A Perspective From the Team at Alacrity México
COVID-19 brought about unexpected, dramatic, and in some cases complex problems and changes. It also created an environment for reflection. The challenges now faced are not just economic, but social as well. We have been reminded that we are all connected in many ways, and that the things we do or the things we make do have impact. Many of us now have fancy clothes hanging in closets unused, and nice vehicles parked for odd lengths of time. For many, basic access to staples and healthy food took on unprecedented meaning. And undeniably, the digital world became a centerpoint.
Digital applications, social platforms, video services, online shopping and delivery services all helped people keep communicating and interacting and in large part keep going on with their lives. Much of this would simply not have been possible as little as five years ago. Amazing innovations most of us have come to take for granted in our ever-faster world took on new significance, and they performed well. But the altered environment also refocused the way many of us see our worlds, and what we value, and what we need versus what we want. In doing so, it opened up new opportunities for further innovation.
At Alacrity Mexico, we are convinced that entrepreneurship and new technology, applied in the right areas and ways, are among the best means to move forward and succeed in a post-COVID-19 era. Today, we have two companies in the portfolio:
- IT Basari, developing a virtual concierge service for
- Map Tag, providing a digital assistant for last-mile logistics
Both companies have entrepreneurs who came from cities outside of Mexico City itself. Starting in March, the decision was made to send everyone home to be with their families and work remotely. Zoom proved to be a tremendous enabler in this process. The teams have continued since to work hard and effectively with their mentors. Weekly virtual meetings maintain a focus on everything from business strategies and plans to creative sessions to product development programs. Both companies have now also implemented R&D SCRUM sessions as a way to ensure their product development plans remains agile and customer/value focused.
Map Tag was able to complete their Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and begin commercialization activities at the start of the Quarter. With a focus on expedient local delivery services, the pandemic helped raise the profile of the application, and the initial business response has been encouraging. IT Basari is just a few weeks behind these same milestones, expecting to complete their MVP testing and begin broader sales activities in the next Quarter. The hope is that many hotels will be able to open their doors more fully over this period, and the automation the IT Basari app provides should help address some of the restricted human-contact requirements that likely will remain in effect.
Despite the recent challenges, Alacrity Mexico has also been able to continue the hunt for new entrepreneurs to join the Venture Building and Early Stage company programs. This Quarter, a contest is being launched with a private University in Mexico City, and a webinar program is being run with The Founder Institute Mexico, all designed to attract new applicants to the fund for the remainder of the year. Times have definitely changed. However, the team remains healthy and digitally enabled. The show must and will go on … alacritymexico.com