Last December I started building a small community for tech people in beautiful, tax friendly western Panama. The pitch was that you could come live in and explore Panama, get your tax residency, and hang out with others. The property focuses on infrastructure first in a gorgeous setting with fantastic weather. The quaint nearby town is small, but bustling and diverse.
To date I have hosted more than 20 software developers from nearly a dozen countries. I have made many new friends and had some fun adventures! As things have progressed I’ve discovered some things that have made me decide to try a 90-day cohort based model, while preserving the option for residents to stay longer term.
- People tend to be more engaged when they are all doing something from the start together. It’s more likely two people will form a bond if they both arrive without knowing anyone else. Having cohorts ensures participants are all making friends at the same time.
- People want to know who they will be there with and what the focus will be on. This allows for focusing on certain “themes”, i.e. deep learning, startups, interview prep, or quant investing, and tax strategy for digital nomads, to make a few examples. This will allow residents to collaborate more rather than just live in the same place.
- Scheduling gaps can be difficult when requiring a minimum commitment. Having cohorts ensures no gaps, no waiting for others to arrive, and being able to finish out the experience with the new friends you are making.
- This model will also allow me to plan farther out and as I expand generate more reliable financial models.
- 90 days fits with tourist visas for Panama and most other countries.
Existing residents can still be part of cohorts. I will be planning two cohorts this year, which will run from June 15th to September 15th and September 15th to November 15th. The first cohort will focus on recent college graduates and those transitioning careers (i.e. someone who would join a bootcamp), and the second cohort will be focused on more advanced topics and senior level people.
We will have accommodations for every budget, ranging from $1500 to $5000 for the entire program.