Last month a Toronto sport-tech company FitIn started their first steps to entering to the Mexican market. FitIn participated in our Mexico Scaleup Bootcamp that was held from June 3 to June 12, 2019. The program included training sessions located in Toronto for three days, then the market validation in Mexico city. We had the pleasure to interview Catherine Chan, Founder and CEO of FitIn about her experience in our Bootcamp.
How was your overall experience in the Bootcamp?
It was really incredible and absolutely informative. I feel like I had a really good sense of how business is done when I was there. It was a really good introduction to the ecosystem and some key players. I went to Monterrey after spending a few days in Mexico City, and I felt totally comfortable taking care of business. I felt that it was a really great overview! Especially the sessions that we did with LatAm Startups in Toronto before we left for Mexico, those set me up perfectly for the trip, and gave me the confidence to be able to go there and not be overwhelmed with what was going on and what was going to happen.
How is the tech ecosystem in Mexico?
I think with the politics, it’s in a lot of places right now, and I hope it will not affect the economy that much. I think there is an incentive for Mexicans to invest in a Canadian company – If they do so the government may grant them a visa access to Canada. For an entrepreneur, it would be an opportunity for them to move up to Canada and take advantage of the ecosystem. So, I see there being good benefits both ways for Mexico and Canada.
Did you experience any culture shock?
I did not experience any culture shock, but there were definitely some adjustments. The first thing is that everyone is running late, and it was important for me to know that because it would’ve driven me crazy otherwise! I’m glad that I learned about cheek kisses, because it is important to be respectful and trying to respect the customs of the place where I am. It was a small thing, but I think it made a difference in the world. It also helps that I know a little bit of Spanish, so I was able to understand people better and can still stay in the conversation. I am really grateful for that.
How did you enjoy the food?
Oh my goodness! I didn’t go too spicy, I just experimented. We had a barbecue in Monterrey, and I had habanero sauce. It was really good – It’s hot, but good hot! I totally love the food, and since I didn’t have time for sightseeing, I needed to experience Mexico through the food. It was amazing I had some of the best food of all time. The day before I left the country, I had a brunch, ate my eggs with taco shells like a local!
Do you have any advice for companies going to Mexico?
Just do it! Especially when you have a company like LatAm Startups, to do soft-landing, introduce and guide you through the process. I would recommend to everybody who is thinking about doing business there, to start learning the language. It’s not that difficult!