Despite the restrictions to international travel, Idea Foundry has continued to support international entrepreneurs over the past several months through virtual programming.
Idea Foundry participated in our 3rd year of hosting YLAI Fellows. In our first Fellowship for the 2021 cohort, we worked with Jessica Ochoa Cevallos, in Quito, Ecuador. Her company serves to empower Ecuadorian women to build their professional skills and manage their own businesses. We met with Jessica for 4 weeks of virtual mentorship in February, where we shared information about our own techniques to share entrepreneurial tools and learned about the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Quito. In March, we began with our second Fellow, Graybern Livingston from the island of San Andrés, Colombia. Graybern works with the Raizal ethnic community on the island to help them grow as leaders and entrepreneurs, through a variety of programs and support. We have recently wrapped up the virtual mentorship through the YLAI program, but are planning continued work with Graybern to jointly support young entrepreneurs from the Raizal and other islander communities. Stay tuned as we announce our further collaboration. As always, the YLAI program enabled us to work with talented young changemakers whose role in their communities allow them to affect and inspire many others and strengthen the development of their region.
In addition to the YLAI program, Idea Foundry has also completed a mentoring program in collaboration with the InBIA (USA) and various other partners in Latin America, for early stage Costa Rican entrepreneurs. We have been working with these entrepreneurs since June of 2020, and have followed their development over the last year, through bi-weekly meetings. Two of the companies working with us are Costa Rican consumer products companies, which have been working to expand in their home market over the last year and consider expansion into other markets as well. Two additional companies are idea-stage bio-innovation companies which have been developing and testing their products as well as considering their market segmentation, business model, and market entry strategies. It has been a journey following these companies over the course of the program and we are looking forward to their continued growth.
One positive outcome from the last year in pandemic has been the confirmation of our ability to work with companies virtually, especially those who are located in other parts of the world. Even as we emerge from the pandemic and travel becomes accessible again, we will continue to blend in-person and virtual programming to make our work accessible to a larger audience of global entrepreneurs. We are launching additional virtual programming targeted towards the earliest stages of the entrepreneurial process, providing a baseline of skills and tools to develop a viable business.