OUT

COMES

Hear it straight from our alumni

Our community have a wide variety of stories. They’ve come from law, finance, marketing, creative agencies and more. Some have gone on to found their own companies, some run personal brands and others have joined startups. What they all have in common is creating careers that align with their purpose.

CRAIG BOTHWELL

Entrepreneur

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise program?

I worked as a Carpenter by trade. I worked up more closely into Management and so before the program I was a Construction Manager here in the US, very early starts!

How has your career changed since graduating from Uprise Academy?

Right now I'm working on creating a co-operative recycling program for local restaurants and bars here in Florida. Ultimately, the recycling system needs to incentivise more recycling habits so hopefully I can create the solution. I'm researching and doing data collection, and then launching my pilot over the next few months. One key learning from the program actually is detaching my sense of self from the project. My attitude now, which I definitely learned on program, is that success or failure doesn't define me on this mission - so I feel relaxed, calm and at ease about the future!

What was the most surprising thing about your experience with UpriseAcademy?

For me, the most valuable thing about the program was creating an environment where you have time to really focus on yourself, on one thing. The thing is, life passes so quick that you so rarely have 3 months to just focus your energy on your direction, your career, your life. I found that so beneficial because I couldn't get sidetracked from other bullshit tasks. To have that space and time for myself, to be given the structure each day to work on my project kept me super proactive and productive. Also - I was surprised that I was able to use so much advise and guidance from the tribe on the program regarding my project. I learned the importance of a network, the importance of

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

I mean, my ultimate advice would be to just do it. Because the thing is, when something feels completely terrifying and your rational mind is telling you to 'be safe and stay in that corporate and keep earning that regular salary', then that's when you should definitely do it! Playing it safe doesn't create anything amazing, the risk is needed to develop the most.

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ANNA PAKOSC

Founder @ Stages of Limbo

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise program?

Before the program I was trying myself in different things, continuously learning new skills [Anna worked as both a Brand Manager and a Curator). I wanted to focus all the knowledge I have collected into a personal creation, but I lacked deadlines. What I needed was a frame where I can create, and people around me who are also creating, trying to make the most out of themselves.

How has your career changed since graduating from Uprise Academy?

It definitely gave me the discipline to set goals and go after them. Also, it taught me to not be shy to ask for support from others. After we came back from Africa, I have realized the project (A week-long artist retreat called Stages of Limbo) that I have started to work on during the Nomad. It was more difficult to proceed alone for sure, but I had some good foundations.

What was the thing that surprised you most after joining Uprise Academy?

I guess what surprised me the most was the different colors I saw in people during these three months. I really understood that talent has 100 faces, and it is all very inspiring and beautiful.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

I would say that it's a great opportunity to test yourself. It's a very intense environment with a lot of social interactions. If you have an idea of what your dream project is you can really get valuable input from people around you. It's like an inspirational forum to discuss ideas and grow as a human.

2019

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GWEN JETTAIN

Innovation Consultant

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise program?

I was working as a project manager in the corporate insurance industry. I felt that I wasn’t being intellectually challenged enough, and I had too many boundaries to operate within. Even though I had the freedom to choose how I would do something, the final product was already defined by someone else.

How has your career changed since graduating from Uprise Academy?

After graduating, I found a company based in Australia who are helping organisations to set up their operations in an adaptable, innovative and systematic way. Usually if you want to innovate in big corporations, you have to set up all these committees, it’ll take a few months, there has to be a budget and ultimately, it makes them slow.

In this case, the company wants to be able to help companies innovate a lot more efficiently. I’ll start working with them in October and I’m very excited. The company is called Adaptovate.

I’m very happy with where I’ve ended up. If I hadn’t done Nomad Academy, I probably would have chosen the easy way out and gone back to exactly what I did before.

What was the thing that surprised you most after joining Uprise Academy?

In my whole life, it’s been hard to find people I instantly connect with. I’ll be talking to someone from the tribe, and the conversation flows straight away.

