Uruguay: The Silicon Valley of South America
A small country, barely 3.5 million inhabitants, but with great talent in software development.
Uruguay is the largest per capita software exporter in Latin America and software companies continue to grow every year and generate higher GDP in the country.
Year after year the technology industry grows even more in Uruguay. And the main client is the United States with more than 60% of the income.
On the other hand, the Uruguayan Chamber of Information Technologies estimates that this growth will remain constant for at least five more years.
A technological country
Several reasons point to Uruguay as a great technological competition.
It is one of the first countries to incorporate the latest version of IPv6, it has the fastest fiber optic internet for citizens in homes and shops, in addition to having one of the best download speeds in the entire region.
According to the United Nations, it is also considered the number one in electronic government in Latam.
And the Cisco Global Digital Readiness Index 2019 ranked us second with the highest score in Latam, after Chile.
Uruguay currently has more than 700 companies, and most of them are located in Montevideo, the capital of the country.
There are also other companies that decide to operate in less populated cities, generating more job opportunities in the rest of the country.
We also have technology companies that entered the world market, and there are also large multinationals that decided to open branches within Uruguay.
Coworking and incubators
The number of coworking spaces has been on the rise for years. Most are in Montevideo, but they also exist in other departments of the country.
These spaces mainly allow SMEs and freelancers to work and coordinate entire teams in the same space, which would otherwise cost them a much higher investment.
Incubators and accelerator programs have also increased. These accelerators help SMEs with monetary investments, physical coworking spaces, and different types of mentoring, workshops, and networking sessions.
High speed and connection quality
With almost 100% of homes connected to lte and almost 90% with broadband, Uruguay is undoubtedly the country with the best connectivity in Latin America.
It also has good progress in 4G and launched the first 5G network in Latin America.
With all this, it is expected to be able to cover 100% of the country by 2022 with fiber optics, further improving our connectivity.
Having a free, secular, and compulsory education system, Uruguay has a 96% literacy rate.
Within this framework, the One Laptop per Child plan was introduced in 2008, offering a laptop to each child in public education, and to high school and university students with low monetary incomes.
With this, it is possible to have a high technological degree in our students from the first year of studies.
As a note, Cisco highlighted Uruguay in 2015 for being one of the countries with 100% connectivity in schools.
The level of our university graduates is really high, and overwhelmed by the existing university entities in the country.
The vast majority of computer science graduates graduate from the University of the Republic (the only public university in the country), one of the best universities in the region. According to U.S. World News & Report is the 21st university in all of Latin America and the number one in Uruguay.
There are very high quality private universities that offer more and more IT programs, offering university students more study options and specialization.
Among all of them, about 11% of our graduates throughout the country correspond to the IT area, between different careers such as software engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering
With a score of 54 above the average in the region, Uruguay ranks 39th out of a total of 100 countries, according to the EF English Proficiency Index. And according to the TOEFL, Uruguay has a score of 94 out of 120, which positions our country at the highest level of competition in the entire region, followed by Argentina and Costa Rica.
On average, Uruguayan students spend about 9 years learning English, and a report between Chile, Costa Rica, Uruguay and Panama shows that our country has the most qualified teachers in the region.
If all the previous points do not seem enough, I also leave you the following:
The cost of living in our country is lower than in the United States, which makes it much more competitive than a local provider, in addition to being a more developed country compared to emerging countries such as India or the Philippines.
Our work culture is fully compatible with the United States, and our developers have years of experience working in a synchronized way with this culture.
The time zone is also an important point. Being in GTM -3, Uruguay has a very high advantage in this regard.
Our airport is one of the 10 most modern in the world, being a quality point for the entry and exit of foreigners.