IT Development

Guadalajara will hold open-source software Summit

Large technology companies require software shared freely on the web to solve technical problems every day. However, Latin America has very marginal participation in this sector. Only 2.6% of the contributors who run an open-source project are Latin American, while only 2.5% of the contributions to Apache come from this region.

Open source contributors do not yet reflect the wide audience of users of these technologies.


The first Open Source Software Contributors Summit will seek to encourage the participation of Latin American technology professionals in open source projects and promote the advantages of being a contributor to change this situation. 

Guadalajara, one of the cities that has boosted the digital economy in Mexico, will host the event where 500 developers from the region are expected to participate on September 14 and 15. 

During the two days of the Summit, there will be six conferences and more than 30 workshops for programmers to make contributions to the projects. The presentations will be in both English and Spanish languages.

The Open Source boom in the digital economy

Currently, 78% of companies take advantage of Open Source Software and even promote it. Only Google has 2K open source projects that are used by other people and companies. For example, Airbnb and Dropbox used the Artificial Intelligence software developed by Google TensorFlow to analyze written text and catalog photos. The Android operating system is based on GNU-Linux and has an open-source version.

The popularity of open-source in business has not served to gain investor confidence. Few ventures capitalists have seen the potential of companies that have Open Source as a central part of their business model. They have described Red Hat company, acquired by IBM for $32 B, as a unique case. However, the premise that equates to open source software as non-commercial software acquires more counterexamples. Companies like Mulesoft, MongoDB, and Elastic have reached valuations above four billion dollars.

Technology analysts increasingly accept open-source companies have unique strengths. By publishing the code of their products, companies allow the developer community to participate in the improvement of their product and save on the cost of development. Currently, 55% of companies believe that open source software is more secure, and this figure is expected to reach 61% in the coming years.

Contribute to Open Source to boost your professional development

Experts point to open technologies such as Kubernetes, Apache Beam, Apache Spark, Gnome, Drupal or node.js as some of the most influential today. Engaging in open source projects allows developers to increase their technical skills and professional prestige. The developers also meet new colleagues around the world that enable them to discover growth opportunities.

The organizers of the Summit estimate that the majority of the attendees will be professionals, students, and academics in technology areas. Researchers and technological entrepreneurs interested in knowing and taking advantage of development and open source communities will also participate.

In the coming years, entrepreneurs and developers in Latin America who have the knowledge and ability to implement open technologies will see their growth opportunities expanded. Some of these technologies could quintuple their growth in the region by 2025, according to a study by Esticast Market Research.

The CCOS includes four content tracks offered by projects of the Linux Foundation and the Apache Software Foundation, one of the most influential organizations in the free software community, to become more familiar with these technologies.

Participate with paid per diem

With the objective that more people contribute to the development of open-source, CCOS organizers will offer per diem scholarships for those interested in participating and living outside Guadalajara. Fill out an online application to apply for one of the grants. 

“Companies are leaving money on the table by insufficiently serving a developing market with great potential.”

Google Research about Open Source community

For more information on the agenda and registration to attend CCOSS, check the website.

IT Development

Hackathon in Creative Digital City of Guadalajara

On June 28 and 29 Talent Network will organize a hackathon in the Creative Digital City, in the downtown area of Guadalajara.

The hackathon aims to reactivate the downtown of the city while promoting innovation and retaking the facilities of the abandoned Creative City.

In April, the government of Jalisco announced in the Talent Land that it would continue the Digital Creative City project, which began at the end of Felipe Calderón’s administration (2012) to turn Guadalajara into a global tech-hub.

The Creative Digital City, located around the Morelos Park, sought to recover an area where poverty and prostitution increase to become a center where creative agencies were in contact with the digital industry to promote cooperation, networking, and innovation.

Currently, the complex is far from meeting this expectation. The Secretary of Innovation, Science and Technology of Jalisco, Alfonso Pompa Padilla, previously commented to El Informador that the Digital Creative City does not have finished buildings and does not have the ideal structure to function as planned.

The government of Enrique Alfaro undertook to correct the mistakes of the project and revive it. This hackathon is the first step to achieve this goal and will be the first of two more to be carried out in August and September.

Coding to improve mobility and turism in Guadalajara

On this occasion, there will be two tracks for the hackathon: mobility and tourism.

