Education Technology, or edtech, is a term used to describe the application of technology to facilitate learning and expand access to education.
Peruvian-born Enzo Cavalie works at Reach Capital, where he focuses on investment in early-stage edtech companies. He is, of course, an expert on the topic! The companies he invests in create tech tools, applications, content, and services geared towards improving access to educational opportunities.
In addition to working in the VC world, Enzo is also a founder himself. He started Startupeable, a platform dedicated to creating educational content in Spanish. The platform focuses on content about startups and venture capital in Latin America. One of the resources Startupeable produces is a podcast hosted by Enzo!
Enzo sat down with Johanna and Paul on an episode of The Intern Group’s podcast How to be the Difference. They talked about entering the venture capital world, the future of work, and top tips for success. You can listen to the full episode here.
The Venture Capital World
Enzo says he fell into venture capitalism almost by accident. He studied business and finance at university in Peru, but didn’t come from a family where people worked in technology.
Venture capital is a type of private financing that is focused on technology companies, usually startups. Within that industry there are different subsectors of investors, Enzo explains to Johanna and Paul. For example, Angel Investors, who invest their own money.
Enzo focuses on companies that create tools for teachers and students, as well as economic opportunities for a wider variety of people. His investments are primarily focused in the United States, but are beginning to expand internationally, including in Latin America.
Part of what education technology is doing is trying to bring entertainment into the classroom, to help students be more interested in their own learning, Enzo said. He pointed to the example of the popular language-learning app DuoLingo.
There’s a disconnect between the work world and the education world, and many edtech companies are focusing on bridging that gap, he said. We’ll probably see more platforms like Uber and delivery services appear in the next several years, Enzo said, because people with all types of skills want to work and earn money on their own terms. Flexibility is key, he explained.
Tools and platforms driven by technology and the internet are going to empower people to have that flexibility, Enzo said.
Skills to succeed in the 21st century
Enzo is of course an expert when it comes to success in the 21st century. After all, his job revolves around identifying technologies, ideas, and founders that will become the world’s most successful companies in the near future!
He laid out his top two pieces of advice for those who want to succeed in today’s workplace.
The first and most important thing for Enzo is curiosity. “Never stop learning.” In today’s world, once you stop learning, you’ll stop improving, and at some point, you’ll stop moving, he explains. A virtual internship or an internship in a destination like Latin America are fantastic options to boost your resume and continue your learning path. Things are changing quickly, in every industry and in every part of the world, and you have to be ready to change with it.
Enzo’s second piece of advice is to hone your communication skills. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to become the best public speaker, he said. Of course, communication abilities are often based on personalities. But it could mean honing your writing skills or negotiation skills.
In a world where there’s so much information, and especially in a remote world where there’s less personal contact, being able to communicate in a concise and also enjoyable way is key to success, Enzo said.