If you feel like you can’t do what you want to do, then that means you need to change something about your life. You can always do what you want to do. It means sacrifices, choices, work, persistence but you can do it. Uprise Academy is a platform to make you realise this.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

If you’re ready to open up yourself and to other people, to discover who you really are, I would say this is the best experience you can do.

I would also say that if you’re planning on having a good time, then this isn’t for you. You will have a good time, but you won’t get a sense of what Uprise Academy is all about, where you can discover who you are through yourself and through the eyes of the community. You get out knowing much more about yourself than you did before.

2017

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JULIE DENG

Business Operations @ Honor

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise program?

I'd been working for large corporate brands for about 5 years and was starting to feel restless and jaded about the work and the bureaucratic nature of the industries I'd worked in. I was unfulfilled but didn't know where to go or what to do (apart from taking a very long holiday...but then coming back to this again). I felt trapped.

How has your career changed since graduating from Uprise Academy?

I was lucky that a lot of my cohort in Uprise Academy were very entrepreneurial and socially-minded, and they introduced me to the world of startups, tech, and enacting change through technology. I started to read and immerse myself in tech news, trends, people and the industry. I still didn't know what I wanted to do but I had found something that I truly enjoyed just learning about.

Fast forward 12 months and I am now working in San Francisco for Honor, a startup in the health and senior care space, and for a mission very close to my heart. Africa and the Uprise Academy was the turning point and ammunition I needed to go and build a life I actually wanted to live in.

What was the biggest lesson you learned after joining Uprise Academy?

The biggest gift the program gave me was the ability to trust in my own natural intuition and self. I realised the reason I was unfulfilled back home was because I'd built this life/ career that was based on others' expectations of me and that I'd been living for so many people besides myself. Africa was where I learnt, for the first time, to live for myself.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

Do your research - about the program, about yourself and about what you want out of it. I went into the program knowing I needed inspiration in my life and I found it. The Uprise program (as with much in life) will deliver what you decide to get out of it. There are multiple other programs out there which will give you skills and career development but for me, it was the travelling, the group of strangers-turned-lifelong friends, and the time/ freedom the Uprise Academy gave for me to play, to try and to remember what it's like to discover things you love that made it worth the world.


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RAFFAEL SKALNIK

Digital Marketing Consultant

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise program?

Before the program I was kind of lost in life. I didn't really know what to do, but I always knew I wanted to work on things that have meaning to me. As a little boy I remember thinking "this can't be it", just following the status quo. I didn't feel like I was on someone else's path. I didn't ask myself the right questions and didn't know how to listen to myself, which led me to feeling depressed. So I went on a personal journey and decided to quit my job when I found Nomad Academy. I realised that I could go left, stick to my path and do the things that everybody else was doing or go right, doing something different, jumping off the cliff and just trust the process. So I chose the right path.

How has your career changed since graduating from Uprise Academy?

I wouldn't have thought that I would make it this far in marketing. Before the program I didn't have a clue what digital marketing was and today I am surrounded by Germany's greatest marketers.

Eventually I want to become a coach, the current job I have fits into this bigger picture. I'm surrounded by people I never would have dreamed of being around. I'm allowed to work fully remote, working towards my bigger goal. It all started on the program, building a network and finding my first freelance work.

What was the thing that surprised you most after joining Uprise Academy?

As soon as I went on the program, things fell into place. My biggest learning was that I needed to take responsibility for my own life.

Before the program I was in a victim mindset, hoping that the program would solve something for me. But during the program I discovered that regardless of what the program might facilitate, I'm in charge of what might happen. I realised early on that I couldn't lean back, I had to take control. Going on the program was one of the best decisions of my life, it helped me take ownership of everything going on in my life.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

You probably have a lot of concerns about how it all will work out in the end. You probably have concerns, is this the right program? Is it worth the money? Will it deliver value?

But the fact that you are looking at this means this program probably has some meaning to you. So if that's what you feel, go for it and take full ownership. But... it was just the beginning of something that is bigger than I‘ve ever imagined before!

2019

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SARAH BEKKERING

Freelance Recruitment & Coaching

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise program?

