Empowering young generations through tech and code. ft. Maria del Mar Vélez, Ep 23

The working environment is undergoing a rapid and exhilarating change and you do not want to be left behind.

On How to be the Difference, we help you navigate in and around the intricacies of this new and exciting era, providing the latest career advice from leading industry experts. As the demand for tech-savvy professionals rapidly increases, “the world is your oyster…” has never rang truer, from remote teams and online working platforms to task automation.

If you are looking to begin your career, secure that promotion, find the right role to suit your family’s needs or identify better ways to attract and retain top talent for your company, look no further as we tackle the ever-evolving nature of the working environment, and its future.

Hosted by Talanta’s very own, our Co-founder and Head of Impact, Johanna Molina and Head of Experience, Paul Lynskey.

Cracking the code of education in Latin America

In this episode of How to be the Difference, Johanna and Paul sit down with María del Mar Vélez to talk about Crack the Code, the startup she founded to empower the future generations of Latin America through tech and code. Crack the Code is a computer science academy that offers courses and workshops in programming, educational robotics, video game development and filming for children. 

Although she was born in Medellín, Colombia, María del Mar spent her childhood and teenage years in Costa Rica. She then had the opportunity to attend college at the New York University, where she studied Economics and Business. After graduating, she started working at JP Morgan, where she stayed 6 years on a journey that was foundational to who she is now: a brilliant entrepreneur with a solid work ethic. But after this training that was critical for her career, she moved to Lima, Peru, where a new chapter of her life began. She was ready to be an entrepreneur, and she had all the tools needed to found her own startup: Crack the Code.

In conversation with Johanna and Paul, María del Mar gives us a lesson on what the future of education looks like. She especially highlights how coding is going to be for Latin American young students the next fundamental step towards opening doors to a multitude of opportunities, just as the English language is currently. Also, they talked about the barriers that still exist in Latin America regarding how parents view the importance of forming their children on technology. Another very interesting topic that was discussed is how the edtech industry is changing in the region, and why it is becoming more and more relevant.

To learn more about amazing internship opportunities, check out Talanta’s website.

Outline of this episode:

  • [02:48] – Who is María del Mar Vélez? 
  • [03:32] – María del Mar’s background
  • [05:30] – A family of entrepreneurs
  • [07:50] – The importance of counting with discipline and a work ethic
  • [10:15] – Creating a startup in Peru
  • [13:15] – The transition to a pandemic 
  • [16:12] – Crack the Code’s success
  • [18:40] – The coding gender gap
  • [22:20] – Kaszek’s investment in the startup
  • [24:26] – The future of edtech industry
  • [27:23] – Goals for 2022 
  • [29:25] – María del Mar’s advice to entrepreneurs
  • [31:52] – Cracking the code one step at a time

Resources and people mentioned:

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