• Business, Travels & Adventures

    Creativity & Entrepreneurship in Latin America

    Every city I’ve visited has its own energy and vibe. My favorite part of exploring a city is digging into the creative and entrepreneurial community – networking, collaborating, and learning from local creatives and entrepreneurs. While traveling with Job Trippin’, our first stop was in Buenos Aires, a city buzzing with so many different energies. I was surrounded by digital nomads, freelancers, start-ups, and remote workers all hustling and grinding, creating their own definition of success.

    I am fortunate enough to have met four different local entrepreneurs and creatives from Argentina! They’ve opened up to share their experiences, stories, and tips on traveling and living in their beautiful country!

    I sat down with each of their founders to ask them some questions to understand the entrepreneurial spirit, collaboration, and what type of support they receive from their network. Ready to meet four hard-working businesses? I’m excited to introduce them to y’all!

    DISCLAIMER: Some of their answers may be in Spanglish!

    ERYX

    TQP STudio: Can you share with us what Eryx is and what you do? Are you all Porteños?

    ERYX: We are Eryx. We develop high-quality software solutions, operations research and data science consultancy. We are a cooperative company, meaning that we are all partners and everyone has a vote in all major decisions of the company.

    At the moment we are 20 people, roughly half Porteños and half Bonaerenses (from Buenos Aires Province), but we have people from other points of Argentina including the most southern province, Tierra del Fuego.

    TQP Studio: Wow, what a team! How long has your business been running?

    E: Eryx was founded in 2011.

    TQP Studio: What made you want to start a business like this, specifically in software solutions, operations research and data science consultancy?

    E: Argentina is a country with a lot of potential but many industries are outdated in their informatics solutions. We are convinced that we can add a lot a value to those industries by delivering software solutions and by optimizing their processes with operations research tools.

    TQP Studio: Your office is based in Buenos Aires, but you have people working in all parts of Argentina. Can you share your experience with the opportunities to collaborate with other businesses? What about the creative/entrepreneurial spirit in Argentina or the city of Buenos Aires?

    E: It helps a lot to start a business. In our case, we are based in La Maquinita (a coworking space) since almost their beginnings. There are a lot of entrepreneurs in a place like this and we have had many clients by talking to different people that we found in the common spaces.

    TQP Studio: That’s great! I love meeting new people through coworking spaces – which is actually how I found your company (haha)! Can you share your biggest lesson you’ve learned, so far, as an entrepreneur?

    E: Put your best effort in every aspect of your business

    TQP Studio: YES! I couldn’t agree more. Your best efforts should be put in every aspect of your business, and if you know you can’t do it the best – I actually believe in finding people who are better than you and surrounding yourself with those people and delegating to someone who can do it better. 

    Lastly, for any creatives and entrepreneurs who are traveling/living in Buenos Aires (or Argentina, in general), can you share your top 3 tips for visiting this country? 

    E: Of course! Here are our top tips:

    1. Try our best meat (find a local that can invite you to a typical Asado)
    2. Eat our pizza (favorite places are Güerrin and Las Cuartetas)
    3. Visit the nicest places in Buenos Aires (the neighborhoods of Palermo, Puerto Madero, and Tigre)

    Thank you so much, Eryx, for sharing a bit of insight into your business and about being an Argentinian based business! I am excited to see what else Eryx will be more involved with in the future!

    STALK ‘EM A LITTLE:

    Website
    Facebook
    Instagram
    LinkedIn


    Café Flor

    TQP Studio: Hi Bautista, thanks so much for taking the time to share about your business, Café Flor! Can you share with us who you are and what your business is? Are you and your business partner Porteños?

    Café Flor: We are Bautista and Florian, 2 french guys who’ve been living in BsAs for a few years. We launched Café Flor, which is a coworking coffee located in Palermo.

    Coffee lovers, dreamers and travelers, we fell in love with Buenos Aires, its craziness and its permanent entrepreneurial spirit. We decided to create a place in line with our personality. A place to dream, share, save time, waste time, chat, enjoy, create, think, and relax…

    We consider coffee as a new temporal unit: seconds, minutes, hours and coffees.

    We developed our brand with the flower theme because we think for a flower to grow up and stay pretty, a flower needs attention, affection, and time.

