Ruta N

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Corporation Ruta N (better known as Ruta N) is a public joint venture between the mayor's office of Medellín, UNE y EPM. Founded in 2009, Ruta-N was created in order to inspire and encourage innovation in the city and create favorable conditions for business and entrepreneurship.[1]

Ruta-N Complex is located in the "innovation district" of Medellin, a newly created sector located in the north of the city in the Sevilla neighborhood. The offices consist of three buildings, one originally dedicated to Hewlett-Packard and two others used as an landing coworking space to house companies of any size, startup companies, laboratories, and the offices of Ruta-N personnel.

The Ruta-N Complex, located in the Sevilla neighborhood of Medellín, next to the University of Antioquia

History[edit]

Corporation Ruta-N was founded in 2009 as a regional innovation agency to support Medellín's transition from an industrial city into a knowledge city.[2] Ruta-N's first years were led by its inaugural director Andres Montoya Izasa. The Second Director was Juan Pablo Ortega MIT Alumni, who prior to serving as director, worked for EPM[3] Originally, Hewlett-Packard was slated to invest in Ruta-N and persist as a long-term partner, with permanent residency in one of the three buildings. However, citing internal financial and logistical difficulties, the company officially exited its prior agreement with the city of Medellín in June 2015.[4]

In an effort to create a favorable environment for investment and entrepreneurship in the city, Ruta-N contains a landing program that provides companies with office space, utilities, and conference rooms at a market cost. In the last 6 years (March 2018), 210 companies have been attracted from 30 countries that have generated more than 2800 jobs in areas of innovation alone. In November 2015 there were 84 companies in Ruta-N's landing program.[5] However, by September 2016 there were more than 141 companies from a combined 23 different countries, directly resulting in 2111 new jobs in the city since 2012 alone.[6]

Yuxi Pacific was the first company to successfully exit Ruta-N's landing program with a successful acquisition. Founded by serial entrepreneur Michael Puscar, Yuxi Pacific used Ruta-N's offices to grow to over 100 full-time employees before being acquired in June 2013 by Cincinnati-based Blue Loop Capital.[7] Other successful companies that have been a part of Ruta-N's landing program include SproutLoud, XQuire,[8] Idiomotion and Back2U.[9]

On February 10, 2016, recently inaugurated mayor Federico Gutiérrez appointed Alejandro Franco as the new director of Ruta-N.[10]

Ruta-N is in active competition with other major cities and programs in Central and South America. Other programs with whom Ruta-N compete include Start-Up Chile, 500 Startups Mexico and Start-Up Brasil.

In an academic article, Morisson (2018) argues that Ruta N has played the role of a knowledge gatekeeper that facilitated the "tropicalization" of extra-regional knowledge to support new technological trajectories for the city of Medellin[11]

Descriptions[edit]

The first floor is composed of the elements of a quadruple helix: university, company, state and citizens (society).[clarification needed]. Ruta n can also serves a variety of roles, accompanying early stage companies through the entire lifecycle from product development through seed investment and formulates community and network events to connect those entrepreneurs with venture capitalists and investment firms. This community includes alliances with various universities and La Red de Capital Inteligente (Intelligent Capital Network), a group of more than 30 investment groups in Colombia that meet and collaborate to grow the ecosystem of entrepreneurship in the city.[12]

In addition, Ruta-N manages a wide variety of "convocatorias" (public grants) to help bootstrap young companies and provide training programs.[13] According to Juan Camilo Quintero, Ruta-N's third director from August 2013 to February 2016, the goal of these convocatorias is to nurture entrepreneurs and stimulate ideas that are reproducible in the marketplace.[14]

The Ruta-N Complex[edit]

The Ruta-N Complex was designed as an eco-friendly building, with a sustainable design and construction materials made with recyclable material. The building is complete with offices, expansive conference areas, restaurants, and a rooftop terrace. The design focuses upon collaboration and has several areas that can be used by entrepreneurs to share ideas and form alliances. It is the first public building in Colombia with LEED gold category certification.[15]

Ruta-N Innovation District[edit]

The district includes 44,905 square meters of infrastructure, created specifically to house both national and international companies from advanced, high-tech sectors.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ruta N es una corporación creado por la alcaldía de Medellín, UNE Y EPM" (in Spanish). Ruta N Web Site. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  2. ^ Morisson, A. & Doussineau, M. (2019). Regional innovation governance and place-based policies: design, implementation and implications. Regional Studies, Regional Science,6(1),101–116. https://rsa.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21681376.2019.1578257.
  3. ^ "Juan Pablo Ortega (Colombia) ia), director de Negocios de Conocimiento de Ruta N" (in Spanish). Centro Virtual de Noticias de Educación. 4 April 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  4. ^ "Multinacional HP claudicó en incursión a Ruta N de Medellín" (in Spanish). Portfolio.Co. 18 June 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  5. ^ "84 empresas viven con nosotros en el Complejo Ruta N" (in Spanish). Ruta N Web Site. 19 November 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  6. ^ "Medellin Innovation District Front Page Slider" (in Spanish). Medellín Innovation District Web Site - Front Page Slider. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  7. ^ "Blue Loop Capital Snatches Yuxi Pacific". Near Shore Americas. 27 June 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  8. ^ "XQuire acquisition highlights Colombia' growing appeal for global tech developers". Colombia Reports. 11 February 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  9. ^ "Ocho empresas nuevas en Medellín salen al mercado con el Founder Institute" (in Spanish). Ruta N Web Site. 10 October 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  10. ^ "Alejandro Franco, nuevo director de Ruta N" (in Spanish). Minuto 30. 19 November 2015. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  11. ^ Morisson, Arnault (2018). "Knowledge Gatekeepers and Path Development on the Knowledge Periphery: The Case of Ruta N in Medellin, Colombia". Area Development and Policy: 1–18. doi:10.1080/23792949.2018.1538702.
  12. ^ "Red de Capital Inteligente" (in Spanish). Ruta N Web Site. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  13. ^ "Ruta N Convocatorias" (in Spanish). Ruta N Web Site. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  14. ^ "Ruta N Abre Convocatoria Para el Desarrollo de Productos Innovadores" (in Spanish). Enter.Co. 15 May 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  15. ^ "¿Por qué somos un complejo sostenible?" (in Spanish). Ruta-N YouTube Channel. 21 April 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2016.