by Jorge Gobbi
Twitter has been one of the most talked about tools in 2007, and communites have been created around short messages or microblogging. Many were quick to realize its usefulness or its “fashionable” status. In spite of all of this, Twitter remains in use, with more users each day and with hundreds of thousands of messages per day. In that community, the idea to create a network of Argentine web entrepreneurs was born. Santiago Siri commented that it would be interesting to get together because many web 2.0 iniatives in Argentina appear to be based out of Palermo, one of the more traditional neighborhoods of Buenos Aires.
Mariano Amartino of Weblogs Sobre Weblogs [es] summarizes what happened :
A Vanesa Kolodziej, inversora de capital de riesgo, la idea le pareció interesante: junto a otras personas de Twitter tomó la URL, subió un blog y organizó en menos de 3 días la primer Palermo Valley Night: un happy hour para inaugurar el barrio y conocer a las demás personas interesadas en web 2.0. Calcularon que vendrían 20 a 30 personas, pero asistieron más de 70, todas relacionadas con proyectos de Internet locales.
For Vanesa Kolodziej, an investor of risk capital, the idea seemed interesting: along with others from Twitter, the domain name was reserved, a blog was uploaded [es] and in less then 3 days, the first Palermo Valley Night took place: a happy hour to inaugurate the neighborhood and to get to know others interested in web 2.0. They estimated that 20-30 people would attend, but more than 70 showed up, all of whom were involved with local internet projects.
Palermo Valley became a regular gathering of local entrepreneurs due to the excellent response to the invitation on February 21. They opened their blog very quickly, where the event was recapped and a list of blogs that mentioned the gathering [es]. Psicogeek [es] summarized it this way:
Hoy estuve un rato en el primer encuentro de Palermo Valley, fue impresionante ver la cantidad de gente que se acerco en una convocatoria por medio de Blogs y Twitter. El bar donde nos juntamos quedo completamente desbordado ya que como mucho entraban 25 personas sentadas y fueron más de 70!!!!
Today I was at the first gathering of Palermo Valley. It was impressive to see the amount of people that attended due to the invitation through blogs and twitter. The bar where we gathered was overflowing because it can easily set 25 people, but there were more than 70!!!!
The event’s objective was to create a space for networking among local entrepreneurs that launch projects, which do not have many resources to promote them. In addition, these entrepreneurs gather with another objective: network with potential investors. Due to the success of the event, some of the organizers launched a parallel event called StartMeUp Argentina [es], which they define in this manner:
Start Me Up Argentina es un punto de encuentro real para que quienes están creando startups online se conozcan y creen la próxima generación de empresas web 2.0. Argentinas, a través de eventos a lo largo del año.
Start Me Up Argentina is a real-life gathering place for those who are creating online start-up companies, so that they can get to know one another and creat the next generation of web 2.0 companies from Argentina through these events this year.
On March 13, the second gathering of Palermo Valley took place. The first gathered 70 people, this time more than 300 were in attendance and the listing of web projects grew rapidly. The blog of Uptuu [es] summarized that night:
Godoy (el bar seleccionado para el evento) alojó a unas 300 personas y si bien en un momento la barra fue un poco sobrepasada, en líneas generales fue un muy buen lugar el elegido. Mucha más gente que el anterior muestra dos cosas; una, que hay mucha gente trabajando en la Web; y la segunda, es que muchos “curiosos” que quieren empezar en el mundo de los negocios Web usan estos eventos para hacer algunas consultas, las cuales -a pesar de no ser los mas experimentados- respondimos y esperamos haber ayudado.
Godoy (the bar selected for the event) attracted some 300 people and the bar was a little too full, but in general it was a good choice. The fact that there were more people than the last time showed two things: one, there are a lot of people working with the Web; and the second, that there are many other “curious” who want to start with these online businesses that use these events to ask questions, of which – even though we are not the most experienced – we respond and hope that our answers helped.
The third edition of Palermo Valley is currently in the works [es] where some of the projects will be presented for this gathering. The Argentine example has motivated other Latin American countries to hold their own “Valley gatherings.” [es] As detailed on the blog of Palermo Valley, there are already Costa Rica Valley [es] and in Chile, Santiago Valley [es] and Salmon Valei [es].
Translation by Eduardo Ávila