Jalisco, a Mexican state is building the country’s very own Silicon Valley in its capital, Guadalajara, as a part of its tech initiative – JalisConnect. It is soft landing initiative, helping companies and startups find office spaces, hire employees, administration, and other services.
The program helps to find foreign tech talent. Both these programs were launched at the same time at the Mexican Consulate in San Francisco. The Tech Visa is actually a repurposed residential visa and is for international entrepreneurs who want to be a part of the JalisConnect. However, it is only for those wishing to live in Mexico for a very long time. Also, they need to have a minimum foreign income of US$2,000 monthly, which keeps the visa valid, since it has no validity. Cuco Vega, executive director, Centro Jalisco, San Francisco, said that financial requirement is the only prerequisite for getting the visa.
Vega said that he understands how difficult it is for startups to get funding in the Silicon Valley. And so, JalisConnect’s motive is to bring these startups in a new ecosystem, which helps them connect to global ecosystems and also get funding. Once the startup founder gives proof of the financial remuneration, they will get the visa in less than 24 hours.
One of the main motives of JalisConnect is to attract mentors who can help these startups with an initial boost. To be a mentor, they can either be techies with years of experience or fresh developers who work with US companies. Vega said this first of its kind project and Jalisco wants to inspire other states to take up the initiative. Currently, only startups from the US can be a part of this program, but it will soon be open to other countries. One of the first awardees of the visa was Mita Ventures, and the company has already found an office in Guadalajara’s Bay Area.