Ruta Startup

Imagínense una carretera de 1,000 km en el medio de la nada. No hay grifos, no hay repuestos. Aún los mejores pilotos estarían en riesgo de no llegar. Empezar una aventura así trae muchos riesgos. Mucho puede ir mal y no hay margen de error. O llegas o te quedas.

Ahora pensemos en una carretera amplia entre dos ciudades. Cuenta con muchas paradas, varias con grifos. Pilotos pueden parar llenar sus carros de combustible. Hay muchos pueblos en el camino y rampas que ofrecen que permiten carros entrar y salir en puntos importantes.

La primera imagen es la representación de una startup que empieza sin ecosistema y la segunda es la representación de un ecosistema de startups dinámica.

El otro día conversé con Dorn Carranza, un peruano que trabaja en VentureWell. Él me preguntó ¿que esperas lograr con estos  esfuerzos? Mi respuesta era: llenar la ruta emprendedor para startups en Perú.

Hacer que la ruta startup en Perú se convierta de algo parecido a Dakar a algo similar a una carretera de primer nivel.  Lleno de:

  • Grifos – Inversionistas en cada etapa de financiamiento
  • Mecánicos – Entidades de apoyo en cada momento importante de startups.
  • Rampas – Espacios de salir a otros mercados o para que startup de afuera entren a nuestro mercado
  • Áreas de descanso – Lugares para encontrarse con otras personas y encontrar mejor talento

Podemos crear una carretera con  accesos fáciles y salidas hechas de los mejores materiales y llenos de de grifos cada cierta distancia. Va a ser que el camino sea accesible para   más personas. Una ruta startup completa, dinamica, para todos.


Esto es lo que queremos lograr con este contenido. Apoyar a emprendedores e inversionistas  en las distintas etapas de su camino, generando una ruta llena de oportunidades. Esto no va a ser que el camino sea fácil pero si va a mejorar la posibilidad de éxito y ser que el camino sea más divertido y enriquecedor. Al final de todo, el camino es más importante que el destino.

No vengan con cuotas

Cuando mencionan la palabra ‘cuota’ para promover la inclusión de las mujeres en el mundo emprendedor, me da rabia. No porque no creo en la capacidad de las mujeres, todo lo contrario. Creo y he visto la data que DEMUESTRA que no incluir mujeres es un error. Por eso, tenemos que promover el business case, y no que se vea como un tema de responsabilidad social. Continue reading “No vengan con cuotas”

Who do you follow?

There is no one go-to place for information on the Peru startup ecosystem. Instead there are multiple “nodes” sharing ideas, opinions and events. That is a good thing and creates the positive ecosystem effect that will help startups grow.

On the right hand side of this blog there are links to key resources of information I refer to regularly. Below, is a list of the founders, investors and thought leaders that I follow. Most are on twitter. Some, specified below, use LinkedIn or Facebook.

To read what founders think:  

  • Patrick Wakeham a founder and investor that gives sharp opinions on best practices in early stage startups
  • Mariana Costa shares views on global impact and technology.  
  • Ragi Burhum writes,mostly on Facebook and also El Comercio print edition, about what we as an ecosystem can learn from Silicon Valley.
  • Monica Chavez of Andina Art (on LinkedIn and Facebook) writes about her journey as a founder in Cusco and Lima.
  • Martin Baes Nuñez shares about his journey with GetLavado in Bogota and Lima
  • Pedro Neira is an avid reader of startup books who shares his ideas
  • Eddy Wong posts on technology and is a great resource for CTOs

To see what specific Peru startups are doing: Joinnus, Laboratoria, Crehana, and Blazing DB

To get a pulse of the local startup community and learn about events: StartUp Perú, EmprendeUP (Twitter and LinkedIn), Endeavor Peru (Twitter and Facebook), Wayra Perú, and Angel Ventures Peru (Twitter and Facebook)  

To connect with active members of the Peru startup community: Arturo Coral (and LinkedIn), Charlotte Ducrot, Giancarlo Falconi (LinkedIn), and Jaime Sotomayor. All have wide reach and post information and resources. Local investors that post regularly on LinkedIn are Jose García Herz, Lucho Lira and Javier Benavides.

To learn from local thought leaders: Sergio Rodríguez (innovation and economic development), Marlene Molero (diversity and gender), Javier Salinas (Fintech), Oscar Montezuma (legal), Alvaro Castro on LinkedIn (legal),  Andres Benavides (startup best practices), and Gonzalo Villarán (innovation and public policy)

To connect with the regional startup ecosystem: Susana Garcia-Robles (IDB Lab), Andrés Fontao (Finnovista), Federico Antoni (ALLVP), and Nate Lustig (Magma Partners)

This is the list where I go for information and ideas. What other people or sources should I be following?


Let’s pay startups faster

Cash from clients and users in the best way to finance a startup. Founders avoid giving up equity, spend time talking to clients not investors, and get a clear validation signal for their solution.

There are working capital tactics that startups can use to improve cash management. I wrote some ideas here that included tips Saul Chrem of Xertica in Peru had passed along. US-based mentor Greg Dickens highlights in Go Fund Yourself to some ways to “hold onto your cash longer and get paid quicker.”

In Peru and the rest of Latin America, this is often easier said than done, due to the leverage corporations have when negotiating with small and medium-sized businesses, including startups. Fernando Calmell del Solar and ASEP are leading the initiative to promote legislation that would require companies to pay small and medium business in 30 days. It is called “Pago 30 Días” and is a concept that is making progress in other countries in the region.

Angel investors are a key stakeholder in this cause. Many work as C-level executives and directors at corporations in Peru.  They have a front seat both as investors watching startups’ runways shortened by growing accounts receivable accounts and at corporate board meetings making payment policy decisions. 

#Pago30Días is an initiative that all stakeholders in Peru’s startup community can get behind. You can show your support for the cause by voting here.

How do programmers in Peru rank?

Three years ago, Peru wasn’t on the map when it came to software development. HackerRank didn’t even include the country in its 50 country country leaderboard. 

This is starting to change:

Peru’s increasing attractiveness as a source of programming talent could be due to two factors: (i) a growing talent pool and (ii) the comparatively low cost of hiring talent. A recent StackOverflow report indicates that 33% of programmers in Peru are looking for jobs. This is good news for employers since median salaries for developers in Peru are around $13,000 annually compared to $17,000 in Mexico. 

Screen Shot 2019-01-25 at 6.01.30 AM
StackOverflow’s Developer Salary Survey

Continue reading “How do programmers in Peru rank?”

Scale-ups making a mark

Crehana, Tekton Labs and Xertica are making a big impact on Peru’s startup scene. These scale-ups are led by tech savvy founders who have proven ability to scale their companies.


The companies are:

  • Hiring top-talent
  • Growing their teams quickly
  • Expanding regionally with operations and customers outside of Peru
  • Building business that generate cash
  • Attracting interest from regional and global investors (Salesforce Ventures and Endeavor Catalyst invested in Xertica)
  • Led by Endeavor Entrepreneurs who are giving back (Kenneth Lopez of Tekton Labs is the Endeavor Entrepreneur of the year in 2018 for his hours giving back to other founders and Saul Chrem of Xertica is a board member of startup Quantum Talent)

This is good news for our startup ecosystem. Based on a recent Endeavor Insight(1) report, “entrepreneurship communities become productive by generating a relatively small numbers of companies that reach scale.”  By building these companies, founders Diego Olcese, Kenneth Lopez, Saul Chrem and Luis Arbulu are playing a part in making Lima a productive entrepreneurship community.

Continue reading “Scale-ups making a mark”