The transport of Jalisco has been a pending problem for several administrations. In 2012, the government did not know how many transportation routes existed in the state. The government of Aristóteles Sandoval made commitments to improve the service with the incorporation of new units and automatic payments, but for some specialists such as the researcher of the Research Center for Environment and Territorial Planning of UdeG, Adriana Olivares González, the government threw the towel.

On the “Mi Movilidad” (My Mobility) track, participants should look for solutions to improve city traffic and the safety of transportation.

In terms of tourism, Guadalajara has been left behind in part due to the lack of a broad cultural offer and remodeling works in areas such as the Paseo Alcalde.

In the track “Revive el corazón de la Ciudad” (Relive the heart of the city), the participants will create applications to promote the cultural and tourist offers of the center of Guadalajara to reactivate tourism in the area.

The hackathon expects the participation of more than 500 young people who will form teams of two to five people. Each side will have the mentoring of specialists and officials from each branch. For each track, the prize will be 25 thousand pesos. The registration to the event is from the Talent Network page.

IT Development

Animation and video games: Two serious careers in Guadalajara

More than 600 companies dedicated to software development have chosen Guadalajara as its headquarters. A significant number of these companies are focused on the development of video games and animation, two industries with accelerated growth and in which Mexico has stood out.

In 2018, the videogame industry reported $43.8B in revenue worldwide, according to data from the Entertainment Software Association and the NPD Group. In the same year, the animation industry obtained $259B in revenue, according to the report Global Animation, VFX & Games Industry: Strategies, Trends & Opportunities, 2019.

Mako is an animation studio in Guadalajara.

In Mexico, the video game industry represented an economic spill of one billion dollars in 2017, placing this country as the Latin American leader in the industry, surpassing Brazil by more than 90 million dollars. The animation industry is still developing but reports an annual growth of 18%.
To sustain this growth, it is not enough with economic incentives or infrastructure facilities for companies, but it is also required to develop human talent that can compete internationally.

Schools of animation and video games in Jalisco

Until a few years ago, there was no educational offer in Mexico focused on videogames or animation, especially in Jalisco. Many of the companies had to invest in the training of personnel that later left the company to receive better job offers abroad. At present, this situation has changed. Several schools consider these industries within their curriculum.

In Guadalajara, the offer is increasingly, and even there are specialized educational centers in these areas, such as the Digital Arts University, the Amerike University or the University of Advanced Technologies. These schools offer specialized degrees in both videogame development and animation. Other private schools have incorporated subjects for the development of videogames into their curricular map, while others, such as the Universidad Panamericana, offer undergraduate studies in these areas. In the public universities, the University of Guadalajara has a diploma for the creation of 3D characters, animation, and special effects, as well as a Bachelor degree in Video Games in its campus of the Coast.

Larva Games is one of the first Video Games companies in Jalisco

Guadalajara’s schools usually have agreements with animation studios in the city. Amerike University, for example, has 18 deals with animation studios and 14 with video game developers and belongs to the Jalisco Association of Creative Industries.

The Jalisco Association of Creative Industries feeds this expanding ecosystem. This association, presented at the Guadalajara International Film Festival in 2016, aims to “turn creative industries into one of the strategic industrial, economic and cultural sectors of the country to generate wealth.”


The refoundation of the Digital Creative City in Jalisco

The Digital Creative City (CCD) began as an ambitious project of President Felipe Calderón and Jalisco Governor Emilio González Márquez. They announced it in January 2012, at the end of the six-year term, and it was retaken by the successive administrations, now with another party in power.

The CCD came across reality from its inception. The chosen area is a point of the city where crime, poverty, prostitution, and sale of drugs are common. In part, the project seeks to transform the area by attracting technology innovation companies.

To give a new impetus to the Digital Creative City, the government of Enrique Alfaro has announced its launch in the Jalisco Talent Land. The current government plans to correct the failures of the current CCD, present at the beginning of its development.

“We have redefined the recent creation of the Agency of Creative and Digital Industries of Jalisco. We are ready to detonate the activities and investment services in this strategic sector of the economy of the future and thus trigger the rebirth of this emblematic center, “said the governor of Jalisco on Tuesday.

History of the Digital Creative City

In its initial conception, the CCD sought to be an innovation hub where the technology industry and software development of Jalisco would be under one roof, taking advantage of the fact that there is already a presence of tech industries in the state. The promise was to turn it into a hotbed of Mexican talent and a long-term incubator. Likewise, MIT sponsored the project to turn Guadalajara into one of the most innovative cities on the planet.

