LinkedIn: Israel Pons
What do you do currently?
Co-founder of Angels Nest (Network of 427 Angel Investors from Mexico, Spain, Canada, and UK including two Mexican family offices).
How and when did you get involved with the Mexican entrepreneurial ecosystem?
In 2012 during my short time as a Strategic Investments director in a Mexican VC, I had the opportunity of being exposed to the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Mexico and the great need for early-stage investment, not just money but high level and experienced mentorship and coaching as well as network access for the entrepreneurs. At that time I made the decision of helping to create more Angel Investors in Mexico and provide the tools for a better understanding between entrepreneurs and investors.
How would you describe the ecosystem in Mexico?
I think Mexico has the most competitive entrepreneurial ecosystem in Latam. There are many incubators and accelerators that use different methodologies and the entrepreneurs need to choose carefully where they want to spend their efforts and what they are being offered in return. There is an amazing community being created in coworking spaces, these are a great place to go and talk to others about their best options in the ecosystem. “Collaboration” is the key word in the Mexican ecosystem either because sometimes there is a lack of or because sometimes there is a great deal of it.
What do you expect in the next 12 months?
The creation of regional hubs that specialize in vertical industries is a must, example Guadalajara with software. There is a need for HealthTech, EduTech, AgTech and others to be created in other cities; of course we also need the local investors in these regional cities to activate themselves, but the next 12 months will be key for regional areas more than for the traditional big hubs (CDMX, Monterrey and Guadalajara).
What are the main challenges?
The main challenges…I can only talk from the area I look at the closest and a key challenge is of course to generate more qualified Angel Investors in Mexico. There are examples in other countries where the Angel Investor figure has exploded. This in turn has pushed the quality of entrepreneurship up as there is a demand for better-prepared entrepreneurs and market relevant projects (startups and scale ups).
What change or result would bring the greatest benefits for the ecosystem?
Fintech will probably have the greatest impact in the ecosystem, there will be an opportunity for entrepreneurs to be able to innovate and test – sandbox – their solutions to real problems. It will create high level competitiveness amongst those that will be operating in this industry and it will also open the door to foreign entrepreneurs that will bring their proven solutions from Fintech mature markets to Mexico. There will be exciting times!
Describe your typical day
Wake up at 5:15 am and send kisses to my wife, as during the week we are not together. Listen to a couple of Podcasts relevant to my industry and take 5 minutes of breathing exercises, have 3 cups of coffee before 8 am as I’m a coffee addict; normally don’t have breakfast. Emails for one hour but don’t really dispatch them all. Check with my team in Angels Nest on KPIs and urgent matters. If in CDMX I try and do morning meetings in Condesa or Polanco. When traveling which is most weeks I like being at the airport by 5 am. Dedicate time to social media normally whilst in Uber. Afternoons spend time catching up with Angel Investors and those entrepreneurs that are in the process of closing their Angel Investment. Evenings I try to meet with new potential Angel Investors. Finish the night normally with one of the team members talking about strategy or any bottlenecks that obstruct the operation. Finish with emails between 10 and 11 pm. In bed watching Netflix at midnight.
Who is your favorite entrepreneur?
A recent book do you recommend?
Not necessarily recent but so relevant: Telling Lies by Paul Ekman, the book that inspired the TV series Lie to Me.
Smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop?
iOS or Android?
Favorite social network?
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
Launch Pitchatthebeach in Cancun; have 800 active Angel Investors, 15 angel investments of which three are cross borders investments. Loose 15 kilos in weight and spend more time with my family.
One word that describes you?
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