IBM has just opened an “innovation center” in Mexico City. Innovation centers like this offer a range of resources and training to help local startups and venture capitalists give birth to flourishing businesses. Along the way, IBM might score some goodwill points and strengthen its position in the market that it helps to grow.
Big Blue now has 39 such innovation centers worldwide, in 32 countries. Would-be Mark Zuckerbergs in Budapest, Capetown, Jakarta, and Sydney all have an IBM center at their disposal. The centers helped out about 24,000 people last year, says IBM.
A cursory glance of headlines out of Mexico from the year give the impression that the nation has erupted in an outright drug war–not the most pleasant, stable place for innovation. But Mexico City is far from the U.S. border, where most of the worst violence has occurred, and lies in the midst of “disputed territory” where no one cartel holds great sway, according to the BBC. VentureBeat speculates that IBM might also hope to promote stability in the region. IBM, at any rate, has had a presence in some form in Mexico for almost 85 years.
Meanwhile BMI, an analyst firm, thinks IT spending in Meixco will grow 11 percent in 2011, thanks to infrastructure projects, cloud computing, and government services. IBM also has a hand in helping to develop curricula at a number of Mexican Universities. As a result of all these initiatives, IBM says 200 new Mexican companies have become IBM business partners in just the last two years alone.
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