The Third Degree: Luis-Daniel Alegria of Vamos

By Simone ODonovan |

The Third Degree, our Friday feature where we chat with Berlin’s best and brightest CEOs, is back with a bang, as we spoke to Luis-Daniel Alegria of Vamos about Crocodile Dundee, South American wine tasting and the new Google Glass.

SILICON ALLEE: If you weren’t the CEO of a startup, what would you be doing?

LUIS-DANIEL ALEGRIA: I have always admired people that spend a lot of time working with their own craft. If I wasn’t the CEO of Vamos and if I didn’t have the same experience and background I would love to make things – anything from building a guitar to building houses. But I’m not talented in that way at all; maybe in another life!

I also think I would have loved to become something similar to Crocodile Dundee and explore the world and hang out with animals. Somebody once told me that if you do interesting things, then interesting things will happen to you.

SA: What do you like about Berlin?

LA: I love Berlin as a city. I think the city has certain elements that make it possible for people to achieve their dreams. So if you have an idea of building a company, like we do, then it is possible in terms of people, talent, low-cost rent and also the ability to feed from other companies and people in the city. In that sense it has a lot to offer. In Europe it definitely stands as the central hub for entrepreneurs. It has all those elements combined.

SA: East or West Berlin?

LA: I live in East Berlin near Rosa-Luxembourg-Platz so I guess I’m a Mitte/Prenzlauer Berg guy. I have the best of both worlds – living in the city centre and then also the nice and relaxed part of Prenzlauer Berg. I think the West is also nice. It has beautiful architecture but the action is in the East.

SA: What do you like to do when you’re not working?

LA: I always say that I want to go to the gym but I don’t. I like to go out and explore the city. I think that is one of the reasons why Vamos is such a close product to me. There is always something to do and there is no excuse otherwise. I will always try to do stuff. My routine at the moment is work work work. But I also try to organise meetups, events, dinners, etc.

SA: When you leave Berlin, where do you like to go?

LA: I really love the continent of Latin America. I think it is still quite undeveloped in the sense that it doesn’t have the technology infrastructure as we have here in Europe.

My parents are from Chile and so I went travelling around South America for one month with a backpack. I went to Chile and some wine regions. I also took a bus through Mendoza and through the Andes, observing the nature and continuing my wine-tasting. Then I went to Buenos Aires, Rio De Janeiro and Sao Paulo. I wouldn’t mind doing that again!

SA: What is your favourite cafe/bar/restaurant?

LA: I’m a member at Soho House. I guess it’s a little bit of a cliché but I do love it. It’s like my living room. I live basically two minutes away from it. The restaurant is good and affordable. The entire facility at least serves all my needs.

I don’t really have any favourite cafes because I don’t drink coffee but I do like the concept of Lokal, which is opposite our office at the moment. They use only local goods from the city. The staff there is also really nice and friendly and remember me every time.

SA: How do you think Berlin as a city will develop in the next decade?

LA: Many people say that Berlin is a startup itself; it’s developing every year – everything from the infrastructure to the new companies coming over, and to salaries and rent increasing. The Internet startups moving to Berlin, has really contributed to the culture of the city. I think that is combined and connected to our creative, young, open-minded, international audience. I feel it will continue in this direction.

SA: What do you think the Internet will look like in ten years?

LA: The entire world is becoming more and more connected. I think broadband speed will increase dramatically, which also allows for services that require higher Internet speed. The Internet has opened up a new world and it will certainly continue to do that. People are constantly trying to innovate with new technologies. I’m curious to see the development of new mobile devices. The Google Glass would be pretty cool to try out too!