3/2016 USA TODAY

businessMEXICO CITY — With a master’s degree in business administration from MIT and spotless English, Hernán Fernández could have taken his skills to Silicon Valley or landed a cushy job with a Mexican bank.

Instead, he runs a small team of analysts in an office in the Polanco neighborhood of his native Mexico City, looking for Mexico’s next big tech breakout and helping forge his country’s new economy. The tech fund created by Fernández, 36, and his partners, Angel Ventures Mexico, started in 2008 with a handful of employees and personal investments from friends and family.

Today, the fund, which helps finance mostly tech companies in Mexico and the region, has grown to $20 million, with 29 employees spread through offices here and in Bogotá and Lima, Peru. The firm is currently fundraising to grow the pot to $100 million.

“The new generation of Mexicans are tech savvy, more connected with the U.S., often U.S. educated,” Fernández said. “It’s impossible not to feel the … attraction of the start-up economy that goes on in the U.S.”

Mexico is emerging as one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in Latin America, with more than $1 billion in investments last year and more than 500,000 IT professionals.

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Amazon Launches Full Retail Operations In Mexico

06/30/15 TechCrunch

amazon_topicAmazon today formally announced its expansion into physical goods sales in Mexico. The company had previously only offered Kindle e-books on its online site which opened for Mexican customers in 2013. Today on Amazon.com.mx, Amazon will introduce a Spanish-language site featuring millions of items including consumer electronics, kitchen and home items, sports equipment, tools, baby, health and personal care products, jewelry, music, books, movies, software and more.

The company is also launching its online selling service for Mexican businesses and sellers as well as its Fulfillment by Amazon service.

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New Publication: Fostering Innovation in Mexico

Innovation2Mexicans are creative and entrepreneurial. Some of the world’s most notable and widely-used technologies have their roots in Mexico. Mexican chemist, Luis Miramontes, for instance, co-invented the progestin used in the first contraceptive pills. Mexican engineer, Guillermo González Camarena received the world’s first patent for the color television. And Mexican writer, Victor Celorio invented InstaBook, the technology that produces a perfect-bound book in one step and just two minutes. Mexico has a fine tradition of science and innovation, and President Enrique Peña Nieto is right to say, “Mexico should recognize, value, and take advantage of the great value of our human resources.” It is the Mexican entrepreneur that has been and will continue to be the strength of the nation’s economy and the driver of innovation.

To increase understanding of the benefits and challenges of innovation and to aid in the development of policy recommendations that encourage innovation in Mexico, the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars held a High-Level Innovation Forum for Policymakers in November 2013. The forum covered several topics related to innovation, including: entrepreneurship, financing innovative businesses, regulation, spillovers between universities and companies and the role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Questions examined at the forum included: How has the global economy changed, and what does it mean for innovation? How should we be thinking about innovation? What conditions are necessary for innovation to thrive? How can we attract greater investment for innovation activities? What types of government policies and regulations can strengthen innovation? How can we better integrate science and technology into practical applications? What are the barriers to innovation, and how can we overcome them? This publication summarizes the main themes of the conference and highlights some lessons learned. The purpose of this paper is to aid in ongoing dialogue, the next stage of which will take place in Washington, DC in November, 2014 (The publication is available both in English and Spanish).

Read the publication here.

Innovation in Mexico: Can Media Lab S21 Expand Spanish Language Communication?

12/4/14 Wilson Center CONTEXT

The MIT Media Lab has set the standard for creating “disruptive technologies” that lead to innovation. A new start up project, Mexico Media Lab S21, is attempting to achieve similar success in the areas of communication, technology, and innovation. Its founder, a former journalist, sees an opportunity to increase Spanish language content on the web, not only in Mexico, but globally as well.

Click here to watch the video.

Read the Mexico Institute‘s newest publication Fostering Innovation in Mexico.

Guests
Nicholas Negroponte is founder and chairman of the One Laptop per Child non-profit association. He was co-founder and director of the MIT Media Lab, and the Jerome B. Wiesner Professor of Media Technology. A graduate of MIT, Negroponte was a pioneer in the field of computer-aided design, and has been a member of the MIT faculty since 1966. Conceived in 1980, the Media Lab opened its doors in 1985. He is also author of the 1995 best seller, Being Digital, which has been translated into more than 40 languages. In the private sector, Negroponte serves on the board of directors for Motorola, Inc. and as general partner in a venture capital firm specializing in digital technologies for information and entertainment. He has provided start-up funds for more than 40 companies, including Wired magazine.

Rossana Fuentes-Berain is the founder of Start Up Mexico Media Lab S21, a media lab dedicated to studying communication among those that will define the 21st century. Prior to her current role, which she began in September 2014, she was the editorial vice president of Grupo Expansión. Before becoming vice president, Fuentes-Berain worked as the director of the opinion section in El Universal, the assistant director for research and special affairs in the newspaper Reforma, and the first female editor of the business section in El Financiero. She has coauthored a number of books and has written for international newspapers such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, among others. Fuentes-Berain has worked in television as a host for Televisa’s Contrapunto and as a professor at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM). Additionally, she was a founder and member of the Editorial Board of Foreign Affairs Latinoamérica (formerly known as Foreign Affairs en español).

Slim ventures further into digital content

man with phoneFinancial Times, 7/9/2013

It’s possible that Carlos Slim has never downloaded an application into his mobile phone. He’s not known for his information technology prowess – he doesn’t even have a computer in his office. What he is known for is his business acumen. His latest venture into music recognition app Shazam for $40m, through his multinational telecommunication company, América Móvil, is a case in point.

The Mexican magnate’s 10.8% stake in the London-based company will allow him to offer the 262m users of his Latin American telecommunications network the ability to identify songs, videos or television programmes. The popular music recognition app will be pre-installed on mobile phones that América Móvil sells in countries such as México, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia.

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Why Mexico Will Be Latin America’s Tech Leader

typing on computer keyboardABC News/Univision, 6/25/2013

A global race is on to create the next Silicon Valley, and Latin America is rapidly embracing technology and innovation as it vies to be the epicenter of the next tech boom. The stakes aren’t trivial. It’s clear that the countries that can develop new ideas and technology will be the economic winners of the 21st century. That’s why the Brazilian government, for instance, recently launched Startup Brazil, a business accelerator that aims to attract local and foreign talent to build tech companies in Brazil.

The program, which will provide entrepreneurs with up to $100,000 in grant money as well as office space and access to investors, is modeled after Startup Chile, the pioneering business accelerator launched by the Chilean government a few years ago. Chile was the first Latin American country to focus on attracting startups and developing an ecosystem of innovators. Other countries in the region, like Colombia and Peru, have followed their lead.

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