Attorney-turned-entrepreneur found her place in the tech world. Meet Camille Levi, co-founder of Imperio Tech, a startup developing educational apps for kids. Its first product, Lallalandia, brings content in Portuguese, Spanish, French and English.
BayBrazil: You are an experienced lawyer and less than a year ago you co-founded Imperio Tech, a startup that develops educational apps for kids. Why did you decide to go into the tech industry focused on children’s content?
Camille: I have always been a tech enthusiast and a creative person. After finishing my Master Degree in Intellectual Property Law, I became even more interested in entrepreneurship especially for being in Silicon Valley. Since moving here, I have met many talented people engaged with design, technology, and business creation. One of them was Simone Ravel, a very talented designer and my partner at Imperio Tech. We became close friends and I would often visit her for lunch at Apple where she was working at the time. We are both moms and our conversations would many times come back to how hard it is to find high quality apps for kids, especially bilingual apps and in our native language Portuguese. This led us to work together and develop an app that would help kids learn while playing different activities; more precisely, an app that would make them curious about learning new languages and that did not have all those annoying ads or locks within the app.
BayBrazil: Tell us a bit about Lallalandia, the first app developed by your startup.
Camille: Lallalandia is an educational app that teaches numbers, colors, letters, shapes, good eating habits and help refine motor skills for children up to 5 years old. While teaching fundamentals to children, the app allows them to play in four different languages: Portuguese, Spanish, French and English. The languages can be easily changed in the main menu as many times as the parents want. Numerous research show that learning other languages during childhood improves reasoning and facilitates the assimilation of new subjects.
The app is recommended by respected professionals in the educational and pediatric fields. During the development phase of the app, we reached out to several professionals to make sure we were on the right path to create a product that could benefit young children. For example, we decided to insert only healthy food, such as fruits and vegetables, to encourage kids to find the tomato or broccoli fun before finding them tasty. Also, there are no ads or locks, so kids have full access to all features and activities. The app is universal and can be installed across all devices with one purchase.
BayBrazil: What is the next move for Imperio Tech?
Camille: Our goal is to keep creating intelligent and innovative apps. Lallalandia will have some new projects coming up (educational and for the same target audience), but more specific in terms of subjects. Also, we are working on a new video for our second song. The first one is already on our YouTube channel “Lallalandia” and it teaches kids how to count from one to ten in Portuguese.
BayBrazil: What are your expectations about your app’s performance in Brazil? How is Lallalandia progressing there?
Camille: We are very excited to see that most of our downloads are in Brazil, our home country. I think that is the result of having multiple languages, especially Portuguese. Many kids in Brazil play with American apps because there aren’t enough educational Brazilian apps. That is one of the main reasons we decided to have the activities set up in a way that, if the parents or the child wishes to change the language, it is easier to learn. We have been highlighted in a prestigious Brazilian website called “Constance Zahn|Babies & Kids”, and featured in the website “Great Apps for Kids” and in a prestigious Brazilian blog called “Real Maternidade”.
BayBrazil: Your startup aims to offer “useful and intelligent apps for kids”. What is your vision regarding the educational use of technology for the little ones? Is there a limit that should be imposed by parents?
Camille: I believe technology can be a great ally in education. Everyday more and more technological tools are coming up to help improve learning. However, like everything in life, it is all about balance. Parents need to be aware of how much time their kids are spending using tablets and the quality of what they are being exposed to. Each family should think carefully about finding a limit to what looks reasonable to them and mix different kinds of activities in their child’s routine, preferable including sports, music and arts. If your child is going to use the tablet, make sure it is doing something interactive in addition to watching cartoons. It is really important to expose your child to things that will make them more curious about learning.
BayBrazil: How did you start your trajectory as an entrepreneur? Being in Silicon Valley has influenced you?
Camille: I started my trajectory as an entrepreneur years ago. Even though I was working as a lawyer, I found myself involved in different projects such as a fashion website and patenting a few of my own inventions. I have always had a creative, restless and entrepreneurial spirit. Being in the Silicon Valley influenced me a lot, as I was quite taken by this incredibly diverse environment with multiple transformational ideas that have revolutionized how we do things and interact with one another. More importantly was the fact that I felt that my restless mind had found the mother ship. It has had such an impact in my life that I decided to make a career change with something that united my Master Degree in Intellectual Property Law with my personality.
BayBrazil: What have you learned about entrepreneurship that you believe are key factors to pursue this risky career?
Camille: I learned that it is never too late to make a change and that is really important to find things that make you feel excited and curious as well as make you want to always improve. I see now that I was not really professionally fulfilled when I was working as a Lawyer. Today, I can say that it makes me feel really good to pursue something new and exciting such as launching a new app and working on my new products. I know that there is a lot more to come and I hope to be part of something that can have a social impact and help others in a near future, hopefully related to education for children.