e-interview: Itzel Villa, MIT Enterprise Forum Mexico

Itzel Villa, MIT Enterprise Forum Mexico

Twitter: @itzel_vs

LinkedIn: Itzel Villa

What do you do currently? I am in charge of the MIT Enterprise Forum chapter Mexico, a non-for-profit organization, focusing on strengthening local entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems, by leveraging all the infrastructure and knowledge of MIT. We are a bridge between Mexico and the MIT.

How and when did you get involved with the Mexican entrepreneurial ecosystem? I have been an activist for entrepreneurship in Mexico for more than 10 years. My first formal approach was in the development banking NAFIN where I was fortunate to participate in the first efforts of the public sector to create investment vehicles for venture capital and generate strategic alliances to support and push Mexican entrepreneurs. After that I was part of the team in the Mexican National Entrepreneur Institute (INADEM), where I specialized in high-impact entrepreneurship and reaffirmed my life objective to facilitate the creation of businesses in Mexico.

How would you describe the ecosystem in Mexico? Young and as a teenager, enthusiastic, positive, but still immature. With a lot of valuable learning, experience of great references, but still disconnected in some of its parts. It requires more involvement of the private sector and more efficient coordination among the actors that are already in it today.  

What do you expect in the next 12 months? The ecosystem is evolving. The government’s vision regarding these issues changed, and being a relevant actor, the ecosystem also changed its composition. This is not bad because it provokes new actors to get involved. I think that the private sector will be much more active in its efforts, there will be more entrepreneurial activity in some regions of the country and new alliances will be formed between actors that probably had not worked together before. I see that the seed and venture capital sector is a bit contracted, but it doesn’t mean that it will disappear or reduce, I think much more creative schemes will be formed to continue investing in the entrepreneurial talent, not only Mexican but in Latin America.

What are the main challenges? More coordination and articulation among actors and the setting of a common objective for the entire ecosystem to work around it. I think it’s time to set a long-term goal of where we want to see Mexico in terms of entrepreneurship and innovation.

What change or result would bring the greatest benefits to the ecosystem? One word, and this is my main learning from MIT “collaboration”, and the second one, will be to document that we have learned in these years.

Describe your typical day. I get up early, exercise, take my breakfast and go to my office or to attend meetings if I have them. Half of my team are in Guadalajara and my boss is in Boston, so a lot of my job is online. I can say that 80% of my issues are solved through Slack, WhatsApp and email. Some days of the week I take classes of my master’s degree.

Who is your favorite entrepreneur? I admire many of them, they are the reason why I do what I do and they have been my teachers, for example many of the members of the Entrepreneurs’ Mexican Association (ASEM) like Fer Mendibil or Juana Ramírez, but I also admire great entrepreneurs like Alejandro Ramírez; it is very difficult for me to choose one.

A recent book you recommend? The black Swan from Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

A movie? Inside out, amazing explanation of something so complex with cartoons.

Smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop? Smartphone.

iOS or Android? iOS.

Favorite App? For work Slack, for entertainment IMDB.

Favorite social network? Facebook.

Ideal vacation? Any city that I can walk it.

What are your goals, that you can share, for the next 12 months? I will finish my master’s degree and take some complementary course. Design and promote own initiatives such as CREO MX. Strengthen MITEF Mexico in the central region of the country. Bring more MIT collaborations to Mexico and look for new alliances in Mexico.

One word that describes you? Committed.


Previous interview: Daniel Mizrahi

This entry was posted in e-entrevista, Ecosistema, English, Mexico and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.