    This is the mood we have in Café Flor, where we take care of people and think about their comfort, offering ideal working conditions, with unlimited coffee and a smile!

    TQP Studio: Wow, that sounds amazing! I love the concept! How long as your business been running?

    CF: We opened for spring (European one) in March 2018, 6 months ago!

    *Remember, Argentina is in the Southern Hemisphere, so their seasons are reversed compared to the Northern Hemisphere.

    TQP Studio: What made you decided to start a business like this in Argentina, especially because you both are from France? Why stay in Buenos Aires?

    CF: After having worked for big companies, and had our first work experience, we deeply wanted to create a proper work environment, in order to express and develop our skills in our own way.

    Specialty coffee and coworking are 2 topics quite new in this city so creating Café Flor was a real challenge, as we became the first coworking coffee in BsAs.

    TQP Studio: Although Café Flor was a challenge – do you think that the city of Buenos Aires has a creative and entrepreneurial spirit?

    CF: Buenos Aires definitely has an entrepreneurial spirit, Argentine people are very imaginative.

    This city and overall the Argentine culture requires you to be creative, and despite the economic situation, opportunities here are numerous. You have to be adaptative and flexible every single day because, in this city, everything moves really fast.

    TQP Studio: Do you find that there are opportunities to collaborate with other businesses?

    CF: Definitely, there are always opportunities 🙂

    TQP Studio: You and your business partner have been in business with Café Flor for 6 months now, but I’m sure you’ve learned many different lessons in that time and the time it took to get your project up and running! What would you say is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as an entrepreneur?

    CF: In Castellano, it would be “Hecho es mejor que perfecto”, “Done is better than perfect”.

    As an entrepreneur, your To Do list never ends, and the biggest challenge is to manage your time and fixing priorities on your tasks!

    TQP Studio: Thank you so much for sharing about your business and your biggest lessons in entrepreneurship! I love the space and the ambiance it provides – also the coffee! Last but not least, as you’re two French entrepreneurs who fell in love with the city of Buenos Aires, can you share your top 3 tips for people visiting/living in the city?

    CF: Yes! Here are our top 3 things that you must do in Buenos Aires:

    1. Go to Chin Chin restaurant in San Telmo for a typical Argentine foodie experience
    2. Drink mate in Parque Centenario! During the Spring/Summer seasons, people will go to the parks and hang out drinking mate, it’s a great time to be with friends and relax.
    3. Watch a movie in Kowalski Cultural Center

    Thank you, Bautista and Florian, for sharing about your business and the concept behind it! I love the idea and am so glad that I was able to visit the coworking coffee place before leaving Buenos Aires! I can’t wait to see how Café Flor grows in the future as your business develops even further!

    STALK ‘EM A LITTLE:

    Website
    Facebook
    Instagram


    Viví Marketing

    TQP Studio: Hello, Federico! Can you share with us about who you are, your business, and if you’re a Porteño?

    Viví Marketing: Hi! Thanks for this great interview! My name is Federico, I’m from Ushuaia (the most southern city in the world), but I’ve been living in Buenos Aires for 15 years (I’m 32). I’d like to say I’m kind of a Porteño 🙂

    I’m the co-founder of “Viví Marketing”, which in English would be: “Living Marketing“. We are digital marketing agency focused on performance marketing (sales and leads) and SEO (organic positioning in Google). Our motto is “Sell More“. Let’s make it possible! 🙂

    Our website is “solo en Español”, for now!

    TQP Studio: I love that you focus on performance marketing and SEO, at the same time. Both are super important! How long have you been running your business and offering these types of services?

    VM: We officially got a name in July 2017, but it’s been more like 2 years now, that we’ve been in business.

    TQP Studio: Wow, two years, already! What made you decide to start a business like this?

    VM: Honestly, it chose me! 😛 Since 2010 I’ve worked in Marketing and Digital companies. Some years ago, friends and family told me:

    “Hey Fede, can you help me with my digital for my business”, which in Spanish sounds more like this: “Dale CHE, ayúdame!”.

    So, that’s how everything originally started!

    The results I saw in my friends’ businesses empowered me to follow my passion for digital marketing and business.