I'd been working incredibly hard in recruitment for 5 years, working my way up from employee to leading a team to eventually running the entire department. However, I worked so hard that I completely lost contact with myself. So I decided to take a gap year to get back on track.

How has your career changed since graduating from Uprise Academy?

I went from being an employee to being a full time freelancer. That was something I really wanted. Until the trip I never made the time to actually select the right clients and convince them to work with me in a freelance capacity. Now I'm booked out for the rest of the year, working with clients I want to work with and who give me energy.

What was the most surprising thing about your experience with Uprise Academy?

What I learned is that I can fully trust myself, the trip was a massive confidence boost. On these trips you have to rely on yourself almost all the time, but I realised I could handle it all. Most surprising was that I was able to live with a big group of women haha.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

Input = Output. The results you get from the program very much so depend on what you decide to put into it. When you decide to go all in, the program will give you all the tools you need. If you don't take responsibility for your own goals the program won't solve this for you. You are your own savior.

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LAURENT DROGBA

Entrepreneur

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise program?

So I have a finance background, I worked 7 years as a Finance Manager in a consulting firm Paris and Dubai, and after I worked in an advertising company as the Head of Finance. I realised that I wanted to learn more about entrepreneurship, how entrepreneurs work and also their mindset. I needed to know how an entrepreneur goes from an idea to an actual business. So I found Nomad Academy and went for it!

How has your career changed since graduating from UpriseAcademy?

I am now creating a business to mentoring and lecturing young finance professionals and students and help them launch companies. I have some meetings today actually with a TV producer and start up company wanting to learn more about this project which is exciting'. I'm also working on another project which aims to provide on a local scale a platform for those both who promote a sustainable lifestyle and those who are seeking to be more sustainable in their lifestyle.

What was the thing that surprised you most after joining Uprise Academy?

Something I wasn’t expecting so much was the improvement in my self-development and personal growth, and I came away with a lot more confidence to make a business by pushing my limits. I found exactly what I was looking for. The course is aimed to give us the tools to create something from nothing, I didn’t know this before. I am now able to come up with a viable idea, develop this and then create a business. Yeah, and the amazing relationships with the rest of the community and the program directors was amazing. We realised after 1 or 2 weeks that we are all looking in the same direction and we created a really supportive environment to allow everyone to develop themselves.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

Just do it and apply! Because you are going to learn so much about yourself in a way you wouldn’t expect and that’s what I realised. I realised I was capable of way more than I thought. But you need to take the first step to apply. I really recommend it.

2019

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DEMI KOTSORIS

Startup Content Creator

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise program?

Before the program I was a content creator through and through, working full time as a Digital Marketing Manager for a Product Development company & Mining Innovation company in Melbourne. It was a very 9-5 kind of job. But I wanted a step back, take time and space to focus on my projects I was doing outside of this, to develop these ideas like working on my blog and podcast.

How has your career changed since graduating from Uprise Academy?

I've recently got a job at a digital nomad travel medical company, and I’ve been able to devote a lot more time to my podcast ‘The Millennial Crisis’ where I can chat with different people to discuss things like how to engage Millennials in the workplace and what they really want from their careers, and why there is a tendency for Millenials to struggle to engage at work and pick the ‘right’ career path.

What was the most surprising thing about your experience with Uprise Academy?

To be honest, the network of people and community throughout the whole program was the best, it surprised me how our whole group felt so together and supportive. Also the personal development I went through was such a big thing I didn’t expect. Particularly the first month was extremely valuable for me, the workshops and space to really assess my options and know what to focus on, if that makes sense? But definitely the network and tribe environment was just incredible, we were so good at pushing each other, working together, getting the best out of each other. Having people around you to support you was so valuable for me. To come away with an international network is something I never had, and to feel like I now understand different cultures and people - It felt like we were some sort of super team! My perspective is now that I strongly believe that when surrounded by the right people, you can literally achieve anything, that was I think, the biggest take away and definitely changed my perspectives.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

I would say to not think so much and just go for it. It honestly is this, go with the feeling you have. Don’t have too much of an expectation and go into it completely open-minded to get the most from it!

