I am in Montevideo in Uruguay, working on Enterprise Development projects.
I am here with colleagues Peter Taylor, Lester Lloyd-Reason and Lianne Miller from CEDAR in Cambridge
We are offering workshops on a wide range of Enterprise support.
In-between our creativity training sessions we make a series of visits – the most interesting being to startups, incubators and co-working spaces..
The highlight was visiting two great co-working spaces Da Vinci and Sinergia
They have this statement …
Serendipity is our key concept:
The word serendipity relates to a lucky discovery that comes unexpectedly. Co-Work, we facilitate business serendipity generating bodies such as lectures, workshops and what never fails … a good lounge with unlimited coffee grain.
Da Vinci is a co-working and business support centre that focuses on hi-tech – the kids (mostly young 20 somethings) in the space are … pumped!. An international perspective and dynamic outlook is a necessity if you want to be here. The market is too small for domestic development only – “lets conquer the word” is the mind-set!
Businesses are recognisable – a new model for bulk storage, apps for on-line payments, booking apps for hair salons, some cool looking 3D printing and I just love the international perspective. Supported by the indefatigable Sergio Delgado; these guys are working hard and fast on hi-tech start ups and the ecosystem within the incubator feels strong.
Here’s an article about some of the businesses;
If you are looking for an in to the lucrative South American Market I think a great entry-point is through Da Vinci – these guys are smart. See what they have on offer. Angel and Venture Capital investment is relatively low but rewards are potentially high…
and they are moving fast and smartly into the market…
Next we head to Sinergia is another working space – a bit “cooler ” than Da Vinci, it has some special ingredients. It is more layered that DaVinci in that it is not just focused on Tech start-ups but on balanced business ecosystem which sees a lot of different type of businesses from Services to Research to hi-Tech.
What is special about Sinergia is the space itself and the culture within it. Regular meetings and social events including Friday lunches, breakfasts, yoga sessions and beer on the terrace make for a dynamic environment…
Plenty of open co-working space desks sit outside of the glass fronted offices – an enticement to move up and on.
With the hotline to government seed money (via Anii), support to set up limited companies (Sinergia takes 6% of share capital) plus access to investment makes this space a prized asset.
What I like about this place is that it is full of “can do” and “will do” energy and support; from marketing to financial production to technical they are all supporting each other… and with the indefatigable team led by Macarena, anything can happen and it probably will…
Fun video gives you a flavour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PxpydAHHDA
ANII is the main government agency for innovation and supporting start-ups in Uruguay, they are working to forge links between incubation spaces, education establishments and international markets. For a Government Agency I feel like they are moving fast and in a focused way! I like these guys – they are about solving problems – not causing them!
InGenio at LATU is another government supported agency, they are focused on Hi-tech two year growth programmes again working in a focused dynamic way, led by the calm and focused Director Rafael Garcia Moreira
and their video:
The final visit we made was to Bioe-Spinn, with Bio-tech businesses being developed – really great labs with clearly defined development opportunities. My colleague Peter Taylor TTP (http://www.ttp.com/) was impressed by the set-up – and if he’s impressed.. so am I!
Here’s to future, here’s to Uruguay…
Now – my job to inspire all these guys to be even better!
Hope I don’t mess up – it was all going so well for them…