The companies that will join the 500 Mexico City will receive funding and be accelerated for five months in the Mexican capital.
Of the 250 companies evaluated, 500 Mexico City – a subsidiary of Dave McClure’s 500 Startups – has decided to place its bets on 18 startups. And while the majority of the projects come from Mexico, the organization will also invest in foreign entities for the first time – two, in fact, both from Colombia.
With 35 investments made in Mexico to date, 500 Mexico City is the country’s most active seed fund. It is headed by César Salazar and Santiago Zavala and focuses on early-stage startups in industries like education, tourism, e-commerce, financial services and more.
Salazar, Venture Partner at 500 Mexico City, explained the organization’s role:
The clearest way for us to help entrepreneurs is by actively connecting them with people who have already overcome the challenges they are facing today. The 500 family is one of the strongest, globally-expanding networks of entrepreneurs and investors.
What challenges will these new 500 Mexico City startups face?
The biggest challenge faced by today’s startups is assuring funding and talent moving past acceleration. Even those who are demonstrate replicable and scalable business models have to deal with the gaps and lags in the current ecosystem.
What lessons did 500 Mexico City’s first batch of startups learn?
The biggest lesson garnered from the previous processes was the need to better use global resources. This next program will mark the organization’s first process outside of the United States, and there will be a significant emphasis on connecting entrepreneurs with mentors and founders from other countries.
Moreover, the way 500 Mexico City relates entrepreneurs and investors will change. Salazar said that he believes 500 can do more to connect them on Demo Day – something that wasn’t so clear a year ago.
With an initial investment of US$25,000, the startups will work in 500 Mexico City’s space in Colonia Roma from now through October. During that time, they will be expected to build a scalable business with the potential to bring in 100 million Mexican pesos in annual revenues.
The startups will also be visited by mentors from 500 Startups’ international network and work alongside the organization’s partners and staff to grow their businesses. What’s more, entrepreneurs will receive support from strategic partners like Google, Amazon, Facebook and PayPal, which will assess each business independently.
Here are the startups:
Calzaclick – Latin America’s largest community for shoe lovers.
Conekta – An e-commerce transaction platform that lets any individual or business sell and ship products online.
Skipo – A mobile app that helps consumers to reduce customer service and support wait times.
Wishbird – An online marketplace for experiences – air balloon trips, Ferrari rides, spa days, etc.
Favoritoys – Custom-made toys produced with 3D printing and a handmade finish.
Regresa Pronto – A system to measure, monitor and improve customer satisfaction in stores, restaurants and hotels.
México Destinos – An online travel agency that allows users to book excursions all over the country.
Weele – A tool that helps users to learn languages from real people.
MyCoffeeBox – An online subscription service for Chiapas organic coffee.
Desde el Ring – A tool that alerts sports fans when their teams are playing and where they can catch games.
CloudAdmin – A cloud-based solution for managing inventory, sales and customer service.
Central Mayoreo –Mexico’s wholesale e-commerce leader.
Linkerfriend – A system that links influential social network users with brands in need of ambassadors.
Club Guauf – A subscription service for pet food and supplies.
Cine+ –A movie search and ticket buying app.
Hawk Bots – Drones that improve the travel experience.
Landmoda – A service that connects professional and amateur models with fashion industry leaders.
Shopeando – An online store for OEM products, featuring over 50,000 items.
Image credit, 500 Mexico City.