For the second year in a row, the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (ESB-MACC) will open its doors and will host Casa México. The event is organized by a private and public coalition of six entities spearheaded by Mexican Consulate and the Tecnológico de Monterrey university along with the City of Austin, among others.
This three-day event, which began on March 9 and will end this Saturday, is free and open to the public, but people have to register beforehand. It aims to promote the culture, richness and investment opportunities in Mexico, highlighting innovation and technology.
“We want to show that Mexico is not only tacos, guacamole, tequila, and fiesta,” said Josué Delgado, CEO of INCmty, an organization that promotes new businesses and technological innovation which is bringing 100 entrepreneurs from Mexico and 30 from other countries to participate in the event.
“We want to welcome SXSW people like we do in Mexico, we want them to feel at home,” Delgado said. They also want participants to have access to an accelerated process in which their companies will have contact with local investors, information panels and, for those who do not know it yet, to “learn that Mexican culture has a lot of innovation, tourism, and entrepreneurship.”
Other organizers, such as the Association of Mexican Entrepreneurs, ProMéxico, the Tourism Office and the organization International Accelerators, are also spreading information about economic development and investment opportunities and seek to create bilateral relationships during the event, explained the General Consul of Mexico in Austin, Carlos González Gutiérrez.
“We’re trying to show a side of Mexico that is not always well-known and for those who are visiting from Mexico to have a meeting point with their counterparts here,” González said.
Last year the Casa México event attracted close to 20 investors and thousands of people participated in the business and cultural sessions and artistic performances. This year, based on “(last year’s) experience, we are improving on it this second time around, and we hope to build a permanent presence so that this will become an Austin tradition,” González said.
The program has been made more compact to address the needs of participants. In terms of spreading the word about Mexican entrepreneurship, Casa México will offer five sessions as part of the official SXSW program in the downtown area, plus 10 daily panels with Mexican and other foreign entrepreneurs at the ESB-MACC, as well as pitch sessions in which investors and judges will evaluate selected business proposals by participants.
Also, not to be missed is the art, culture and Mexican food, González said.
Live music, performances, and other cultural events will start at 6 p.m., as well as a tasting of traditional beverages such as tequila, mescal, and beer.
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