The Venture Center partnered with Global Ties Arkansas and the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative to host three entrepreneurs from Latin America and the Caribbean from Oct. 10 to Nov. 2. While at The Venture Center, the YLAI Fellows met with Venture Center mentors and received training that helped them further refine their business to position them for growth and viability. The Fellows also had the chance to present their startups to the Little Rock business leaders at Lift the Rock, The Venture Center’s weekly event that brings the business and entrepreneur communities together. After their stay in Little Rock, the entrepreneurs joined other YLAI Fellows in Washington D.C. for a few days before returning to their home countries.
Felipe Chen was one of the three entrepreneurs that visited as part of the partnership with Global Ties Arkansas and YLAI. Felipe is the co-founder and CEO of Algebry, a company that uses artificial intelligence as a math tutor for students. Algebry allows a student to enter any math problem and instantly get a step-by-step explanation of how to solve it. Since returning to Panama from the United States, Felipe has been hard at work taking action based on the knowledge, training and mentorship he received at The Venture Center.
Venture Center: Why did you decide to participate in the YLAI Fellowship?
Felipe Chen: I wanted to participate in YLAI because the program offered me the opportunity to meet and work with organizations, institutions and companies related to my business. Also because I have friends who had applied to the program previously and said that it was a great experience.
VC: What was your experience like while you were in Arkansas?
FC: My experience in Arkansas was great. This was my first time in the U.S., and living for a month in a city like Little Rock and meeting new people was totally a new experience for me, both from a business and cultural perspective.
VC: What impact did The Venture Center have on your business?
FC: In my time at the Venture Center, I had a lot of mentorship sessions where I discussed with the mentors about my company and what they could help me with. Among the main topics that we discussed, was how to make money (because at that time we didn't have business model), but now thanks to the mentorships, we are currently testing our first business model to see if it works. And we have two more business models to come.
VC: How are things going with your company now? Do you have any exciting news we can help you share?
FC: Things are going great! Two months ago, we were acquiring 10 new users per day. Now we are at 30, and because of SEO more traffic is coming to our website (2,100 visits per week). And we are currently working on turning those users into paying users. We also met a designer through YLAI, and she is helping us with our branding and social media management.