After attending Startup Weekend Puebla, I was eager to witness the Guadalajara tech scene first hand. After meeting with a few of the tech leaders there, it was clear that this visit to Mexico would bear amazing fruits (or agave ).
Speaking of agave, my first stop was the home of Agave Labs founder Andy Kieffer, where he hosted more than 15 Mexico based tech leaders where his amazing wife Kristina treated us all to delicious cuisine as we contemplated the future of the tech community in Guadalajara.
The following day, I took a tour of the Hacker Garage, where a week later, Click Jam was to be held. This is the space where hackers engage their computers and create new innovations and solutions in a hacker friendly environment located near the heart of Guadalajara.
Next, I took a tour of the local Guadalajara tech community, first meeting with Juan Pablo in Andares. There, I discovered a bit of history about the young and emerging tech community . What struck me most is the potential and vigor of the tech community. It’s only been a few years since developers have begun to step forward and forge their paths ahead, breaking free from corporate jobs and already great strides have been made.
Adelbeto Flores graciously gave me a tour of the Ooyala offices, situated in an exclusive area of Guadalaraja. Their plush offices offer an amazing view over the Guadalajara Country Club with all the amenities you would expect at a Silicon Valley tech startup office. We dug deeper into the history of the fledgling tech scene in Guadalajara while dispelling myths regarding certain stigmas many have come to believe about Mexico. We discussed safety in Mexico and the plentiful amount of talented Mexican developers.
Now it was time to check out where the hackers hang out after hours. On to The Black Sheep, where I met with Mak Gutierrez, a most excellent host. After getting a tour of local hacker hot spots, we discussed the future of the Guadalajara tech community and the recent merge of Mexican.vc with one of SendGrid’s investors, 500 startups. The Mexico startup community is finally getting some recognition by Silicon Valley, fantastic news indeed.
The final stop on my adventure through Mexico was at a global gaming hackathon, Click Jam. 10 countries were tasked with creating a game using Multimedia Fusion 2 in just 24 hours! It was here that I witnessed Mexico’s developer talent first hand. Their dedication, passion and work ethic were impressive.
It was at Click Jam that I discovered the amazing Geek Girls and their general manager Irina Delgado. She offered yet another view into the hacker culture in Mexico. With 216 members in their Facebook group, the Geek Girls are thriving and making things happen.
Check out a few photos from the trip over on our Facebook page.
I’m looking forward a return to Mexico in October, attending events in Mexico City and Guadalajara. Keep an eye on our events calendar for the details.
Elmer Thomas is a Developer Evangelist at SendGrid. He works with developers at hackdays and conferences to further simplify the process of integrating with SendGrid’s APIs and to discover what new email challenges need to be conquered. When not on the road, he works on making life for developers using SendGrid frictionless.Elmer Thomas on Twitter • Elmer Thomas on Google+