In 2015, the project received funding of $ 500K from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to promote the benefits and development opportunities of the companies that would be installed in this center.

Alejandro Guzmán Larralde, coordinator of the economic cabinet of Jalisco, told a Mexican journal that “The original concept [of the CCD] was born well, along the way it was thought that Having only two buildings called Ciudad Creativa was going to attract many players, but the reality was not like that “.

Change of administration, change of course

With the transition of powers in Jalisco, the Digital Creative City began a process of reflection to correct errors in its development. Just in November of last year two of the three buildings that will make up the CCD around the Parque Morelos were completed. Due to the delays, the companies that planned to settle in this innovation center to date have not specified their arrival.

During 2019, the CCD buildings will be upgraded to achieve 60% occupancy of the spaces. Guzmán believes that by the second half of 2020, Ciudad Creativa Digital will be operating at 100 percent.

“We are working in stages. First, we are interested in holding the area of innovation and technological development represented,” said Guzmán Larralde. For a second stage, other creative industries such as fashion, jewelry and gastronomy will be integrated.

Jalisco Talent Network, the organization behind the innovation and entrepreneurship fair Talent Land, will be the first to be formally installed in this new stage of CCD.

The Jalisco government estimates an investment of 25 million pesos to complete the project.

Guadalajara CCD.
IT Development Startups

Top 5 Tech cities of Mexico

With $14 billion in vegetable exports and another $11,5 billion in other food exports, Mexico ranks among the top agricultural producers in the world. Rural Mexico is an economic heavyweight. But aside from producing agricultural goods, just how advanced is the “rest of Mexico”?

Part of the plan of Mexico’s president AML Obrador is to decongest the country’s capital city by moving many government agencies (at least 60) to other cities. While some Mexican cities are modern, developed urban areas with diversified economies, others are rather unknown and raise pessimism regarding their ability to host full-bodied government agencies. The Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals argued that only 6 cities were developed enough in Mexico to receive new government agencies.

What’s the state of technology outside of DF? Does it have what it takes to create new technology-driven cities  across the country and fulfill its struggle against centralism.

1. Guadalajara, “Silicon Valley” of Mexico

Historically, Guadalajara has been the Mexican extension of the Silicon Valley. IBM, HP, Intel, all major US technology players were front-line players in the development of the region’s technology sector. To adapt to the newtech economy, Guadalajara revamped its tech appeal a decade ago by developing a startup and innovation economy.

Guadalajara quickly turned into geek city. With +600 tech startups and growing, the city is home to Voxfeed, WePow (acquired by Outmatch), Yotepresto, Ooyala (acquired by Telstra), Kueski, … Many software companies operate from Guadalajara: iTexico, Blue Trail Software, Luxoft, Wizeline, Cognizant, Tiempo,  … Intel’s unique Latam research lab is in Guadalajara.

The state and city governments have developed favorable conditions for the development of tech startups. The city invested in tech poles, data centers, and smart city solutions to lead the digital revolution in Mexico. In 2012, IBM inaugurated Mexico’s first smart data centers in Guadalajara. In 2016, a private/public partnership led to the launch Creative Digital City, a 100,000 square feet high-tech complex that symbolizes the city’s leadership in innovation.

Tagged as the Silicon Valley of Mexico, the city outperforms by far its runner-up, Monterrey.

2. Monterrey, Mexico’s “most Americanized city”

The state of Nuevo Leon, where Monterrey is located, is home of 100+ industrial parks. In 2007, the Indian software giant Wipro chose Monterrey to set up its Latin American base. The city, a direct competitor to Guadalajara for the title of Mexico’s most hype tech scene, is home to 2 major IT outsourcers : Softtek and Neoris. The latter recently opened its own Innovation Lab in Monterrey’s Digital Hub to boost the city’s digital transformation.

Monterrey is home to major Mexican corporations such as Cemex, Femsa, Banorte and BanRegio, Soriana, Farmacia Benavides, and many more that have the means to invest and conquer markets rapidly. Femsa and Coca-Cola have been supporting local startups since 2014. Cemex signed a $500 million deal with Neoris in 2013. In August 2018, US-based software company Digital On Us, which already has Mexican offices in Saltillo and Guadalajara,  announced a $40 million investment to create an office in Monterrey.

