Jen and I got moving around and headed downstairs for breakfast around 6:30. Most folks weren't awake and as it rolled towards 7 am not many more people came downstairs. We started calling rooms since the bus has to leave at 7:10. Jen was right. Most folks were not in good shape.
The bus got moving around 7:30 (15 minutes late...) and we got to Aceitera Generale Deheza (AGD) around 8. AGD is a large crushed seed oil company that is entirely Argentine owned. They produce a large percentage of the Argentine consumption goods for export (25%), and I guarantee that you have seen their products on US shelves. I have a picture of a couple of their products from their boardroom.
Ever seen Mazola oil on shelves? That's an AGD product.
The speaker was very knowledgeable, and it was a great presentation about the soybean industry in Argentina and around the world and on Argentine agribusiness in general.
After the meeting we headed back to the hotel for a brief break before heading to our next meeting with Re/Max Argentina, the regional headquarters for Re/Max agents in Argentina and Uruguay. The presentation was very interesting and we learned a lot of interesting facts about the housing market in Argentina...like how only 6-10% is financed...everything else is in cash. Crazy.
We got another break before heading to lunch at Parolaccia Casa Tua, an Italian restaurant in Recoletta. Once again we had a huge lunch WITH dessert. It's going to be strange to go back to eating small lunches when I get back...
After lunch we had a fairly long break before our next meeting, so Jennifer, Eva, and I went on a walk through the Recoletta shopping district. Apparently giant platform shoes are in. Who knew? Jen got a bottle of Argentine wine on the way back and then we got ready for our last meeting of the day with NXTP Labs.
NXTP is a startup accelerator program located in Buenos Aires. Startup accelerators are companies that provide seed money, office space, legal services, financial services, and other necessary support systems that tiny, new companies need in order to get started. Basically if you have an idea and NXTP thinks it's viable, they will buy a share in your company and give you the support you need to pitch the idea to larger investors. The idea is that as the companies grow, they will support other new companies later. It's a really interesting model that different people are trying all over the world.
One of the neatest start ups that we heard from was the founder of CookApp, a website/app where you can find chefs in a number of cities that will sell a seat at their tables at home for a meal. So you make a reservation and then come to their home and they will cook for you. The cooks range from 5 star chefs to folks that just love to cook, and it's starting to come to cities in the United States. It's going to be in DC in July! Yay! Such a great idea: www CookApp.com/en/?referral=e837404
We had some drinks with the start up founders then headed back to the hotel. Craig and I were still stuffed from lunch so instead of dinner we walked to a place down the block and got some gelato. We have now decided that this needs to happen every night until we leave. It was amazing. I'll have to get a picture tomorrow. We ate it too fast tonight. On the way back we stopped in the supermarcado to look for Advil, but apparently you can't sell any drugs in the supermarket here, so I'll have to run to the Farmacity down the block tomorrow.
I headed back to the room to get some sleep since tomorrow is another early morning. Whew!