Community Leader Spotlight: Eduardo Rocha

XW3JXCvl_400x400Eduardo Rocha is a 24-year-old Brazilian. He organizes global Startup Weekend events and believes that entrepreneurship and education are the key to changing the world.

Rocha is a VC Analyst at Triaxis Capital. He prospects startups for investment. He also monitors and accelerates the company to make sure it grows profitable.

Find him on Twitter: @dudurocha
Using his favorite hashtagL #tbt
Or on the web: http://www.triaxiscapital.com/

***Read about Rocha’s Startup Weekend Edu Youth Recife event. For the first time, outside the US, young people set up educational startups in 54 hours.

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What do you like to do for fun?
Read, talk to different people, and travel with my girlfriend.

If you could have any teacher (dead or alive, real or fictional) who would it be and why?
Bill Gates. Because he achieved so much success as an entrepreneur, making sure billions of people have access to technology. He is also a philanthropist, helping millions of people get out of poverty and enabling the cure of many deadly diseases.

What’s your favorite edtech company and/or innovative school, and why?
Joystreet. They make education more fun providing educational games to the public schools of Brazil.

How did you discover Education Entrepreneurs (EE)?
When Gerson, Luiz and Hiro brought it to Recife. I was glad to help.

What’s been your involvement in EE to date?
I’ve been a Facilitator and a volunteer.

What’s the most challenging thing about being an Organizer (and/or Facilitator)?
Guiding all the participants to work efficiently together. Educators sometimes don’t have the urgency and mindset of an entrepreneur.

What’s the most rewarding thing about being an Organizer (and/or Facilitator)? Empowering teachers and educators. Encouraging them that they have what it takes to be an entrepreneur and that they are the only one who can truly change education.

What’s the biggest piece of advice you would give to those trying to build an education innovation community?
As Community Leaders our goal is to make sure everybody gets to know each other. So I think coordinating meetups, pitch nights, and  happy hours is a great addition. Plus, making sure you have a communication tool that is easy for everybody to get in touch, a facebook group or slack group.

What’s the biggest piece of advice you would give to people trying to create edtech products?
Don’t forget the educators. IT people tend to think that the only thing that matter is the platform they are building, but education is about methods, the computer or tablet is just a new tool to deliver the same message.

What’s different about a SWEDU Youth Edition than a regular SWEDU?
Kids have so much energy! There are two great differences. First one: kids don’t come as a developer, designer or non-tech, they decide themselves what they want to be during the event. Also, the mentors have an even more important role in this event, they have to be with the young entrepreneurs all the time, make sure they are on schedule and focused, and have to be cautions to not make things for them, only guide them.

For those Organizers who may want to do a SWEDU Youth Edition in their community, what are the three biggest pieces of advice you’d give them?

  • Get a school or organization to help you. It’s a great way to get the confidence of the parents and to raise some funds.
  • Choose your mentors wisely – they must really know the mission of Startup Weekend, and be willing to spend the weekend with other peoples kids.
  • Let the kids have fun! Keep the energy up.

What’s the legacy you want to leave in education?
I want to make sure everybody in Brazil is able to have a great education.

Finish the sentence: In my dream world, education would ____
Free, Engaging and Universal.

What are the books, events, videos, etc. that you think anyone interested in innovating in education and/or building community should check out?
Event: SW Edu.
Video: Salma Khan’s Ted Talks 
Book: Abundance by Peter Diamand is essential to understanding the impact of new technologies in different fields, including education.

Anything else you’d like to share?
Being an Organizer and Facilitator of Startup Weekend has changed my life and gave me the opportunity to change the lives of others. If you have the chance, get involved as early as you can and make a difference in your community!








Community Leader Spotlight: Gerson Ribeiro

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Gerson Ribeiro is a passionate entrepreneur and Startup Weekend Education Organizer from Brazil. He loves to meet new people and believes high-quality education, made available to everyone, is the only way to change the world.

Ribeiro is the founder of Olho de Anjo, which helps companies market online, develop business goals and with investment in early stage startups.

Find him on twitter: @gersonrfr
Using his favorite hashtag: #EdtechRevolution
Or on the web: www.olhodeanjo.com.br

***Read about Ribeiro’s Startup Weekend Edu Youth Recife event. For the first time, outside the US, young people set up educational startups in 54 hours.

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What do you like to do for fun?
Longboarding and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

If you could have any teacher (dead or alive, real or fictional) who would it be and why?
Steve Jobs. The man was hard to behave but was simply a genius and inspired millions of people to innovate and to create a better world.

What’s your favorite edtech company and/or innovative school, and why?
Duolingo. Their business model is simply beautiful and genius. They translate the internet for a fraction of the price at the same time that gives high quality language training FOR FREE! Amazing!

How did you discover Education Entrepreneurs (EE)?
After my first Startup Weekend I heard about Education Entrepreneurs and wanted to participate in a Startup Weekend Edu. Although, it would be too hard to travel far away to participate. So I thought: Why don’t I organize one in my city? The rest is history.

What’s been your involvement in EE to date?
I’ve helped organize a Startup Weekend Edu event in my city and Facilitated the last Startup Weekend Edu Youth we had. Amazing experience.

What’s the most challenging thing about being an Organizer (and/or Facilitator)?
Finding the sponsors for the events. For sure.

What’s the most rewarding thing about being an Organizer (and/or Facilitator)?
We are never going to be able to fully measure the impact entrepreneurial events will have for the future. It’s going to be a ripple effect that will echo thru time in an exponential reach. Thousands and maybe millions of people will be positively changed because of every event. This is amazing! Knowing that you’ve changed peoples lives for better is simply priceless.

