By Nancy Dahlberg
Martin Claure is founder and CEO of Aprende Institute, a fast-growing online education platform focused on skills retraining that serves the Latin American and US Hispanic markets. This week he joined the global ranks of “Endeavor Entrepreneurs.”
Claure was selected in Endeavor Global’s International Selection Panel Tuesday, which was held virtually, Endeavor Miami announced today. Endeavor Entrepreneurs become part of the global network of Endeavor, an entrepreneurship organization focused on helping selected high-impact entrepreneurs scale up to drive economic growth and job creation. Endeavor Entrepreneurs receive services that include mentorship and access to capital, global markets and talent.
Endeavor will bring “a more structured and formal channel to meet other high-impact entrepreneurs, other successful and influential, well-connected folks in the region, to help me build Aprende,” Claure said Tuesday. “My mission in life to build this company into the biggest learning brand in the Spanish speaking world and a lot of that is surrounding myself with folks who have gone through this before and can share insights and help with specific challenges that I face as I build the business.”
In 2019, Claure launched Miami-based Aprende Institute, which integrates technology and digital media with instructor-led classroom activities, providing its students a flexible and customized learning experience, while tracking and monitoring students' progress.
And it’s working. Aprende Institute places a unique focus on fast reskilling, and 60% of learners report an increase in income and 90% report an increase in quality of life after completing a program with Aprende Institute.
Aprende offers online courses across five schools: Culinary Arts, Business & Entrepreneurship, Trade Skills, Beauty & Fashion, and Wellness. Students learn entrepreneurial skills too. “We don’t just teach them new skills, we teach them how to monetize them,” Claure said in a December interview with Refresh Miami.
More than 30,000 students are currently enrolled in classes, and pay an average of $200 for its trainings, which are typically 3 months, Claure said. Recently the company added shorter master classes to its offerings, 30 to 60 minutes of very practical, relevant continuous education. Aprende has also expanded with a B2B division, starting to work with enterprises for the first time.
The company grew by 50% so far this year, and it has about 200 employees throughout LatAm and the US. It recently hired a VP of learning from Western Governors University, well-known for its innovations in competency-based online education. Aprende has raised $5.2 million in venture capital, including a Series A in October 2020 for $3.5 million.
This Endeavor Entrepreneur is also a serial entrepreneur, which shouldn’t be a surprise because entrepreneurship clearly runs in his family, with Marcelo Claure of SoftBank being his brother. Martin Claure got his start working out Brightstar, founded by Marcelo, then moved on to his own ventures, including founding and selling a fintech in Peru and a lithium and cleantech ETF called LIT. More recently, he founded an online cooking school called Gastronomica, the precursor of the much bigger Aprende.
“Endeavor seeks to support high impact entrepreneurs with companies that have the ability to scale and transform communities, and we believe Martin and Aprende Institute have that potential,” said Claudia Duran, managing director of Endeavor Miami. “Passing through our International Selection Panel is not an easy process and is indicative of the potential Martin and Aprende Institute have to generate impact.”
Endeavor’s ISP is the culmination of a rigorous, multi-step selection process where panels composed of global business leaders and investors interview candidates about their business traction, leadership potential and timing to further scale. Those chosen must receive a unanimous vote.
Endeavor Miami launched in September 2013, with Knight Foundation support, as the first U.S. affiliate of Endeavor Global. Endeavor Miami’s entrepreneurs generated close to $340 million in revenues and over 3,000 jobs in South Florida in 2020. Endeavor Miami currently supports 22 companies and 39 entrepreneurs.
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