Nearshore Americas

TED Comes to Tec De Monterrey in Guadalajara

The Guadalajara campus of the Tecnologico de Monterrey (Tec) will host TEDxZapopan, an installment of the popular TED events, on Nov. 27, as part of the regular  “iTuesday” meeting of local entrepreneurs, academics and investors.

TED is a non-profit organization devoted to “ideas worth spreading.” It started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from the worlds of technology, entertainment and design and has since broadened its scope into other areas.

Guadalajara hosted an earlier TEDxZapopan in March. The second, titled “The Power of Purpose,” will be focused on entrepreneurship projects that are positively transforming the community by creating social value. Tickets normally cost 1,200 pesos ($92 US), but those who cite iTuesday upon purchase will receive a 50 percent discount.

To promote the event, Daniel Pandza, a professor at the Tec, gave a talk on “thinking out of the box” and principles of business model design.

“It’s better to be resourceful than to have resources,” he said, stressing that “product innovation is not always the solution” to running a successful business.

“You don’t necessarily need a product to make money,” Pandza explained, citing the examples of Google, which draws most of its revenue through advertising, and Amazon, which has grown hugely successful by selling products readily available elsewhere.

Sales and Startups

In addition to TEDxZapopan, the university is hosting several other events on social entrepreneurship, leadership and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) sales techniques throughout November.

Federico Diaz Estrada of Espacio Empresario Mexico appeared to promote one such event, a conference on “NLP Sales: Fraud or Success?” scheduled for Nov. 22. The free event begins at 7.30 p.m. Guests must register in advance.

Aside from hosting such events, Tec also encourages its students to obtain practical experience in innovative ventures. Before the iTuesday audience, students from the Tec pitched innovation projects that they had spent the previous 36 hours working on in a university competition in collaboration with the Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute (CINVESTAV), a non-government research organization.

The three finalists of the competition presented their ideas, with Kinetic V named the winning team. Their idea was to create a wind park in which medium-sized businesses could invest. The park would be equipped with two wind energy turbines that produce two megawatts per hour.

Medium-sized businesses typically spend 500,000 to one million pesos per year ($38,000 to $76,000 US) on electricity. In the proposal, for a one-off investment of 500,000 pesos the park would supply them with 300,000 kilowatts for three years. On average, each business would save 45 percent on energy costs.

Second place went to a “safe, cheap and trustworthy” GPS taxi project. The idea is for taxis to be fitted with GPS modules, allowing clients to book the nearest vehicle and then track their route from a screen in the back seat. This would put an end to the days of taxi drivers exploiting their customers by taking longer routes to rack up the price on the taxi meter.

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Third place was a high-tech paper recycling project. The students proposed using laser technology to erase the ink from pages, allowing paper to be reused. This would enable businesses to become more ecologically friendly while saving at least 50 percent in paper costs. The students are currently seeking investment of one million pesos to build the prototype.

The Tec de Monterrey’s Guadalajara campus is located on the outskirts of the city at Av. General Ramon Corona 2450, Col. Nuevo Mexico, Zapopan.

Duncan Tucker

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