Tucson Leaders, Vicente Fox Work on Mentoring

GUANAJUATO, Mexico — An initiative to help young entrepreneurs develop their businesses in Tucson has gained a high-profile backer in former Mexican President Vicente Fox.

The Arizona Daily Star reports the one-time president got behind the effort after a meeting with the Tucson mayor and other officials at his foundation, Centro Fox.

The partnership says the foundation will hold an innovation challenge open to entrepreneurs throughout Mexico. Winners will go to Tucson to work with startup mentors.

Fox asked for educators to come to Guanajuato, where the foundation is located, to help create a community college-like program.

“You want me to send people there,” Fox said. “Help me help people here.”

Mexico does not have a community college system.

Fox said these types of schools can serve more people, including those who cannot afford university prices.

He said young people need to be prepared for when manufacturing jobs start to leave the country, just as they did in the United States.

“Manufacturing is here for a while, he said. “Then they’ll go to Guatemala, then to El Salvador.”

Pima College Chancellor Lee Lambert agreed to arrange for someone to go to the foundation.

“We came to talk about Startup Tucson and Startup Mexico,” said Startup Tucson CEO Justin Williams. “We came away with a regional economic development agreement with multiple purposes.”

Premium Employers