Category Archives: Blog Posts

Visiting and Marcos Alarcón Ochoa, Co-Creator of Peru Tech

Visiting and Marcos Alarcón Ochoa, Co-Creator of Peru Tech

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We fell in love with Lima and already feel we never want to leave it again.

Waking up in a beautiful street in the bohemian Barranco district we climbed into our Land Rover to meet the first people from the scene. This time it’s all in Spanish. The takeaways:
If you ever need a Co-Working Space in Lima and a place to network with people, we can 100% recommend Residencia, it’s beautiful and has a SLIDE built into the house!! English subtitles soon.

In this interview you’ll meet:

Marcos Alarcón Ochoa
Cocreador de Perú TECH
Marketing y Relaciones públicas en

Good bye Uruguay!

Good bye Uruguay!

The sole reason we initially wanted to go to your country for was to renew our visa for LaOficina, and maybe to get out of hectic Buenos Aires for a while. We were told there isn’t much of a startup/freelancer scene in Montevideo.
Now, 10 days later, driving through the Pampa Argentina, with “El Bolson” set as destination in our GPS, we have our backpacks stuffed with amazing memories and a hard drive full of great video footage. Not much of a scene? Bulls$$t!

It started by contacting Carolina Banales, Co-founder of GlamST, a startup with the goal of changing the way women buy beauty products online.
Helpful as she was, she connected us with Eli Tuyaré who interviewed us for the “Café & Negocios Emprendedores” section of uruguayan newspaper El Observador. Carolina hooked us up with María Elia, manager of Co-Work Uruguay, who provided us with a space to work, gave us a tour through the shared office and connected us with literaly everyone working there. It was exciting to witness how Maria Elias really lives her role as a collaboration manager, keeping a close eye on the challenges and needs of every team and individual working at the Co-Work while also helping us out where she could; something I missed in Berliner co-works.

We interviewed Sergio Delgado Coto from, one of Uruguay’s incubators, who passed us a signed copy of his book, examining the success of 12 young Uruguayan internet entrepreneurs. Thanks Sergio, I’m sure Donimic will learn a lot of Spanish with it!

Fabian Fernandez, CEO of, invited us to their backyard office and we had a nice chat about the scene in Montevideo over cola and sandwiches while Dominic used the WIFI to get some work done.

Fortune continued to be on our side: Someone in Co-Work Montevideo mentioned we’re in town on twitter, José Manuel Blanco read the tweet and interviewd us for the “Hoja de Router”, the technology news section of the spainish digital magazine

The highlight of our trip: visiting and working at the most awesome co-working space I ever saw – Sinergia Cowork

First off, we need to thank Macarena for giving us the awesome tour. What we found while passing small offices and open spaces where people building their own self cloning 3D printers, others building drones and designers changing the way we view branding. The interview that was definitly the most fun and inspiring was the mate drinking code wizards from who believe in the power of free software and got a real let’s-change-the-world attitude. Thanks for that guys, you really inspired us!
Sinergia is a role model of a cork working space: a diverse and creative place promoting collaboration.

Thank yous also go out to the Black Jack dealers at the Casino in Montevideo. Vin made half a fortune and then dissapeared for 3 days, god knows what he was doing

Last but not least, a big warm thank you to Andrea for showing me beautiful Punta del Diablo and to Mirna, our wonderful AirBNB host who provided us with a peaceful place near the beach. When asking what she did she told us that she’s a psychologist and started to do therapy sessions via Skype when leaving for 10 years to Mallorca. By doing videoconferencing she was able to keep her patients based in Uruguay and now has clients from all over the globe.

This was an awesome start, we can’t possible feel more welcome here!
We’ll miss you Uruguay, see you in about 6 months, we wish you the best, may you never run out of mate


How A Stolen Backpack Inspired Us to Drive Across South America

How A Stolen Backpack Inspired Us to Drive Across South America


One of the first questions people ask us is “Why are you doing this?”. Which is generally followed up with “how did you come up with the idea for Startup Diaries?” and “why the hell South America?”.

They are pretty valid questions. What makes two geeks leave their comfortable homes, take their business on the road, sleep in a Land Rover Defender for 6 months and interview people who are inventing the working culture of tomorrow?

Why Startup Diaries and Why South America?


It all started with having my backpack stolen in Recife, northern Brazil. It was the day after Germany obliterated Brazil 7:1. It was the (first) day I felt a bit uncomfortable when people asked me where I was from, and I sometimes would say that I was Swedish (instead of German).

During that afternoon I attended an art exhibition with a Brazilian friend. When we came back all windows of the cars in the street were broken and my backpack was gone!

The GoPro? Also Gone.
iPhone? Gone.
Kindle? Yup, gone too.

It was quite depressing and sad, not a feeling of a material loss, but that of a general sense of insecurity.

Being the German workaholic I am, the next morning I made a plan. I would improve my mood by going to a co-working space, get some work done (yes, working makes me happy!), and make some money to replace the stolen goods. I sat down next to Edmilson Rodriguez, founder of, a platform with a great cause – bringing together people from poor backgrounds who would like to get an education and potential sponsors. I told Ed what happened to me the night before. The next day Ed took me out to lunch in the old part of town in Recife. Sitting at the table, with a that Brazilian warmth that few other nations have, Ed handed me a book in a ceremonial fashion. It was a book all about Brazilian entrepreneurs. “This is a present for you Fabian, so you can not only improve your Portuguese, but also learn about the cool entrepreneurial
culture in Brazil”.

I opened the book and found a note on the first page:

“Fabian, what happened to you is horrible. I hope that you will also see the developing, innovative, and smart side of our country!”

I was moved. A guy I just met had cared enough about what happened to me and about what I thought about his country, to give me a present to encourage a positive outlook!

Forming the Idea


For the next 1.5 hours, Ed and I walked through the old city center and what happened there inspired the creation of StartupDiaries.

With Ed every second building turned into a cool company, an angel investor or a startup incubator. Ed knew everyone, introduced me to people and after a while I had a pocket full of business cards. In my head, Brazil had magically transformed. What before were old and rundown buildings, had become hubs of innovation, with smart people working on cool projects. This was the other side of Latin America, the one you don’t read about in your Lonely Planet, National Geographic or in the news.

I met inspired people, full of optimism, with the guts to take the future into their own hands and pursue a dream, usually with the goal of changing something in their society for the better.

This was the Latin America I wanted to discover and share! And so StartupDiaries was born.

Three guys in a van hunting down the modern “Che Guevaras of work” who despite social pressure and economic difficulties, say “No” to a well payed and hard-to-escape job in a big corporation. These people went on to pursue what they really wanted to do. StartupDiaries is about these innovators and risk-takers, the lives they lead, their optimism, hopes and dreams, and above all the challenges they face and the difference they make.

StartupDiaries is also about us, Dominic and me, running an IT company from road, being an extreme example of what we might usually describe as being “digital nomads”. We are fascinated with the future of work and are convinced that there will be more and more people making the jump to being then roaming freelancers of the future. There are people that prefer to work free of fixed time schedules, of corporate demands and omnipresent bosses. The goal is to have a freer lifestyle, fewer limitations,
unpredictability and regularly inspiration.

How can you put a price-tag on experiencing the world while earning a living, not having to commute (except to move from one city to the next), and spending more quality time friends?

Bear with us folks, we just got into this video thing, it will only get better from now on.

Fabio, on behalf of your StartupDiaries team.

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