    TQP Studio: Since taking your business full-time, what has your experience been with the creative and entrepreneurial spirit in Buenos Aires? 

    VM: It’s awesome! There are a lot of smart and passionate people starting their own business and following their dreams. You can see that by just looking at the growing amount of coworking spaces and events, or just looking at a café in Palermo and seeing the number of people working with their laptops.

    There is still a way to in terms of government support. It’s not so easy to start a company and tax pressure is very high, even more for small growing businesses!

    TQP Studio: Do you think there are opportunities to collaborate with other businesses in Buenos Aires or Argentina, in general? 

    VM: Yes, and its growing every day. In our case, digital marketing is a really young industry, and it’s getting more specialized every day (you can’t do everything). As local companies grow, they work more and more on their digital strategy, needing more complex and specialized resources, and that’s where collaboration between entrepreneurs starts.

    For example, many design agencies come to us saying: “Un cliente quiere aparecer primero en Google” (in English would be: “A client wants to be the first on Google for their business). It also works the other way around, where our clients need websites, photos, or design.

    TQP Studio: That’s amazing! I think collaboration between other businesses to help all of us grow is one of the best things people can do. Besides collaboration and running your business, I’m sure you’ve learned a few lessons along the way as an entrepreneur. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned?

    VM: You don’t know anything :). Before starting your business, you’re probably really good at your tech skills; but when you start your company, suddenly you have to work in many areas all at once: finance, payroll, HR, accounting, etc. There’s a lot to learn.

    Also, growing a team and creating a culture is hard and takes time. When you’re an anxious person, it is hard sometimes! A great book that helped me discover all of this is “E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It“.

    In this last year and a half, I’ve worked, failed and learned more than ever. When my partner and I look back to one year ago and see what we have accomplished (500% growth, building a remote team, planning new business units), it looked impossible back then, but we did it! That makes you strong to go out and keep going 😀

    TQP Studio: I love that lesson. We always need to keep learning and being grateful for where we’ve gotten so far. Alright, Fede, since you’re an honorary Porteño, what are the top 3 tips for visiting/living in Buenos Aires?

    Besides the obvious, like going to Palermo (ALL of its variants)…

    1. Go to la Boca and San Telmo, explore the river area at San Isidro and also Tigre (in Spring and Summer) are good ideas.
    2. The nightlife! From Monday to Monday, no matter if you like speakeasy bars or just a pizza at 3 am, Buenos Aires is a place for going out and having fun!
    3. Visit other cities in Argentina, whether it’s Ushuaia, Salta, Mendoza, Iguazú, Jujuy, Rosario, and more (probably I’m leaving something out), but we have a really large country, so you can find different cultures and experiences around, and they’re all worth it.

    And an extra: drink Argentinian wine and eat meat, they’re both awesome.

    Thank you, so much, Fede, for giving us so much honest and real advice for starting a business! It’s so true that when you start a business doing something you “love” there are 10x more things that you’re NOT good at and don’t love, but it comes with growing and creating a business. I can’t wait to see what other accomplishments you achieve by next year!

    STALK ‘EM A LITTLE:

    Website
    LinkedIn


    Job Trippin’

    TQP Studio: Oh hello, gentlemen! I’m so excited to have you both on the blog and sharing about Job Trippin’! Can you take a moment to share with us who you are, your business, and your brand?

    Job Trippin’: Hello! We’re Santiago and Gastón. We’re Argentinian, but not “Porteños”. Santi is currently living in Buenos Aires but was born in a little town 5 hours away from Argentina’s capital city, and Gato (Gastón’s nickname) is from Patagonia, but now lives in Madrid.

    Anyway, we’ve met in Buenos Aires and started our business relationship there. A few years later, we start Job Trippin’, our current startup!

    TQP Studio: How long as your business been running, since you just mentioned that it is a startup!

    JT: The idea started in July 2016, but we officially started working on the company around 2 years ago (January 2017). It took a long time because we wanted to be sure that we had the right team to do the right tasks. We are convinced that a team is the most important thing before starting any project.

    TQP Studio: I totally agree, having a great team in place makes SUCH a difference in how productive, profitable, and successful a team is! What made you two decide to start a business like this?

