Argentine startups: what conditions must they meet to be the new unicorns?

Many times these requirements give the startup a strategic differential that allows them to reach the validation of their product earlier.

In the last year, several Argentine technology-based companies reached a value of more than one billion dollars and thus obtain the status of “unicorn”. The Technological Institute of Buenos Aires (ITBA) was the educational cradle of some of the founders of these companies.

In the following interview of iProfesional, Luis Paolini, director of the degree program in business management at ITBA, analyzes this trend and the needs of these types of companies.

-Why did the number of unicorn companies grow in Argentina?

-There is the combination that all the startups that were growing a few years ago had the “pandemic effect“where the adoption of their products accelerated, combined with a world moment of very low rates together with brutal monetary issuance. This money flows into venture capital and from there to valuations of technology startups.

-What are the differences of Argentine companies that become unicorns or are on the way to being, from others in Latin America?

-Argentine companies have incredibly resilient founders, along with technically good and cheap.

-Which segments are most likely for an Argentine startup to become a unicorn? For example, digital marketing, software for B2B markets, security.

-This depends a lot on the moment rather than on the sector because investment funds often have biased views on the investments they make. For example: at one point Groupon was the trendy startup and it was worth 5 billion dollars to fall more than 90% of its value a few years later.

The best way to achieve a unicorn is to have a product that solves real problems, a versatile and experienced team, flawless execution and particularly luck.

-What most common virtues and defects are observed in Argentine startups?

-Normally they are seen, in addition to the intrinsic problem of Argentina with regard to constantly changing conditions, problems of lack of understanding of client problems, egos, lack of strategic vision or knowledge outside the scope of the founding team’s specialty.

As virtues, the problem solving ability and how to get ahead. Resilience in the people who generate the conditions in Argentina is what stands out the most from local entrepreneurs.

-What is the place that business management occupies today among Argentine startups?

-In the first instance, startups need dynamic and versatile profiles that can do “a little of everything”, as a startup is in its infancy. Many times this gives the startup a strategic differential that allows them to reach the validation of their product or the first round of investment earlier.

Luis Paolini: “Argentine companies have incredibly resilient founders.”

A career that blends business and technology

ITBA’s Bachelor of Business Management combines the world of business with technology and has a flexible study plan that allows each student to prepare for a career tailored to their interests.

The plan focuses on training in business and technology, with a 30% elective content throughout the program. Thus, students will be able to deepen their knowledge in areas such as technology and data, finance and cryptoeconomics, management and entrepreneurship, product and service management, and marketing and public relations.

E-commerce offers veins for startups.

E-commerce offers veins for startups.

Graduates will be able to work both in multinational companies, in areas as diverse as marketing, social media, electronic commerce, operations, analysis, logistics, technology consulting, finance, product, among others, such as in family businesses and / or creating their own ventures.

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