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Why is Guadalajara known as Mexico’s Silicon Valley?

by Carlos A. Vázquez    |    April 25, 2023    |      7 min read


In recent years, San Francisco’s Silicon Valley became an over-saturated and competitive market that drove some entrepreneurs to look for other tech-driven fertile lands. To the surprise of some, one promising region was a hop and a skip to the South: Mexico. The city of Guadalajara, in the state of Jalisco, rose above all expectations and made a name for itself as a center for research, innovation, and development. 

Guadalajara became Mexico’s Silicon Valley.

The city has attracted big tech names like Facebook, Google, Apple, Netflix, and LinkedIn. As a whole, Mexico is a leader in technological expansion in the Latin American region. In addition to graduating more than 130,000 software engineers every year, Mexico has a growing venture capital industry and a burgeoning startup culture and tech ecosystem with highly competitive salaries for software engineers.

So, what makes Guadalajara the Silicon Valley of Mexico? 

Here’s why the capital of Jalisco stands out and why that matters to tech companies in the U.S. looking to hire remote developers and tech talent. 

Ready to hire top tech talent?

The Origin of Guadalajara as Mexico’s Silicon Valley

Given the many IT and tech companies that have set up shop there, Guadalajara has established its place in the list of Mexican tech hubs and effectively shattered the short-sighted impression that the city is just about tequila and mariachi music. There are plenty of U.S. tech companies in Guadalajara.

Guadalajara is a gem of the Latin American software industry and has become a cutting-edge city with a robust tech ecosystem. The state of Jalisco holds 40% of the IT industry in Mexico and 650 specialized companies providing 100,000 jobs to residents of the area. 

The state also has a young population— the average age is 25 years. In addition, because of the state’s many prestigious institutions—including 16 technology institutes and 12 universities— the population across Jalisco and Guadalajara is well educated. 

The Early Foundations of Guadalajara’s Innovative Spirit

This shift to a tech-driven city has been decades in the making. As early as the 1960s, companies like Kodak, Motorola, and Hewlett-Packard established manufacturing operations in the city. This move created a cluster of tech companies that slowly attracted engineers, programmers, and designers to the area. Some of these corporations also partnered with local universities to enhance and expand technology courses and curricula. 

Despite losing many tech jobs to other regions such as Asia in the early 2000s, Guadalajara continued building on its established foundation. It pursued the focus on engineering and design by maintaining strong tech programs in its universities and attracting investment.  

Today, Guadalajara remains a top spot for sourcing tech talent and garnered enough attention from the government to prompt further investment and resources into the industry. 

City officials worked to attract IT companies and startups. In the mid-2000s, The Federal Government led an initiative called Guadalajara Ciudad Creativa Digital, which was a smart city project to support a creative cluster and hub of digital media in the region. 

Tech Companies in Guadalajara

Big names such as IBM have had a presence in Guadalajara for almost forty years. In addition to the computer pioneer, Mexico houses other tech companies such as: 

  • IBM
  • Amazon
  • HP
  • Dell
  • Oracle
  • Intel
  • Freescale
  • Tata
  • Wipro
  • HCL
  • Luxoft
  • Ooyala
  • Wizeline
  • Freescale
  • Flextronics
  • Jabil
  • Gameloft
  • Toshiba
  • Cisco
  • UST
  • Microsoft

In addition to the above-named tech companies, the city has a growing number of startups and accelerators building teams or hiring talent from the city. Investment has come from ventures such as Agave Lab, U.S.-based Wizeline, and other venture investments like Redwood Ventures, and Guadalajara Angel Investor Network. According to Crunchbase, the top investor types in the city include Micro VC, Incubator, Syndicate, Accelerator, and Angel Group. 

Where do Companies Source Tech Talent in Guadalajara? 

In addition to its reputation as tech-driven, Guadalajara is also known to be a central location for education in Mexico. Both private and public universities train thousands of students every year in engineering, computer science, and electronics programs. Top institutions include:

  • Tec de Monterrey
  • Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara (UAG)
  • Universidad de Guadalajara (UdeG)

Is Guadalajara a Leading Destination to Source Tech Talent?

The short answer is, absolutely. The city has a lot going for it. 

In addition to its resilient universities and financial standing, Guadalajara has now a well-established history of innovation in the tech industry. Since the 1960s, the city emphasized training in new technologies and engineering. This has fostered a tech ecosystem rich with talent, creativity, and startup potential. For example, major tech events like Talent Land—a major talent showcase, hackathon, and technology conference— attract techies from all over the country. 

Guadalajara Software Engineer Salary Expectations

In the past ten years, the tech industry in Mexico has expanded three times faster than the world average. This acceleration means that it is not just Guadalajara that has seen immense investment and growth in the tech industry but the entire country of Mexico.  

The Mexico Tech Salaries Report 2023 takes a deep dive into Mexico’s IT industry and its talent pool, looking at statistical insights that help paint a clearer picture of the country’s growth and advancement in the sector. Not only does it show that Guadalajara continues to be one of the major tech hubs in the country but that the city already hosts tech talent working for U.S. and other international companies.

As entrepreneurs and startups grow in the U.S, hiring remote software developers in Latin America can be a cost-effective option for companies that need outstanding tech talent.  

Our 2022 research suggests that the Western region of Mexico (with it’s main hub as Guadalajara) sees an average tech salary of $3,827 USD. This figure does not include bonuses, benefits, etc. The average salary is among the highest in the country due to the cost of living.  A software engineer with an average salary listed above can live comfortably in the city of Guadalajara. Remote developers in the United States, in comparison, average about $110,522 USD per year or $9,210 per month. 

This gap provides the opportunity for companies to offer great job benefits and perks and attract top-level talent. 

Hire Remote Developers in Guadalajara and Go Straight to the Talent Source 

By hiring remote software developers in Mexico, U.S. companies can grow and scale their operations, tap into a rich talent pool, and snatch the region’s best engineers. 

Through CodersLink’s staffing and recruitment services, you can link up directly with talent, integrate them into your team, and set the trajectory for your company’s next stage of development. CodersLink has a community of over 20,000 developers and employs next-level matchmaking to find the solution for your talent problem. 

From vetting developers in our network to expert matchmaking, payroll management services, employment of record, and onboarding support, you can tap into Mexico’s top tech talent and have them working for you in three months. We also help companies establish remote teams through the build-operate-transfer model and expert recruiting. 

How does it work? 

Connect with CodersLink today to learn more. 


Tech Salaries Report 2024

Tech Salaries Report 2024: The top IT salary guide for Mexico and Latin America

The battle for tech talent is in full swing. This comprehensive report serves as a multi-dimensional look into the unique and growing tech hiring market in Mexico and Latin America. The Mexico Tech Salaries Report 2023 serves as a useful salary guide and benchmarking tool for companies looking to stay competitive and snatch up the region’s best developers, engineers, and tech talent.