By Rick Jervis/ USAToday
With a master’s degree in business administration from MIT and spotless English, Hernán Fernández could have taken his skills to Silicon Valley or landed a cushy job with a Mexican bank.
Instead, he runs a small team of analysts in an office in the Polanco neighborhood of his native Mexico City, looking for Mexico’s next big tech breakout and helping forge his country’s new economy.
The tech fund created by Fernández, 36, and his partners, Angel Ventures Mexico, started in 2008 with a handful of employees and personal investments from friends and family. Today, the fund, which helps finance mostly tech companies in Mexico and the region, has grown to $20 million, with 29 employees spread through offices in Mexico City and in Bogotá and Lima, Peru. The firm is currently fundraising to grow the pot to $100 million.
“The new generation of Mexicans are tech savvy, more connected with the U.S., often U.S. educated,” Fernández said. “It’s impossible not to feel the … attraction of the start-up economy that goes on in the U.S.”
Mexico is emerging as one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in Latin America, with more than $1 billion in investments last year and more than 500,000 IT professionals.