Argentine tech workers reduce costs for US businesses

Argentine strengths such as a high level of education coupled with disadvantages like a weak currency are helping U.S. businesses find qualified technology workers at a fraction of the cost, the founder of Startup Buenos Aires said.

“We had a client in California who had a budget of $100,000 and had originally inquired about mobile applications development in the U.S. and for that budget he could barely get one I-phone application developed, barely,” Lisa Besserman, who founded Startup Buenos Aires two years ago, said. “So then he came to Buenos Aires to see other development opportunities and with that same budget, he was able to get four different platforms including the one for the I-phone and also for Ipad and Android."

A senior-level mobile app developer in the U.S. can cost anywhere from $150 to $400 for one hour of work. The cost for that developer in Argentina is between $40 to $50 an hour.

Startup Buenos Aires was created to represent and help the start-up technology and entrepreneurial community of Buenos Aires. It helps entrepreneurs with education, with providing a community by putting them together with other entrepreneurs and clients, and with bringing resources to them such as partnerships with global organizations to bring start-up related activities to the city.

“We are a hub for innovation and start-up development and we connect local entrepreneurs,” she said, adding that the Startup Buenos Aires community now has about 3,000 members.

In the U.S., Startup Buenos Aires connects U.S. companies interested in outsourcing with local design and development shops in Argentina. Argentina, while it faces challenges like a lack of funding, offers advantages like a lower cost of living than the U.S.

“Employees in technology are cheap but are very good. This allows companies to take advantage of high quality local talent at a low cost,” she said. "English fluency is very high and the time zone is very close to that in the U.S."

Argentines not only are very entrepreneurial but also enjoy a high level of education being one of the countries in the region with the highest level of young people attending universities. The country´s economic and political challenges have pushed many to search “their own opportunities,” she said.