In 2016, the University of Notre Dame welcomed 14 YLAI Professional Fellows from 12 different Latin American or Caribbean countries to campus and the greater Michiana region.
Andrea Donoso created the company DiagnoChrome, a spin-off from the University of Concepción, which is dedicated to the production of diagnostic kits for agricultural plant pathogens. Andrea studied Plant Biotechnology Engineering and has a Master's Degree in Forestry Sciences. She started working in the biotechnology center of the University of Concepción on projects related to the genomics of plant resistance to biotic and abiotic stress.
Vladimir Ducon is an electric engineer and the founder of Dinamov Soluciones Renovables, a Colombian company that designs and implements photovoltaic solar systems. The company also develops hardware and software platforms that provide information and data about how homes and businesses consume electric energy. This platform helps to identify energy waste and inform consumers. Dinamov has won local competitions such as Fondo Emprender SENA and BIOEXPO Colombia.
Gui Franco is the founder of [un]tourism, a platform to connect travelers from around the world with local communities for authentic and immersive experiences. He has previously provided consulting services to NGOs, the government, and impact businesses. He has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Fundação Getulio Vargas and a degree in Public Relations from the University of São Paulo.
Daniella Garcia is the Founder and CEO of Elemental, the first tech training center in Bolivia that is focused on preparing and motivating kids, teens, and young people to become tech creators instead of just consumers. Daniella is an active member of the Google Developer community in Bolivia, where she started Women Techmakers La Paz, a program that provides visibility, community, and resources for women in technology. Daniella studied Computer Science at San Simon University. She has focused on developing her skills in Front End Development and UX Design. With 8 years of experience in software development during which she co-founded several tech startups, Daniella was able to combine tech training and education. She enjoys being a frequent speaker in tech and entrepreneurship events.
Francisco González is the co-founder of Tu Cleta, an online shop for restored vintage bicycles that aims to contribute to environmental sustainability and urban mobility efficiency in Nicaraguan cities. Tu Cleta also takes pride in promoting local talented technicians and artisans. Francisco studied Architecture at the Universidad Centroamericana in Nicaragua and has a Master´s Degree in Sustainable Architecture from the Instituto Politécnico Nacional in Mexico. He also works as a college professor in architectural design and is a partner in a consulting firm.
Ramón González de la Calle
Ramón González de la Calle graduated in 2008 as a Computer Sciences Engineer and worked for a couple of years in the software development industry for IT companies in Cuba. For the last 6 years he has been developing web applications as a freelancer for clients in Spain and Latin America. He is the founder of ESDCuba which aims to offer monthly community meet-ups for entrepreneurs and software developers in Havana, Cuba. Their goal is to create an evolving community of entrepreneurs and technologists that solve societal problems using digital tools and innovative solutions.
Lynworth Mitchell is the CEO and Founder of the Caribbean-based videography-media company known as Myst.Productionz (BrBpTV), which started in 2010. Lynworth turned his passion towards showcasing events and talented individuals who make a positive impact in their environment through the use of videography via MystProductionz and media via BrBpTV. BrBpTV stands for Be Real Be Positive Television and showcases real individuals doing positive things through Entertainment, Nature, Culture, and Individualism. MystProductionz utilizes the art-form of videography to produce videos in the public eye, such as music videos and live performances, as well as for private events, such as weddings. Lynworth has a Bachelor’s Degree in Small Business and Entrepreneurship and won the Most Outstanding Youth in Media by the National Youth Council of Dominica for 2015-2016.
Karla Pacheco is the director of the Cocrea Creative Agency which specializes in innovation consulting and strategic communication. The agency creates digital strategies with the intent that communication leads to a closer relationship with the brand. Karla is a Graphic Designer with a Master’s Degree in Research for Design and Innovation.
John Paul Arvelo
is the President of Servicios de Seguridad y Resguardo, which provides security services and guarantees the protection of their clients and property. He previously served as legal counsel for Fundacion Ninos Wayuu, which designs and develops programs to provide social and legal assistance. He has a Master's Degree from the Faculty of Law and Political Science at the Universidad del Zulia.
Alejandra Pinto is an artist and founder of Reencuentros.co, an arts webpage that examines Salvadorian art created during the armed conflict. Alejandra hopes to encourage the art scene in El Salvador by promoting cultural projects and enhancing art education in the region. She has a B.A in Visual Arts and Urbanisation from New York University in Abu Dhabi. Alejandra is also a member of the Global Shapers Hub and works as a design professor at the Universidad José Matías Delgado.
Paola Prieto is the CEO and Founder of Enterprising Youth, a company aimed at empowering entrepreneurial ventures of young adults by providing key knowledge about founding and developing a successful company through courses and conferences. The company also serves as a bridge to unite those companies with potential investors. Paola has a Law Degree from the Universidad Rafael Urdaneta in Maracaibo, Venezuela.
Germán Santillan Ugarte
Germán Santillan Ugarte is the CEO and Founder of Oaxacanita Chocolate, a company which strives for the economic development of the Oaxacan Mixteca by hiring artisan cooks and palm craftsmen and by using local raw materials. Thanks to this project, Germán jumpstarted the cultivation of cacao to provide jobs to regional farmers and reactivate the Oaxacan field. In 2014, Germán completed his Business Science degree at the Tecnological University of the Mixteca, and in 2015 won the performance award of national academic excellence presented by EGEL CENEVAL. Germán is also the Finance Director of Sanfri Refrigeración Comercial, a company that provides industrial equipment to the food industry. He is the External Communications Manager for the Iluminarte Espacio Creativo art gallery, which is a non-profit organization that helps local visual artists of the Mixteca to maximize their potential.
Melina Torres Funes
Melina Torres Funes comes from a family of journalists and has always been influenced by social, cultural, and political topics. She studied architecture in Mexico and returned to Honduras following graduation to work with a private construction company. Melina studied urban design in Barcelona and began to create her own business, El Taller, in 2015. El Taller creates products, manages projects, and generates innovative proposals about social, historical, cultural, and artistic topics.
Santiago Yelmini co-founded LATIO 6, a growing Latin American community of entrepreneurs designed to help startup founders to overcome the implementation challenges they face when going from an idea to a reality. Programs aim to raise the success rate of new ventures during the pre-acceleration phase of the entrepreneurial process. He works as a Coordinator of Open Innovation Processes at the National Undersecretariat of Public Innovation and Open Government of Argentina. He holds an Industrial Engineering Degree from the Austral University.