Guadelajara, Mexico: Gerald Vanenburg en Yvonne van Hest (foto © Brainport Development)
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Sunday, April 28, 2019, somewhere above an ocean.

Tired but satisfied I am in my plane back to the Netherlands after a week in Mexico, Guadalajara. Full of new impressions, full of already great memories of a very successful trip. And we are looking forward to the next steps.

Guadalajara is the second city of Mexico. But with its 1.5 million inhabitants a lot smaller than the capital Mexico City. Last week, Guadalajara had tens of thousands of inhabitants on top of their normal size: 62,000 Mexican tech & it talents from all over the country visited the Talent Land festival. And we were there too, together with PSV.

We went there to learn, experience and promote.

To learn from the Talent Land festival and especially to experience how such an innovative event is set up. Because it is innovative. I don’t know of any event in the world for techies with this approach and size. In a beautiful, gigantic exhibition hall, young Mexican talents immerse themselves in games, challenges, hackathons, coding and lectures by tech heroes, among other things. There are no less than 6,000 tents in the expo where you can spend the night and the program continues day & night. With a lot of DJ’s and dating shows at night (well, what would those tents be for, we wondered).

In a beautiful, gigantic exhibition hall, young Mexican talents immerse themselves in games, challenges, hackathons, coding and lectures by tech heroes, among other things.

To promote that Mexican talents can come to Brainport Eindhoven to study and work. And we did that in a booth together with PSV. A nice first concrete action that results from our cooperation with PSV. And that worked like a magnet. Because PSV is of course much better known in Mexico than Brainport. With Gerald Vanenburg and the real Europa Cup, it was a week filled with activities at our stand – to kick a ball or to take a picture for example. With a life-size photo and hologram of Chucky Lozano. And with a lot of activity on Thursday when mega football hero Carlos Salcido came along.

And I think that all three of our goals – learning, experiencing and promoting – turned out into a success.

We went there to see if a similar festival – much smaller, however – could be organised in Brainport. We did this together with representatives of ASML and SME company 2Invision. We now know that we would like to have an innovative new style tech event in Brainport Eindhoven (of course taking into account what is already there). That we certainly want to include elements of Talent Land. But we also know that we have a different target group than Talent Land Mexico. Simply because, as a region, we have different objectives when it comes to talent. We are going to make it more concrete in the coming period, together with our regional partners (including PSV of course) and in cooperation with the Talent Land organisation.

We went there to promote the region. With PSV, and also with the help of the Mexican Brenda who joined us from Philips (wearing her Brainport hat!), we spoke to more than a thousand Mexican talents, of which 788 were really interested.

And in addition to these three things, we’ve built up a lot of relationships. With the Talent Land organisation, with the Dutch representation in Guadalajara, including the honorary consul, with the press. But above all, as a delegation with each other. Learn, experience and promote. And more than that, collaborate intensively and enjoy ourselves.

Yvonne van Hest is Program Director at Brainport Development.

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