Peru’s tech entrepreneurs can get us out of this crisis

Positive actions have been taken by traditional actors to mitigate the effects of Covid-19 in Peru. The government has taken strong steps to enforce a quarantine and implement fiscal stimulus. Many corporations are working overtime provide basic needs, including food, health and financial services.

However, opening up effectively poses an entirely different set of challenges. This is where startup founders come in. Peru’s startup founders have been thought leaders in analyzing the effects of the crisis and offering solutions.

Ragi Burhum, founder of Amigo Cloud, wrote a widely read piece on coronavirus in Peru. Gabriel Puliatti of Emptor, published detailed data on cases and deaths. Carlos Ganoza, has shared practical steps for moving forward.

We need to start implementing their suggestions. These entrepreneurs and many others in Peru have the knowledge base and skill set to take on the challenge ahead. Solving problems, working through crises and managing exponential growth are some of their defining traits.

Why technology entrepreneurs have the qualities to lead us through the crisis (and beyond):

  1. Open source as a default mode. Startup founders share their work and invite others to improve upon it.
  2. Data-driven decision making. Startups constantly collect and analyze data in order to decide a future course of action. When founders encounter an unexpected result, they react quickly.
  3. Scale-up experience. Startups founders in Peru have built regional companies. Solutions to Covid-19 involve quick implementation on a massive scale.
  4. User-centric mentality. Startup methodology is based on solving problems by identifying and addressing users’ pain points.
  5. Programming experience. Peru’s problems aren’t going to be solved by collecting data with pencil and paper or conducting analysis on a speadsheet.

In many cases, the solutions are already being built, we just need to use them. One clear example is Keynua, a startup that allows for digital signatures. While notaries across the country are shut down, Keynua’s solution can facilitate economic transactions.

Peru can look to neighboring countries in the region for examples of how tech entrepreneurs can play a role in defining and implementing public policy. In Colombia, the government set up a round table led by startup CEOs to train future technology professionals.

Traditional public and private sector actors are struggling to operate effectively in the current environment and are not equipped to lead the way forward out of Covid-19. Technology entrepreneurs are ready, willing and able. Let’s get behind them.

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