Silicon Valley is known as the mecca of entrepreneurship. It’s the place where some of the world’s most innovative companies were born, the land of mythic garage builders and billion-dollar unicorns. For those of us trying to build game-changing companies in the streets of Lima or Mexico, better understanding the technology and ambition behind the Bay Area magic is always an eye-opening experience.
That’s why since we started Laboratoria a few years ago, we’ve tried to visit the Bay Area every once in a while. Over the years we have managed to connect with fellow social entrepreneurs at places like SOCAP, meet some of the funders that today are our leading investors, and also experience some sweet and sour rejection from places like YC.
Last year we also decided to incorporate as a non-profit organization in the U.S., and build a governing board that could help us guide our work. The results of these efforts have been great. We are starting to grow a network of people doing really amazing things, passionate about the work we do, generous with their time and also amazed by all that is happening in Latin America.
Based in Latam, but close to Silicon Valley
Every time I come back from a trip to the Bay Area, I’m amazed after visiting other players in our space and learning from their approach to education, shocked by the enormous amounts of money startups∙ can raise, and challenged to dream of a bigger reach and impact.
Looking out to what others are doing also makes me feel proud of what we are accomplishing here, and although I love these escapes, I am convinced that we need to remain close to where our users are: in the streets of Lima, Santiago or São Paulo. No technology could replace that understanding, and living and breathing Latin America day to day helps us serve them better.
Sharing our story at Google
To continue exploring the precious balance of being based in Latam, while learning from the U.S., this year we decided to do more than a regular visit and take advantage of our current partners there to host an event and present our work.
Our goal was to connect with current and potential partners across three key areas:
1. Companies interested in hiring tech talent remotely
2. People and organizations working in tech and interested in collaborating with the training of our students
3. Potential donors and founders.
We moved all our networks and managed to get a really great crowd of people who share a passion for building a more inclusive and diverse tech sector, where women can have the opportunity to thrive.
We shared our story building Laboratoria. Googlers who have supported our work through mentorship and advice, also shared theirs. Anand, the CEO of Crowdbotics, a Silicon Valley startup that has hired a number of our students, also shared his experience as a hiring company. He spoke incredibly highly about our graduates, reminding all of us that the talent we train in Latin America is competitive globally (and in his words, the best junior developers he’s ever met!).
What comes next?
The Bay Areas has some amazing things that can be game-changers for entrepreneurs worldwide: incredible tech talent often wanting to give back in some way, great founders willing to make bets on great entrepreneurs no matter where on the world they are, and companies doing groundbreaking work across all sectors. We want to leverage from these amazing resources to build a tech sector in Latin America that can become an example for all.
So, how can you join this movement?
- If you are a company hiring Junior Developers or UX Designers remotely, let us know! You can reach out to Herman Marin (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more about our graduates and recruitment process. We have over 800 graduates across the region that constitute an amazing pool of talent.
- If you have any other ideas in which you can join this movement, let me know at email@example.com
We are all ears :)