Workshops in Mexico
Information about the Institute's entrepreneurship workshops in Mexico
Entrepreneurship Workshop for Scientists and Engineers
December 2-6, 2013, Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mesoamerican Centre for Theoretical Physics - MCTP
The 5-day workshop was attended by about 35 participants from 6 countries of the Meso-American Region – Mexico, Columbia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Venezuela. The participants came from a varied professional background – theoretical physics, chemical engineering, biotech, electrical engineering and tech transfer officials. The age group ranged from senior undergrads to senior faculty in universities.
The participants were divided into 5 groups and were asked to produce a presentation of their business plan to take their scientific idea to market and each group was also assigned a mentor from the speakers to monitor their group work. These business plans were presented on Day 5 to a panel of judges. During the first four days, information related to the production of the business plan – such as intellectual property (IP), technology development (steps) needed to take the idea to commercialization and metrics for measuring the progress – Technology Readiness Levels (TRL), Basics of Finance to forecast Return on Investment (ROI) and Marketing and Communication Skills were provided to participants in the form of interactive sessions, group exercises and lectures.
The presentations were made both in English and Spanish to facilitate easy communication of the information. Information related to IP, access to finance and venture capital and examples of success stories in Mexico and Central American countries were provided to make the workshop in the context of this region.
Special presentations were also made from speakers of Centro International de Fisica –Columbia and Consejo Superior Universitario CentroAmericano (CSUCA) and AMITE (Mexico). We also had speakers and observers from the US State Department, US Embassy in Mexico City, the American Physical Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers International (IEEE).
Feedback forms collected on the last day from participants provided their extreme satisfaction with the workshop (copies available with MCTP) with some requests for better internet facilities next time for such workshops. There were also many requests to conduct such workshops in their home institutions and also introduce the Entrepreneurship Curriculum in their Institutions.
The immediate impact of the workshop was evaluated by a survey of the participants at the beginning as to how many of them had intentions to be involved in an entrepreneurial activity in the next two years based on their research ideas - about 8 participants indicated such interest and a similar survey taken at the end of the workshop had nearly a three-fold increase in the number of participants wanting to be an entrepreneur in the next two years.