2018

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ARTEM TOLMACHEV

Business Owner

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise program?

I’ve been part of my family business (www.teddykids.nl) for the last 15 years helping to scale the business from 1 Daycare centre location to now 6 and still growing! Around 100 employees and over 500 kids a day! I studied at business at university and expanding my skills in UX Design was my new goal that helped me better support our Dev team in expanding our App (another part of the business). I have a young daughter and work is pretty much 24/7 so this was a chance to create space to learn new skills and adjust my mindset to lead our business better.

It hasn’t always been like this. Let me tell you that right before Uprise, a deep point in my life has been reached. I had achieved a great deal of business success but was totally unhappy. Going to work was a burden, no longer seeing the light, having lost my motivation. Day in day out … I no longer saw the bright colors of life. Everyone was hinting at midlife crisis haha, but that wasn’t it… the inspiration was lost, the routine was the same and even though business continued to grow…. The question was always… why… there must be more!?

How has your career changed since graduating from Uprise Academy?

Since the Uprise program ended, I’ve spent time in India with the Dev team helping us develop the UX design to make it easier for our parents to use and have found a 25% increase in user engagement. Reporting stats I never even had before - thanks Uprise!! We have had 6 major App updates from there and since attending some tech conferences in China and even Armenia, we have exciting things in the pipeline for 2020. One of the most important things which have come from Uprise is that we have started doing better workflows for our employees and the division of key areas of business between us 3 Directors! Something which I guess (as a growing family business) needs to be addressed at some point and Uprise has actualised this and I highlighted the importance sooner.

What was the biggest lesson you learned after joining Uprise Academy?

Meditation has been an absolute game changer for me and without Uprise Academy, it’s unlikely I would have ever have discovered the importance of this. Everyone in the office has noticed how much focused and chilled out I am compared to when I went so it’s really helped me gain a new perspective! I also found love there - the biggest surprise! Not just from my Gf (that I met at Uprise) but from the tribe members. I’ve seen most of them since the Uprise academy ended and even introduced my daughter to some members! Looking forward to our 2020 reunion. Deep friendships forged for life!!!

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

Apply and never look back!! My brother is joining the upcoming 2020 Asia tribe. Sure you have your initial goals of why you’re applying but release those expectations and be open to everything. The people, the learnings, the experiences - say yes to everything, make the most of your weekends to explore the wider area or nearby countries. What you’ll probably find is you go with one intention but when reflecting back the experience was just so much more! It’s possibly the indirect learnings, the moments in-between. The people really. Life changing. Truly life changing.

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JUAN SALAZAR

Co-founder at EcoLabs

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise program?

I had recently graduated from my undergraduate in science and I immediately started working in a field that was completely different from mine. Entrepreneurship. Here I was working firsthand with the most innovative Startups in the country, helping them reach their goals to make an impact in the world. This close relationship with them made me feel like I also needed to chase my dreams and having a full-time job wasn’t going to give me that. So, I decided to make the most of my job, learn as much as possible from the ecosystem in which I was in by going to events, gathering and workshops, and then, at some point, I would throw myself into the exciting world of startups.

How has your career changed since graduating from Uprise Academy?

The program allowed me to see my full potential and to understand that there are still many things to be done, there is still much inequality in this world that I, as a somewhat privileged person, should be contributing to solve. It inspired me to come back home, to a not-so-developed country, and start doing things that will improve the lives of others.

I am working as a full-time entrepreneur and innovation consultant. Coming back from the program I started building my big startup ideas that, from the time I’m writing this, have been in the over for over a year. Now it’s finally coming to a point where I’m implementing them, testing them with real customers and I now have formed a group of 6 people who are on this journey with me. No partners yet, still trying to find the right one. I’ve been continuously evaluating my short, mid and long-term goals which has given me a lot of clarity in my day to day

What was the biggest lesson you learned after joining Uprise Academy?

