As one George W. Bush is rumored to have said, “the problem with the French is that they don’t have a word for entrepreneur.” Fine, he may not have actually said that, but the point here is that Argentines definitely do have a word for entrepreneur, and it’s emprendedor, and the City Government of Buenos Aires is all about it.
The City of Buenos Aires Government’s Ministry of Modernization is spearheading the development of a space in Silicon Valley meant for the development of Argentine entrepreneurship, named BA Valley. The space is offered to entrepreneurs and tech start-ups to network and develop their companies in the cradle of Google, Facebook and other technology giants.
But don’t worry, Argentine taxpayers. Buenos Aires City Modernization Minister Andy Freire assured that the City Government “won’t spend a single peso” on the project, as it will be financed by the companies that eventually rent out the office space.
However, the Government has spent a peso or two on last week’s “road show” — a tour promoting Argentina as an ideal place for technology investment — throughout the United States. Buenos Aires City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta and Freire traveled from Miami to New York and Boston, promoting international business in what they are touting as the now investment-friendly City of Buenos Aires, following Argentina’s reentry into international markets last Friday.
In Miami, they paneled “The New Face of Argentina” at the Latam Tech Forum, where 200 CEOs of IT industries, investors and technology gurus gathered. At Harvard, they spoke to 40 Argentine students interested in pursuing entrepreneurial ventures.
The “road show” comes as Argentina recently lifted itself out of default following the payment of vulture funds and other bondholders, allowing for international investment in Argentina.
It’s important to note, however, that the City of Buenos Aires was already considered a start-up mecca before the end of the default loomed on the horizon. Last year, the Argentine capital was featured among research firm Compass’ top 20 global start-up ecosystems — a list in which only one other Latin American city appeared: São Paulo.