Eduardo 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.
***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.
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!