I learned that having self-awareness is probably the most important skill I could develop. Before going into the program, I wouldn’t really question where I was, I had no clear goals or ways to get there. By evaluating my own life, I am now able to make conscious choices of where I want to go and the things that make me come alive as a person. I am know fully aware of the person I want to become and the steps I need to take in order to continue my self-improvement.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

The program gives you back as much as you give to it. You will make the most of it if you have the right mindset to break your own boundaries and, through experiences, become a better version of yourself. The breakthrough will happen, sooner or later, but the program gives you the right ecosystem so that this may happen a bit sooner in life.

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HAMASA AMIR

FinTech Manager

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise program?

My life before the program was crazy. I knew I wanted to change jobs because I was very frustrated. Frustrated with the people around me, the culture, my manager, all of it. I was incredibly tired, close to burn out. And all of this had been going for 2 years now, so I knew I had to get out! I needed a switch and see what else is out there. The working hours were crazy as well, I had no time whatsoever for anything outside of work.

How has your career changed since graduating from Uprise Academy?

From a working perspective I can finally focus on the actual work again, which I love. How I approach my stakeholders is radically different, I almost have no idea how I used to do this in the past. People listen to me and are receptive to what I have to say, which feels so good. The change is huge, going from a big corporate in financial services to a FinTech startup. As a country manager I’ve been given loads of responsibility. But I feel like I can do it, I feel focused and in control, I feel very confident but grounded at the same time. It’s great!

What was the biggest lesson you learned after joining Uprise Academy?

I am so much more calm and friendly, I feel at peace with myself now. I’ve had so many realisations and even though it wasn’t always easy, being for an extended period of time with people from all kinds of backgrounds has really shifted my perspective. I’m so much more open now.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

When you are frustrated or stuck, do something big! Just by making small changes daily, nothing will fundamentally change. Being frustrated is a sign you don’t know enough. So take action and be open!

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LIZANNA ENGEL

Startup Project Manager

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise program?

I was working for an accelerator program in Berlin, designed to push digital health projects – to go to market. They had project teams, and big plans to expand them. I was also involved in a digital agency that I was doing coaching and project management with.

How has your career changed since graduating from Uprise Academy?

After the Uprise Academy, I came back to Germany to a new digital agency, and felt really inspired. I realised that the company culture at my original workplace wasn't working at all, with everyone focussed on their own things but not beyond. I realised that during the program, and tried to change it by getting in touch with the founders and proposing ideas to evolve.

After, I heard a podcast from a CEO that I found super-inspirational because he could motivate people and shape a culture that was very transparent. These were some of the values that I really came to appreciate from UpriseAcademy, especially radical transparency. There was a one-shot opening in that company, and I went for it and got it, and am now growing a team as the company scales, taking on innovation and change at a very fast pace.

What was the thing that surprised you the most about Uprise?

That we grew so much as a group together. I expected to be thinking about my goals, my life – but I didn't realise I'd benefit from the group so much. It was such an intense time and everyone was so well selected for the cohort; that was my biggest surprise and absolutely amazing.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

You need to make it what you want it to be yourself. It gives you a really amazing ground of inspirational people, stability in a place that's completely foreign to you – which are worth so much. From that you can build so much through having great conversations, diving into different perspectives, making things happen. It's your journey, so make it your own.

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ATTILA NAGY

Founder of WPKurzus

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise program?

When they called me and told me I got in, it was just crazy because at the start of this year, I’d just reflected on how the past year was and what I wanted to achieve in 2018, and getting into the program was very important because I knew it was going to change everything. I was scared and happy at the same time.

Note: Before joining Nomad Academy Attila had recently launched his WordPress tutorial business and was looking for the confidence, support, and skills to scale it.

How has your career changed since graduating from Uprise Academy?

My hobby is my work. I've been growing my company (WP Kurzus) since the program, expanding the team, and am now looking to go more global with it.

What was the most surprising thing about your experience with Uprise Academy?