What’s the biggest piece of advice you would give to those trying to build an education innovation community?
Start organizing small and periodical events. Monthly meetups are very good to spark and getting out of inertia.

What’s the biggest piece of advice you would give to people trying to create edtech products?
Providing free content. If you are trying to sell content know that you’re competing with free youtube videos. Think about your business model and validate it right now. NOW!

You just launched the first ever SWEDU Youth Edition outside of the United States – congrats! Why did you decide to do it?
When I was young, I remember my teachers telling me that we would be the future leaders, the future of our nation and of the world. The time has come.

What’s different about a SWEDU Youth Edition than a regular SWEDU?
It was hard to keep kids on track. During a regular SWEDU the adults will be by themselves, that doesn’t work in a Youth event. The dedicated coaches are essential for the event. Without them it is impossible to keep the kids in track.

For those Organizers who may want to do a SWEDU Youth Edition in their community, what are the three biggest pieces of advice you’d give them?

  • Find dedicated coaches that know about business and that can manage kids. That’s not easy to find.
  • Have 3 workshops: development, business and design for Saturday. The workshops must be direct to the point and something the kids can use right away for their startups.
  • Don’t be soft with the kids. They must learn time pressure and working hard for reaching specific goals.

What’s the legacy you want to leave in education?
I want to help education be accessible for everybody. I’m certain that edtech companies will find clever business models that will make this possible. Imagine there was an edtech company as big as Google? This would be something interesting to see.

Finish the sentence: In my dream world, education would ____
be accessible to everybody.

What are the books, events, videos, etc. that you think anyone interested in innovating in education and/or building community should check out?

Books:
Lean Startup – Eric Ries
The Startup Owner’s Manual – Steve Blank
Business Model Generation
The Art of the Start 2.0 – Guy Kawasaki    <—— Awesome and straight to the point
Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City – Brad Feld

Events:
Meetups
Demo Days
Startup events in general
Startup Weekends

Videos:
How to Startup a Startup (6 video course) – YCombinator
How body language shapes who you are (important for the entrepreneur) – Amy Cuddy

Anything else you’d like to share?
I believe the only way we can change the world is by providing global access to quality education. Today, we finally have the tools and infrastructure to make change possible. I’m certain that Education Entrepreneurs will find genius business models, ideas and innovation. The Edtech Revolution has started.








Community Leader Spotlight: Deborah Chang

 
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One-line bio

I am an educator and entrepreneur.

Find me in…

New York City

Find me on…

LinkedIn | Twitter | The Huffington Post

Favorite Twitter Hashtag
#nycedu

Website
www.debryc.com

Day Job
Co-Founder, Nexus Works

One-liner, describing your work
I support early stage education companies entering the NYC market by consulting on their product, organization design, and business development strategy.

What you like to do for fun?
This weekend, I went rock climbing, read a book about dragons, and went on a scavenger hunt. Basically, the more adventurous the activity, the better. I also have a slightly unhealthy obsession with Reddit.

How did you discover Education Entrepreneurs?
Nihal ElRayess organized an Idea Competition for Teach For America corps members and alumni. The winners were sponsored to attend a Startup Weekend Education in the Bay Area. Because of her, my startup idea partner, Jamie Lonie, and I were able to pitch and lead a team at that Startup Weekend Education. I think that experience for completely changing my life and giving me an opportunity to meet my first mentors in the education innovation space.

What’s been your involvement in Education Entrepreneurs to date?
I’m a three-time Organizer of Startup Weekend NYCEDU. Join us if you can on March 27th for the fourth annual event!

What’s the most challenging thing about being an Organizer?
I feel the pressure to ensure that each event is as well-organized as it possibly can be.

What’s the most rewarding thing about being an Organizer?
I know that I’m changing lives every time I organize an event. It’s a fantastic feeling.

What’s the biggest piece of advice you’d give to those trying to build community?
Find good people, establish common purpose, and do excellent work. Community is but the sum of the micro interactions that come from these three things.

What’s the biggest piece of advice you’d give to people trying to create edtech products?
Solve for a real pain point. It’s the big problems that need solutions. So find a problem worth solving and the team capable of solving it, and you’ll be 90% of the way there.

What’s the legacy you’d like to leave in the education space?
I’d like to look back and see a thriving education community that believes in “give before you get,” children first, and collaborative problem solving. 

What’s your favorite edtech company or innovative school, and why?
I started my teaching career at KIPP Academy Middle School in Houston, Texas. It is a school filled with people who are simply exemplary human beings, and their love for the children in their care permeates every interaction. The belief I have in the power of education to change the world comes directly from my experience in the halls and classrooms of KIPP Academy.

Finish the sentence: In my dream world, education would ____
…be accessible to every child so that he or she can make the most of his or her inborn potential.

What are the resources or events that you think anyone interested in innovating in education and/or building community should check out?
Check out the Nexus Works Professional Development Board to see our recommend readings and videos. Principles from these books form the core of what we do!

Anything else you’d like to share?
If you’re someone who’s looking to move into education technology, take the leap! There are all sorts of ways to get involved, from within the classroom to outside. While this post — Help! I’m a Teacher…How Do I Get Into Education Technology? — was written for teachers, it can be just as applicable to you. Take a look, and, good luck!

 

More about Education Entrepreneurs

Education Entrepreneurs is the largest initiative in the world focused on helping people use entrepreneurship to improve education. Its suite of offerings include Startup Weekend Education, Startup Digest Education, Workshops, online resources, and a global network of Community Leaders. Spanning six continents, Education Entrepreneurs has created an unprecedented opportunity for anyone, anywhere to shape the future of education.