So you’re in Montevideo for a few days and need a place where you can work comfortably with access to internet, a social network of people and great lunches?
Sinergia is a co-work space in Montevideo’s up-and-coming Palermo district, a couple of blocks from the rambla and walking distance from downtown and the hip Parque Rodo neighbourhood.
The open-plan loft design is full of natural light and airy. There are large communal desks, an outside deck with fire-pit and a huge basement with kitchen and table-soccer. You can see a floor plan here.
No membership fees
You can buy access for one day for less than 20 dollars plus tax, right up to one-month 24/7 for a remarkable 105 USD plus tax (3000 pesos, watch this price fall before your eyes over the next few months).
In a perfect move for travellers, there’s no inscription or sign-up costs.
Social and professional networking
I expected Sinergia users to be mainly techies however it turns out there are more creatives (designers, video game makers, etc) and freelancers than developers. Age spans range primarily from mid 20s to 30s but I’ve also noticed people in their 40s and 50s.
The Sinergia staff are super helpful and there’s a full agenda of activities including yoga, problem-solving and pitch nights – a useful mix of social and professional activities. And it’s planned a month in advance which is pretty unusual in this part of the world!
Of course these activities take place in Spanish but my impression is that English-speakers will find it easy to get around as most people and all the staff speak English. The director of the start-up incubator, Ryan, is from the USA.
During my first days at Sinergia I was able to find a photographer for professional head-shots thanks to a Sinergia community list. Following a breakfast event, a designer generously volunteered some photos for Guru’GUAY.
However my efforts to locate a WordPress developer using Sinergia online channels did not bear fruit. There’s a help-wanted list but only about 20% of all users seem to be subscribed to it.
Meeting rooms available as part of the deal
A number of small companies have rented office space however there are two meeting rooms for communal use.
The larger room with a lovely oval meeting table seats up to 12 people and is known fondly as the “fishbowl” (la pecera). There’s a smaller one for 6-7 people. They are available on a rota-system for a fee or included in most plans.
The food… ah, the food…
Did I mention the food? My first hours at Sinergia were spent beguiled by the aroma of roasting rosemary wafting down from the chef’s den on the first floor.
Miguel, who previously worked at the One Love restaurant whose owner is also a Sinergia founder, prepares a different menu from scratch each day as well as salads and hot toasted sandwiches. Last Friday’s was leek and potato soup embellished with olive oil and rocket, followed by pan-fried steak over sweet potato puree, all for 220 pesos (less than 8 USD).
Co-worker plans and costs
Sinergia offers a free one-day trial of their space. Then there’s a range of packages to fit your needs:
One day ticket (Ticket pasajero) – If you need a place for one day from 9 in the morning to 9 at night. For an extra cost you can rent a meeting room.
Five-day (Plan Inspira) – same as above. You can use your five days at any time over a one-month period. So it’s ideal for someone with a week in Montevideo who needs to work each day. Or longer-term visitors could come in once a week over a month, as part of your inspiration.
Ten-day (Plan Crea) – Plan Crea obviously gives you ten days access plus you are entitled to one hour in both meeting rooms at no additional cost.
Monthly 24/7 (Plan Sinergia) – Sinergia becomes your second home (or your principal one!). Not only do you have access at any time of day or night, any day of the week, you have two hours for meetings in both meeting rooms. Paying an additional 800 pesos, you get to specify your desk location (known as Plan Sinergia Fix).
Night-time (Plan Nocturno) – Night owls can haunt Sinergia Monday through Friday from 7pm to 2am and Saturdays from 9am till 5pm taking advantage of cheaper rates. Meeting rooms are available for an additional cost.
Montevideo – Sinergia, Mate and a Healthy Portion of Anarchy A bunch of start-up nomads pause their South American travels to check out Montevideo and Sinergia. They found a wilder side than I’ve experienced :), and give an independent take on what Sinergia might offer you (including a higher than usual ratio of “hot girls”!).
Transparency check: I was invited to work at Sinergia for one month. Nothing was required of me in terms of promotion or content and everything I’ve written is, as always, 100% my own thoughts, interpretations and experiences. Thank you, Sinergia!