Hi, I am a programmer, teacher and entrepreneur. I love creating internet products that improve people ‘s lives.
If you have the time, continue reading to know more about my experience. If you rather want to check my LinkedIn profile, please go ahead.
I was born in Bogotá, Colombia. Colombia with “o" not “u". My grand father from my father’s family was Lebanese, that’s why I have this non Colombian name.
When I was a teenager I loved computers, video games, philosophy and playing instruments. I remember that I used to go to the Luis Angel Arango library in Bogotá to study HTML, CSS, and MySQL from books, yes, from books, I didn’t even had a computer back then (early 2000’s).
I graduated in Colombia from a business School, but to be honest, I spent most of the time studying logic, philosophy, and anthropology, mainly from what is now days related to user research and how to apply it to create products and experiences.Europe, data, machine learning, and my first IT business
In my early 20’s I moved to Europe and worked at Dell Computers. I also did an MBA. This experiences helped me realize that what I liked the most was technology and how it could serve people to improve their lives.
Paradoxically, the best teacher I have ever had in the business strategy field, had an undergraduate degree in philosophy, not business. At the time he was my teacher, he was also the main strategy adviser of an important retail firm in Europe. I will always thank him to introduce me in the world of conceptual thinking. Thanks Manuel!
Trying to strengthen my skills in the technology field, I moved to France, where I studied a Master in the field of Data Science and Machine Learning. At that time, around 2008, my work for the master was mainly focused on how to capture, classify, visualize and make decisions based on data.
My studies in that field helped me create and sell my first product that turned into a business. A simple solution to capture and visualize data that served small businesses and universities to make decisions.
After selling my first business, and visiting different countries with the purpose of expanding my vision of the world while interacting with several cultures, I came back to Colombia with the willing of supporting the largest amount of people I could.Helping people, my mantra for the following years
I wanted to help people the right way, so I decided to prepare my self on education. I enrolled in a short course from Harvard with professor David Perkins, which taught me the Teaching for Understanding education approach. From that moment on, I discovered I loved education, and how it is a great way to help others. (Additionally I started studying "learn how to learn", and started following Barbara Oakley approach)
As I wanted to help people in an efficient way, I decided to work close to the main universities in Colombia. After that, I decided to come back to Europe, but the Colombian Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies invited me to co-create with a great team what today is known as Apps co, the largest IT entrepreneurship program in the region and the one that kicked off the entrepreneurship mindset of thousands of Colombian entrepreneurs - along with other initiatives executed by great people from other Colombian institutions like Innpulsa, SENA, and the MInistry of Commerce - .
By this time, early 2012, I met Bob Dorf, Steve Blank and Alex Osterwalder, who helped us improve the Apps.co program. From this point until today, Bob became my mentor, friend, and business partner for some endeavors around LATAM. Thanks Bob!
I invested a year travelling around the country helping entrepreneurs and institutions to strengthen their entrepreneurship mindset and skills.
After that fulfilling experience, I invested almost 2 years working in Colombia and other countries like Mexico and Brasil.
I helped entrepreneurs from different accelerators and several corporations that started to implement innovation methodologies to launch new internet products to the market (Google, Telefónica, Stone, among others)My new adventure: EdTech and Software as a Service
After this amazing experience helping people getting their projects done, in 2014 I decided to create a platform to help all those who wanted to learn how to start something from nothing. I wanted to write the code and create the content myself.
My coding skills by early 2014 were mainly related to what you need to work in high intensity data manipulation, but poorly related to web development. I started looking for the best place to learn web development in Colombia, based more in the experience of the mentors rather than the certifications or diplomas, and I am so grateful that I met German Escobar, the person who has became my friend and business partner for the last decade.
Germán Escobar started Make It Real in 2014, after creating and making grow his other business, the largest SMS communications company in Colombia and Perú.
For me, he was the reliable person to learn from about web development. My thought at that time was : “He is not only a great programmer, but also an entrepreneur who knows by experience in the field how to deploy products to production that need to support millions of interactions in real time ". I decided to learn web development from him.
I became a business partner at Make It Real. After graduating from its first training batch, I created Innovation Lessons, a platform used for thousands of early entrepreneurs in LATAM, and later with German we created ConvertLoop, - at the beginning because we needed it for Make It Real - (I will write an article sharing the ConvertLoop experience and how we tried to avoid a "market street fight").
Being partners at ConvertLoop and Make it Real, we decided I will focused on ConvertLoop and he will keep his attention on Make It. Late 2019, after 4 years of hard work, we sold to a corporation the advanced data analysis and smart segmentation algorithms we wrote for Convertloop.
Today, I dedicate my time to teach and create products and experiences for EdTech. I write code for personal projects at least 4 hours a day, and I will share my previous and upcoming experiences on this blog.
Thanks for reading,
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May 8 2021