In 2008, a group of Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM) alumni founded ENLACE +. Today, they are celebrating the success of their program of company acceleration, which is iconic for its great presence and connections in Mexico and the support it receives from ITESM.
To commemorate the tenth anniversary, the organization recognized its founders, national council members and outstanding entrepreneurs at a ceremony held at the Alfa Planetarium.
Sebastián Garza T., President of the National Council of ENLACE +, stressed that, thanks to the commitment of its promoters, the accelerator now has operations in 11 locations (the one in Monterrey has offices in the EGADE Business School) and the support of more than 350 mentors. It also boasts the achievement of having developed more than 200 companies nationwide.
"This work has been possible thanks to the vision of all the founders of our organization, together with the backing of Tecnológico de Monterrey, which has continuously supported this initiative since day one.”
"The efforts of all our national council members, local founders, mentors and the staff of our organization have allowed ENLACE + to reach where we are today," said Garza T.
Rogelio Zambrano, Chairman of the Board of Directors of CEMEX and co-founder and first president of ENLACE +, encouraged the organization to continue forward and replicate its acceleration model in more cities where there are business leaders willing to share their knowledge.
"The best way to create value is by developing companies that generate jobs, and that is happening; I hope that they will continue this initiative and perfect it, and I really want to congratulate everyone involved and ask them to go on improving things," said the executive.
Also present was Salvador Alva, President of Tecnológico de Monterrey, who commented that the driving force of today's communities is entrepreneurship, which is why it is important to celebrate the trajectory and impact of ENLACE + throughout the past decade.
"Today we see that ultimately the world grows, economies develop and wellbeing is enhanced through the only formula that has been invented to date, and that is entrepreneurship; we have to support it and create these ecosystems," he said.
Then, Patricio González, Chief Executive of ENLACE +, gave special thanks to the mentors who are a part of this community, who inspire, who transfer their knowledge and who provide the experience that the entrepreneurs need to scale their companies.
"This select group of leading professionals in Mexico believe in the cause, and donate their time and experience, so that entrepreneurs can make a difference in Mexico and contribute to the economic, social and cultural development of our country," he said.
Hugo Garza, Director of Tecnológico de Monterrey’s Eugenio Garza Lagüera Entrepreneurship Institute, together with the speakers, handed out the awards.
For their efforts, leadership and will, a special recognition was given to the founders of ENLACE +: Rogelio Zambrano, José Wapinski Kleiman, Alberto Gerardo Villarreal, Karla Roxana Giordano Martínez and Enrique Gómez Junco.
And, founder Luis Arturo Torres García was given a unique posthumous acknowledgment, which was received by his son, Luis Arturo Torres Beltrán del Río.
At the event, those who took on the mission of taking ENLACE + to other regions were also recognized. These were the founders: Jesús Roberto Sánchez Mendiola of the Irapuato Chapter; Enrique López Vázquez of the Aguascalientes Chapter; Eduardo Ramírez Díaz of the Morelia Chapter; José Ignacio Menéndez Priante of the Puebla Chapter; Helmut Fernando Huber Herrera of the Querétaro Chapter; Armando González del Pliego of the Cuernavaca Chapter; Jorge Ritz Habermann of the Culiacán Chapter; and Alfredo Alberto Capote Sánchez of the Mexico City Chapter, who is also a professor at EGADE Business School.
In addition, Roberto Jaime Coindreau, Fernando López Luna, Oscar Lozano González, César Augusto Elizondo Garza, Nicola Giberti Barbieri, Ramiro Everardo Lozano Cavazos and Carlos Sheridan Garduño, of the Monterrey Chapter, were recognized.
National Councilors Cesario Frías Mendoza, Rogelio de los Santos Calderón, Federico Clariond Domene, Ricardo Villarreal Zambrano and Rubén Marcos Kuri were also given awards.
Additionally, the founders of two outstanding ventures were acknowledged: Moisés Medina and Pedro Magaña, ENLACE + entrepreneurs from the Puebla Chapter and founders of Livana. This company produces and markets a calorie-free sweetener, the only one with a glycemic index of zero, in more than 800 points of sale across the country. Moisés and Pedro were recipients of the 2017 National Entrepreneur Award.
Franceso Piazzesi, an ENLACE + entrepreneur from the Mexico City Chapter and founder of ¡Échale! A Tu Casa, was also recognized. ¡Échale! A Tu Casa is a social enterprise that has supported the construction of more than 45 thousand houses and the improvement of more than 150 thousand homes, directly impacting more than one million people.
The event closed with a talk on innovation by Jeremy Gutsche, founder and CEO of TredHunter and keynote speaker at the 2018 edition of INCmty.