    JT: We’ve been working for global companies, and we’ve had the opportunity to travel a lot. We’ve seen that people are more productive, creative and motivated when they have the opportunity to travel, but this is difficult. So, we believe that people really need help to start traveling without putting their careers on hold, and that’s is exactly what Job Trippin’ does.

    The work-life balance is, nowadays, what all of us are looking for. So, it’s super motivational and inspiring for us provide people from all over the world with the opportunity to travel while working together!

    TQP Studio: YES! I couldn’t agree more with what you just stated – which is why I decided to join Job Trippin’ in the first place! One of my favorite aspects is working with a diverse group of people to collaborate and bounce ideas off of. Can you share a bit about the creative and entrepreneurial spirit wherever you are in the world?

    JT: Our startup is based in Madrid and not in Buenos Aires, but in our point of view this city has an amazing and strong entrepreneurial spirit and is the most important hub for entrepreneurs in Latin America. Just to have an idea, 4 of the 9 unicorns of Latin America are from Buenos Aires.

    TQP Studio: That’s amazing! Are there opportunities to collaborate with other businesses in Buenos Aires?

    JT: Yes, there are a lot of opportunities to collaborate. People in Argentina are very open, they love to meet new people and make them feel like part of the family. When we talk about business, this is the same. Entrepreneurship in Buenos Aires is a huge trend, the city is becoming a rising business hub, people are super creative, so I’m sure you’ll find a lot of collaboration opportunities.

    TQP Studio: You two said that Job Trippin’ only started around 2 years ago, what’re some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned as entrepreneurs?

    JT: Some of the biggest lessons we’ve learned are:

    • If you have competitors, this is something good, they aren’t enemies, but partners.
    • To do and succeed in business, you need to believe in yourself and in your intuition. If you can’t do that, your business will break quickly.
    • You should know when and how to control your emotions and thoughts.
    • If you really trust in your team and your project, never give up

    TQP Studio: I love the point you made about learning how to control your emotions and thoughts – especially as entrepreneurs! Last question – what are the top 3 tips you have for visiting/living in Buenos Aires?

    1. Eat a homemade “asado”, you won’t regret it! See how locals cook it and enjoy the entire process, from preparing the wood for the fire until trying the last piece of meat.
    2. Go to a soccer match. Argentinians are super passionate about everything, and mostly about soccer. Don’t leave Buenos Aires without visiting La Boca and La Bombonera stadium.
    3. Explore the city to take a look at the contrasts and mixes of cultures. Visit La Boca and San Telmo to see the traditional parts of Buenos Aires, go to Puerto Madero to find the newest and most luxurious buildings, walk around Palermo and enjoy the nightlife and street art, and travel a few miles to visit Tigre and its Delta islands and attractions.

    Thank you, Santi and Gato, for sharing a peek inside the creation of Job Trippin’ and your vision for this company! It’s been such a great experience traveling with you both and Job Trippin’ and enjoying this unique experience. I’m excited to see the other tours you plan in the future and to see how Job Trippin’ grows as a company!

    STALK ‘EM A LITTLE:

    Website
    Facebook
    Instagram
    LinkedIn


    creativity and entrepreneurship in Latin America - the quirky pineapple studio

    I believe in stepping out of your comfort zone, meeting new people, and immersing yourself in the local culture that you visit. I’m grateful to not only be immersing myself in the local culture – but the local BUSINESS culture in a city like Buenos Aires! Learning how other entrepreneurs from all over the world are doing it, is completely inspiring!

    These stories are only a few of the people I’ve met here in Buenos Aires and through one of the local coworking spaces, La Maquinita. The city is certainly buzzing with an entrepreneurial and creative spirit – always brainstorming and throwing around ideas, helping one another, and finding ways to collaborate on other projects!

    What’s the most inspiring entrepreneurial city you’ve visited so far?

    *This post was sponsored by Job Trippin’! All opinions and knowledge are my own! I have personally met each of the people involved in these companies and they are great! Thanks for supporting The Quirky Pineapple Studio!


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    Entrepreneurship in Latin America is booming! Here are 4 different businesses run by or are based in Argentina. Learn about the entrepreneurial spirit here. // The Quirky Pineapple Studio

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