The long haul

Peru enters its 75th day of government mandated quarantine today. Unfortunately, despite the quick, strong action to enforce physical distancing, Peru continues to be deeply affected by the coronavirus.

I was recently reminded of the Stockdale Paradox, which highlights the benefits of balancing optimism with reality when faced with extreme challenges. James Stockdale was a Prisoner of War in Vietnam. He said the following:

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PECAP’s new leadership team

The members of PECAP have chosen new leaders to set the course for the coming year and continue to build the venture capital asset class in Peru.

Maria Pia Morante, of Acumen LatAm Capital Partners, and Meghan Stevenson-Krausz of INCA Ventures became new members of the PECAP Board and continuity was achieved as Alain Elias, of PAD – Red de Inversionistas Ángeles , Martin Aspillaga, of Salkantay, and Jose Deutsua of UTEC Ventures will continue another year. Jose Deustua takes the helm as President, after the very successful leadership of Alain Elias that culminated in the recent publication of the 2019 Report.

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Startup strategy framework for Covid-19

Each startup in Latin America is affected by the repercussions of Covid-19 in a unique way. The impact often depends on how the startup entered the crisis and the sector in which they operate.

At the onsite of the crisis, forward-looking startup investors were quick to present action plans and decision matrices that stressed cost-cutting, hiring freezes and doing everything possible to extend runway.  The Sequoia Matrix and the Kaszek Survival Guide have been great resources founders in Latin America.

The precise measures to be taken are a bit more nuanced and there is no one-size fits all aproach.

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Scenario planning

Startup founders are used to thinking big and building projections of exponential growth based on highly scalable business models. Weekly, monthly, and annual projections are the typical guideposts for determining whether execution is on plan. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused projections to go out the window.

Today, some much remains uncertain that it is impossible to accurately project what will happen. Startups need a new set of guideposts to determine what is happening and make crucial decisions on what need to be done.

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AWS steps up support of startups in Peru

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has increased its presence in Peru and, with that its support of local startups. Alex Harasic, who previously founded startup Operatio, is now Business Development Manager, Startups & Venture Capital, for Chile and Peru.

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Peru is setting an example

The current Covid-19 outbreak has put pressure on governments to act. Peru’s goverment has taken quick, drastic action. So far, it has stood out as a model globally.

According to the International Survey on Coronavirus, with over 100,000 participants so far, Peru sits on the spectum of most extreme government reaction and most truthful government communication.

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Startup solidarity

Solidarity among Peruvians has remained strong during the first weeks of the goverment-mandated quaratine period. Citizens are staying home and doing their best to manage the challanges brought by the novel coronavirus.

This solidarity of the general population has extended to startups, many of which are in a great position to provide support. In some cases, this support comes in the form of providing resources and ideas for managing time at home. In others, startup support comes in the form of a digital channel to provide direct resources to people most in need.

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Startups providing in-home resources

Startups in Peru and across Latin America are quickly responding to people’s needs. As local governments ask, or require, citizens to stay home, demand for in-home services has increased.

Local startups are playing a role in keep all of us calm and focused. Their solutions can be an important resource or valuable distraction.

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Remote Work 101

For the next few weeks many companies with implement remote work. Startups that have launched with remote DNA are prepared. This will be a competitive advantage compared to corporations with structured work days whose employees will take time to adjust. A flexible mindset allows startups to think about hiring talent and selling to customers who don’t live in the same city. 

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2 years of Ruta Startup!

We started Ruta Startup two years ago to share the progress of the Peru startup community through the eyes of people across the ecosystem.

It wouldn’t have been possible over the last twelve months without the writing and feedback from active members of the startup community, including Luis Narro, Jose Garcia Herz, Jia Li Tan, Andres Benavides, Enzo Cavalie, Ivonne Quiñones, Carlos Rodrich, Anson Tou, Renzo Reyes, Elias Mufarech, Diego Bartra, Ernesto de Olazaval, Charlotte Ducrot, Paola Mego, Valeria Reyes and Oriana Fuentes.

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