When people think about global tech hotspots for data science talent, they usually think about predictable places like California. Maybe emerging hubs in Asia and Eastern Europe come to mind too. If the pandemic proved one thing, it’s that you no longer need to be in one of a few tech hubs around the world. Silicon Valley, Beijing, Tel Aviv and Bangalore are no longer the only hubs for AI and data science talent.
That’s because tech hubs are emerging all over the world. The proliferation of, and increasing comfort with, remote work means increased access to that talent. This not only provides opportunities for local talent to shine, but also for companies worldwide to hire the talent they need.
In fact, there’s one area of the world that often gets overshadowed, but is a particularly great place for AI and data science experts: Latin America.
LATAM: An Emerging AI & Data Science Hotspot
Fun fact: In 2020, $4.1 billion of venture capital flowed into LATAM. According to Global Private Capital Association, this wasn’t just more money than Southeast Asia’s $3.3 billion. It was also more than investments in Africa, the Middle East, and Central and Eastern Europe combined.
You might be wondering, “Why all the investment in LATAM?” Well, for one, Latin America is home to over 25 unicorns. These include:
- Colombian delivery company Rappi
- Brazilian digital bank NuBank
- Argentinian secure login platform Auth0
- Chilean food tech startup NotCo
- Mexican cryptocurrency exchange Bitso
LATAM is seeing so much growth that just last year SoftBank—a Japanese multinational holding company—launched a $3 billion fund to accelerate Latin America’s tech boom. This came after an initial investment of $5 billion in March 2019. As of June 2021, their $3.5 billion investment in 48 companies had generated a net internal rate of return of 85% in US dollar terms.
LATAM vs. Other AI & Data Science Hotspots
Now that you know why LATAM deserves to be on any list of global tech hotspots, let’s compare the region with other popular homes for tech and data science talent.
Silicon Valley is well known due to its centrality in the tech world. The notoriety of tech startups (Facebook, Apple and Google, to name a few) and additional factors like smartphone penetration, availability of high-speed internet, and affordability of mobile internet all work in its favor. It also offers some great educational and career opportunities in the tech space. The major drawback here, however, is that there’s a shortage of tech talent in comparison to the over-the-top demand, as we’ve discussed before on our blog.
Eastern Europe’s tech hubs—most notably Estonia, Poland, and the Czech Republic—not only offer a wealth of talent, but engineering smarts and scalability. While the tech talent here might cost less than in Silicon Valley, its cost/quality balance can still leave something to be desired. Furthermore, tough EU data protection rules can hinder startups from achieving fast-paced growth some of their competitors may enjoy.
Asia’s top tech hubs, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Singapore, are full of research centers from huge tech startups like Google and Amazon. They’re also rife with homegrown startups like Alibaba, ByteDance, and Flipkart. Advantageous business climates, tax incentives, educational opportunities, and government support all create a great startup environment. However, it may not provide the support for scale-ups that other hotspots do.
LATAM’s young and ambitious workforce coupled with an increase in investment in the region means the competition and opportunities are only heating up. The region is competitive in the global job market—home to many educational opportunities like those provided by Factored. Its shared timezone with the US and Canada and ease of travel from the US to LATAM makes it ideal for business collaborations across North America.
LATAM May Be Your Best Data Science Bet Yet
Ultimately, today’s remote-first world means that where your AI and data science experts are based no longer matters. The language spoken, timezone/working hours, and the work output can be the same, regardless of location.
Learn more about why LATAM is the best part of the world for North American business and tech leaders to build their talent.
Book a meeting today to discuss how you can build an high-caliber team in your time zone right away.