SAN FRANCISCO – Uruguay made its debut this week with 16 companies at the Disrupt SF 2015 tech fair for emerging technology firms organized by Tech Crunch magazine.
The Uruguayan companies showcased their products at the exhibition space sponsored by Uruguay XXI Institute for Investment and Export Promotion and the Uruguayan Information Technology Association, or CUTI.
Uruguay is Latin America’s second-largest exporter of software per capita, after Costa Rica, and wants to make itself known along with the Southern Cone as a hub of technological development.
“Our goal is to double exports of software and technology services over the next five years,” CUTI president Carlos Caetano told EFE, adding that overseas sales totaled $500 million in 2014.
Uruguayan firms at Disrupt include consultants, software-testing outfits, data analysis companies and developers of software, Web sites and mobile applications, among others.
Marcos Saiz, who founded Impactus in 2013, said his company specialized in software externalization, strategic advice, planning, execution and campaign monitoring.
Saiz, who hopes to learn more about the U.S. market during his stay in San Francisco, said he was amazed by the city’s dynamic business culture.
“Activity in the start-up area is incredible,” Saiz said.
Carlos Acle, founder of software design and development firm One Tree, which counts the Inter-American Development Bank among its clients, said the “quality-price ratio in Uruguay is fit” to compete on global markets.
Silvia Nane, who launched software-tester Make it Work in 2011, said she was seeking to link up with start-ups “that seldom have time to test” and could take advantage of her services.
Some of the Uruguayan entrepreneurs, like Alexis Bagurskas, whose Datalab launched InfocusNews, a Web site that lets companies visualize their most relevant data, such as sales trends, wants to open an office in San Francisco.
“InfocusNews is the first digital smart daily for companies,” Bagurskas told EFE, adding that the site automatically updates and analyzes the most important information for a business using algorithms.
Sofia Palamarchuk, CEO of software firm Abstracta, said she saw “many opportunities” for a Latin American firm like hers in Silicon Valley, but she acknowledged there was “a lot of competition” and it was important to stand out.
“It’s difficult to enter the market, but it is important to have a local presence,” said Palamarchuk, who now lives in San Francisco.