Interview

Connecting Start-up Ecosystems

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The innovative spirit of the German Centres attracts traditional businesses as well as young entrepreneurs. In Sin­ga­pore and in Mexico, we cooperate with German Entrepreneurship to connect German and local start-ups. Ahead of a joint Start-up Event at German Centre Mexico, we talked to Kristin Eckert, Global Lead Business Development of German Entrepreneurship Asia, about their mission.

 

What has been your motivation to organize a start-up event in Mexico?

Our mission at German Entrepreneurship is to connect innovation ecosystems globally. So far, we have supported German startups to kickstart their business, scale locally and internationally to the US and Asia, as well as Asian startups expanding to Germany. In open innovation initiatives, we are also connecting German corporates and SMEs with startups globally. We are active in the world’s top hubs from Silicon Valley, NYC and Boston to Sin­ga­pore and Tokyo. We are keen to explore Latam as a market with a unique entrepreneurial spirit, create awareness of the region’s opportunities and link up Latam with our existing hubs. We have started to connect with ecosystem players in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Colombia and are excited to look into Mexico as a next step. There are many reasons for that - Mexico is a leading fintech hub, with a majority of VC funding in Latam going to Mexico and Brazil, as well as a strong partner in the Pacific Alliance that has close ties with the EU. Thanks to the AHK Mexico and the GIZ within the German-Mexican Energy Challenge, we were happy to host a first delegation of Mexican startups in Munich earlier this year to explore their opportunities in the renewable energy and mobility scene and look forward to further engaging with the startup scene.

How do you support German Start-ups in Mexico (or in general: in internationalizing)?

We support startups in a three-step approach. The first one covers the essentials of internationalization while startups are in an early stage and mainly active in the home market. It’s important for us to make them familiar very early on with what it takes to scale internationally and build a scalable product and business from the beginning. The second step is to validate the potential of their product and business model in a new market, understanding the dynamics, trends and hurdles by connecting with in-market experts as well as potential clients and partners. In the final step, we work on the actual market entry of the company by developing a solid market-entry strategy and accompany them along the way through our teams in the US and Asia as well as through our 500+ mentors around the world with investment, entrepreneurial, industry-specific and corporate backgrounds. For German startups, we offer the German Accelerator programs with exactly this framework to the US and Asia on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

As a partner of the German Centres, how would you describe your experience with us?

Our partnership with the German Centre actually started a few years ago in Sin­ga­pore where we have been happy to collaborate to bring together the German-Singaporean innovation scene. We see the German Centres Worldwide as a complementary partner in our mission to support German star-tups around the world but also connect Germany with ecosystems globally. We are very much looking forward to our first joint event with the German Centre Mexico on September 7th. Hear from investors, startups mentors and market-entry specialists about opportunities for startups in Germany and Mexico. Let's build a strong bridge between the regions.

Thank you, Kristin!