written by Krystel Bendahan
Three new startups admitted to the Americas’ Growth program.
New year, new teams! LessonBee, TusDatos and Explorest join TheVentureCity’s Growth Acceleration program at the Americas. These newcomers are a great example of diversity. Their solutions include personalised health education, best places for photoshoots and real-time individual background checks.
LessonBee, the EdTech company from the USA that’s reinventing the health class experience with culture-responsive adaptive digital curriculum delivered via a cloud-based reflective learning system. “We recognize that healthy students behave better and perform better academically, and that when students see themselves reflected in their lessons, their outcomes improve” says founder and CEO, Reva McPollom. “We deliver culturally responsive health and sex education for every student. We’re the first EdTech company to apply these insights to a scalable learning solution that works for teachers, parents, schools and districts.”
About joining TheVentureCity, Reva states: “As a minority and women-led business, we immediately saw synergies between our vision and TheVentureCity’s commitment to help diverse founders achieve global impact. We look forward to partnering with them through their Growth Program.”
Speaking of sharing knowledge, Explorest is all about igniting inspiration. Every day, billions of people are inspired by beautiful photos of unique places around the world. However, these places are hard to find — countless time is wasted researching and wading through crowdsourced advice littered with inaccuracies (e.g. on Yelp, TripAdvisor, blog posts). Explorest helps people discover the world’s greatest places by hand-curated reliable, comprehensive photography and travel insights. The platform leverages on consolidated wisdom from world-class photographers and travel experts. It helps them monetize their location-based expertise.
What stood out the most for us was the team’s versatility. Justin co-founded Vietnam’s 1st digital bank. Grant is passionate about data analytics and a whiz at optimizing digital ad campaign. Michael is a professional photographer who travels the world shooting for clients such as Chrysler, Jeep, Fiat, Nike and Nikon.
In the words of CEO Justin Myers: “At the outset of the application process I knew TheVentureCity was distinctively special compared to other growth programs. Their deal team carefully evaluated our execution, asked challenging and thoughtful questions, and sought to understand the nuances of our business—they genuinely wanted to learn about the opportunity we’re tackling. Their deep understanding of our business and its potential, combined with working directly with their best-in-class team experts across key areas of our business, positions Explorest to level-up faster—and smarter—than we could have alone. As a portfolio company, we feel part of something special. Together, we are excited for what’s ahead.”
“Tell us your ID and we’ll tell you who you are”
Last but not least, all the way from Colombia comes TusDatos. This startup offers automated background checks in less than 60 seconds. To launch a check all you need is the person’s national ID or their name. Founders Santiago Hernández and David Vásquez are experienced in information security and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) management. They are looking to adapt their product to meet the needs of international markets. It is currently colombian-focused.
“Building startups is hard, doing it from Latin America is even harder. With TheVentureCity we will have a better shot of achieving our goals by implementing proven growth methodologies and empowering our product with data driven decisions.” says Santiago.
With these new additions to the team, we start 2020 with a stronger bet on data-driven startups.