An estimated 28,000 people worked for 320 companies of the IT sector in Monterrey in 2017. Thanks to its short distance to the US border, its wealthy local economy, and its intention to become a fully-fledged digital hub, Monterrey is definitely on Mexico’s digital map.

3. Tijuana, “just a step away” from the US

Just like Monterrey, Tijuana is located very close to the US border (1.7 mile exactly), facing San Diego (20 minute ride) on the other side of the border. The San Diego-Tijuana Metropolitan Area is an economic hotspot, its combined GDP is comparable to the one of Ireland ($230 billion). The technology manufacturer Busta Corp is headquartered in Tijuana, and 3DRobotics chose Tijuana to grow outside of Berkeley.

In 2011, the city opened the BIT Center, its own digital hub that now hosts more than 60 tech companies. In 2014, the city launched a binational working space, HUBSTN (Hub Station), where the old Mexicoach bus station previously stood. Uber and Yelp have offices in the building. In 2014, tech accelerator Mind Hub launched its first call for projects in Tijuana.

The gist of Tijuana’s competitiveness in the Mexican tech race is its direct access to San Diego and the US. The city stands as a physical revolving door between North and South. Felipe Fernández, CEO of Sonata Services MX, concurs that tech workers in the tech sector in Tijuana are literally “one step away” from being hired by a US company.

4. Querétaro, “the NAFTA Highway”

Nested about 150 miles north of Mexico DF, Querétaro is located in the center of the country. The region is economically boosted by the “NAFTA highway” and centralizes a lot of the nationwide activities that fall under this agreement. This drove the development of aerospatial activities in the area, turning Querétaro into a new hub for aerospace in Mexico and collaterally into a tech hub.

Unlike Monterrey and its 100+ technology and industrial parks, Querétaro just has a little over 20 ones. But Axtel’s multiple investment in its Querétaro data centers shows just how fast the situation can evolve in Central Querétaro.This is just the tip of the iceberg : In 2014, the Chinese tech manufacturer Huawei announced a $1.5 billion investment plan to build 4 ICT facilities in Querétaro, China’s largest investment in Mexico ever! Daewoo followed a year later with a $100 million investment to build a new platform in the Metropolitan area. In 2017, after the USA, Romania and India, Deloitte chose Querétaro in Mexico to set up its 4th regional Technology service center worldwide. Ericsson from Sweden and Safran of France launched operations in Querétaro in 2013, where Tata Consulting was already established.  

While its economy is definitely booming with technology-oriented activities, Querétaro lacks a newtech spirit. Its startup scene is fairly unknown, no major tech brands emerged from Querétaro. The area is usually described as charming, calm, and an alternative to DF’s dense urban area. Querétaro holds a great tech potential, but needs to up its game regarding entrepreneurship and its startup ecosystem to become a true innovation pole.

5. Cancún, Mexico’s cosmopolitan city

Cancún’s airport is Mexico 2nd busiest airport (4th in all Latin America) with 25 million passengers in 2018. 95% of its economy is based on tourism. But now the city wants to diversify its revenue to secure its growth. After Microsoft launched a Microsoft Innovation Center (MIC) in Cancún in 2015, the city launched the Cancún Tech City program in 2017 which aims to promote Cancún as a legit destination for tech companies. That same year, US-based software developer iTexico led the way by opening new offices in Cancún.

As a traveling capital of the continent and a vibrant destination for millenials, Cancún is lively and attractive enough to develop a newtech sector. According to Matt Edwards of CancunIT, a Cancun-based software development company that’s been around for 15 years, “The number of technology companies is growing, which is attracting more people to the area.” Others argue there is already a mass of freelancers, nomad workers and tech entrepreneurs living in the vicinity of Cancún, living in beautiful Yucatan and managing their business remotely.

However, like Querétaro, the newtech ecosystem does not exist yet. One mobile application made-in Cancún, Quiero Taxi Exotic, got a little buzz as it aims to become the Uber of luxury cars. The small electronic invoicing company Pyme is also based in Cancún, but according to its founder, “Cancun is not precisely what you’d call a hotbed for tech startups”.

Cancún’s technology culture is heavily diluted in tourism, and the city is still strongly perceived as a beach party city. However, if Cancún was willing to sober up to become a more serious IT destination, it would have the potential to become a tech capital overnight.