Uruguay Seduces Entrepreneurs

The Softlanding program provides funding for foreigners or Uruguayans living abroad.

Uruguay Seduces Entrepreneurs

The local entrepreneurial ecosystem gives a new sign that it is growing rapidly. Now Uruguay is seducing entrepreneurs from abroad to establish and develop their business in the country.

Softlanding Uruguay is an initiative created in 2013, under Programa de Apoyo a Futuros Empresarios (PAFE) that performs the National Agency for Research and Innovation (ANII) together with Ingenio Incubator.

The initiative, similar to what happens on the other side of the Andes with Startup Chile, promotes a startup accelerator oriented to foreign and Uruguayan entrepreneurs who want to return and settle in Uruguay for a year.

In order to achieve this, Softlanding provides no-refundable capital for the establishment and start-up of the business, and it also provides offices and services in the building Ingenio in LATU (Uruguay Technological Lab), as well as support in the process to launching the business.

Fifteen projects applied to the first call of the proposal, and the two that were selected are already installed.

In the 2014 edition the level improved. Twenty-two projects were presented and seven ‘very good’ ones were chosen to be evaluated in depth, told Eleonora Repetto, coordinator Softlanding Uruguay to El Empresario.

The First ones

Two projects have already begun to take their first steps. Cloudlance (previously BO Partners) lead by Argentine entrepreneur Nicolas Reyes, and Forwarder OnLine, a solution for hiring logistics services and global trade, conducted by Eduardo García, Uruguayan based in Belgium how also lived in Spain.

Cloudlance provides freelancers with integrated tools that help them manage their costs, invoices, clients and projects all in one place. Reyes hopes to expand the range of solutions in the future. The entrepreneur chose Uruguay because he considers it a very important service hub in Latin America. This service is initially targeted at markets such as Latam and the US, but it will be expanding to other areas in the future.

Meanwhile Garcia, who planned his return to the country for some time, took this opportunity to do it with a business that has been running in foreign territory for the last two years ago.

“It is an online project; sea and air logistics with faster service and a differential price in favor of the customer,” he said. In the future he plans to expand the service to logistics by land. It will be ready in about three months.

This article was originally published on May 2nd at Diario El País.

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