Alejandro Lucero, CEO of MentorPick, believes there’s a lot yet to be done in order to make finding qualified experts in Latin America easy. He recently had the opportunity to be part of the initial Founder Institute class in Colombia and saw first-hand the value of mentors in, but realized that getting access to mentors and experts in the region was too time-consuming. That’s why, a few months ago, he and co-founders Leyla Bonilla and Julian Pinzón got together on their own and decided to tackle this problem head on with a new startup.
MentorPick is a site where users are able to request tutors or mentors in a variety of subjects including math and programming, among others. The team has grown to more than five people and MentorPick has already help program more than 500 classes. Revenues are still small, but growing and the team continues to employ Lean Startup methodologies to iterate the initial vision into something that they hope will continue to resonate with users.
MentorPick wants to become the place (website) where Latin Americans go to find classes, tutorials and classes from the best local instructors (remote tutoring may be on the horizon). Sites such as Tutor Hunt and others like it target offer this capability in other geographies, but MentorPick sees an opportunity for these services in Latin America.
Indeed, any innovation in the education space is certainly ripe for opportunity in Latin America. Aside from my own conversations with big players in this space looking for innovative startups in the region, countries such as Colombia are gaining recognition for the quality of their universities. Unfortunately, finding a plethora of fast growing education startups in Latin America on a par with players such as Open English is still not realistic.
This may be good news for players such as MentorPick. Though this startup is still in early innings and several more iterations are most probably in the cards. Tenacious entrepreneurs such as Lucero who are able to galvanize a team around a shared vision are the type of talented individuals that countries such as Colombia (which has a way to go in terms of a vibrant startup ecosystem) need to nurture.