Monterrey as a Startup Hub

I wrote this a while back, hope it makes a great first post.

April 28, 2020

I’ve been reading PG’s Essay “How to Make Pittsburgh a Startup Hub”. Can’t help but notice that Monterrey, Mexico (my hometown) has many similarities as a city with Pittsburgh. Interesting read that gives me some ideas about how can Mty become a startup hub like SV.

Similarities with Pittsburgh

  1. Monterrey is mostly an industrial city known for its big companies like Cemex, Femsa, Alfa etc. PG says Pittsburgh was the Silicon Valley of its time, with titans like Westinghouse, A. Carnegie, and A.W. Mellon all residing there. Monterrey had its titans with the Garza, Sada, and Zambrano families leading the way and creating much of the wealth of the city. Unfortunately no new companies have emerged since.

  2. Money and jobs all left Pittsburgh after the decline of steel which included globalization and cheaper places to manufacture it. Monterrey thrives in sectors such as steel, cement, auto parts, and brewing.

Reasons for Monterrey to be like SV

  1. As PG says, education is key and Pittsburgh has top quality universities like CMU. Monterrey has ITESM and UDEM as their top universities and it’s home to thousands of talent. The problem is, talented students (for example CS Majors who could act as CTO’s in startups) always aim to leave Monterrey or enter high paying businesses.

  2. Money flows in Monterrey which is home to one of the richest cities in Latin America. There’s also many venture capital firms like Dalus Capital, Alta Ventures, and Ignia.

What Monterrey can do

  • Retain young talent, don’t let them leave (unless they’ll return and thrive with a high impact startup).

  • One of the main points PG says in its article it’s that young people need to find a city appealing for them to stay. One of the reasons that make a city appealing are its restaurants, bars, and cafes. Make the city more appealing.

  • As I said earlier, money flows in Monterrey. Unfortunately investors would rather bet on housing and real estate markets than in potential startups. More angel VCs should emerge and invest in startups.

What will stop Monterrey from being SV

  1. Guadalajara is reinventing itself to a tech hub with companies like Wizeline leading the way. One factor is the proximity it has with SF and it’s 3 and a half hour flight.

  2. Young people need cheap housing, Monterrey doesn’t have that.