Meet GES Delegate: Paolo de Guzman

Name: Paolo de Guzman
Twitter handle: eikaiwaNOWapp
Country of Origin: USA
Organization Name: eikaiwaNOW
Organization Website: http://www.eikaiwanow.com/

Brief Description of Organization
eikaiwaNOW is a GPS-based smartphone application that connects English Conversation Students and Teachers. This smartphone App features real-time Teacher location mapping, search, user ratings and direct messaging for instant lesson requests and lesson reservations. eikaiwaNOW makes finding English Conversation Lessons fast, easy, and reliable!

What inspired you to start this organization?
My ultimate goal as an entrepreneur is to create a successful service that is also socially impactful. I believe that eikaiwaNOW has this potential by empowering English learning students in Japan, through technology, with an easy, convenient and affordable way to improve and practice their English with a native speaker in person and on demand.

I’ve lived in Japan for 14 years and I’ve come to realize that it is essential for Japanese as a whole to improve their English speaking skills in order to be competitive in the Global Economy. I’ve been working hard over the last 2 years to address this issue and to bring the eikaiwaNOW service to life. I am hoping that you and your colleagues can help share the same vision with me.

What is the next big step you hope to help your organization reach?
Our next goal is to secure 10,000 students by the end of the year.

What has been your biggest obstacle as an entrepreneur?
The biggest obstacle when creating a new product for an entrepreneur is educating their market about their product. We want English learners to realize how important it is to practice English conversation with a native speaker. Many Japanese study English in school, university, private study, etc. but when they try to speak with a foreigner, they can barely communicate. Japanese can read, write and even listen, but they cannot communicate in English because they don’t practice speaking. eikaiwaNOW provides the missing link for Japanese to become fluent English speakers.

What advice would you give other emerging entrepreneurs?
I would tell other emerging entrepreneurs 3 things before they start.

  1. Make sure you have the financial capital to last at least one year. If you can’t, don’t even start.
  2. Build a Team as soon as possible. (1 person is not enough)
  3. Plan on spending more resources on marketing than developing your product/services.