I’m more focused, have a clear sense of direction in what I want to do and the steps I need to take to get there. I’ve become more confident, I push myself all the time and constantly step out of my comfort zone.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

If you want to future-proof your career, you need to do this. It’s a very good start as you’re learning together, helping each other, you meet other business owners and the different perspectives help a lot.

If you can afford it, think of it as an investment in yourself. It was the most intense but best part of my life.

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GABRIELA NEL-LO

Freelance Digital Marketing

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise program?

I'm from a traditional family, the normal thing was to become an employee. So go to college, get a good job and live from that. So I ended up in a corporate job for over 5 years.

However, I'm also a creative mind, always thinking outside of the box. My friends always thought I was a little bit of a weird one, "Greeny Gabi". And suddenly I met this girl, who was an entrepreneur who showed me a lot of books and took me to some meetings. Because of this I started to think differently "Ok, maybe there is another option". So thanks to that, I started to consider becoming a business owner and I started my blog. I even tried starting my own little company and had a job on the side until I got fired. I was so done! And that's when I came across the Uprise Academy.

How has your career changed since graduating from Uprise Academy?

Originally I wanted to start my own company but on the trip I realised who I was and I found the strength to say: This is how I want to live my life.

So that's why I switched to digital marketing instead of starting my own business. I'm working a lot with one of the other alumni.

What was the thing that surprised you most after joining Uprise Academy?

Most surprising: I met people from all around the world, who were so curious and different but suddenly I wasn't the weird one anymore.

The program was encouraging us to be and think differently. I learned that I am just a normal person who doesn't know yet what to spend my life on.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

It's for people who think outside of the box. This trip is for those who want to step outside of their own bubble and what is considered "normal". So if you do this, work hard and be willing to ask yourself questions.

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JULIANA ALBANESI

Startup Marketing

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise program?

I come from a small family and had a very normal upbringing. Both my parents are doctors, and they really pushed me, so I always felt the need to do more and make them proud.

When I went to college, I was one of the best students in the class. After graduating, the normal path was to get a good job - check. After getting a good job, getting a boyfriend - check. After getting a boyfriend, getting an apartment - check. Getting engaged - check. I felt like I was crossing everything off a list, and I was doing a good job.

But I felt incomplete. I wanted to go travelling and live abroad but then life happened - my father got sick, there were a lot of family issues going on, I got engaged, and then we broke up. All of a sudden, I realised that I was over 30 and asked myself the question “Had I ever done anything for myself, to take some time and just enjoy life?” I knew I needed something to change my life.

How has your career changed since graduating from Uprise?

I feel like I changed a lot, not only personally but professionally. Personally, I’ve become much more open. Before, I would always be there for everyone but if you came to me, I would be a closed book. Now I feel like I can count on people, and my tribe is just like my family, something that I will have for life.

In terms of my professional side, I know that if Uprise experience didn’t happen, I wouldn’t make that change. I was always so interested in working in big corporations, I wouldn’t even consider working for a startup or applying for a small company. But now it feels so right - I work at a company with purpose.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

If you’re up for getting to know incredibly amazing people, getting out of your comfort zone and getting in touch with yourself, you should do it.

After my interview for the program, I thought I wasn’t going to get in. But then 2 days later, I got the call and he said yes! It took me just a few minutes to decide, it was very easy decision for me. Then I quit my job and told my mum that I’d quit and I was going to live in Asia for 3 months and study. I remember she asked straight away “Good, but will you still have your job when you come back?” And I told her “Mum, I’m sure that if and when I come back to Brazil, I’m not going to have the same mindset, I won’t be interested working for the same company and the same people. I’m sure this will change my life”.


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FRED ØHRGAARD

Startup Business Development

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise program?

My background is in Business Development and Strategy, and through the program I’ve realised that I’m very curious and experimental, so I’m interested in being part of building something entirely from scratch.

How has your career changed since graduating from Uprise Academy?

I’m currently working part-time remotely for a Danish travel company called Kilroy that specialises in tailor-made youth travel experiences ... I’m currently leading and scaling an entirely new business area [for them]

What was the biggest lesson you learned after joining Uprise Academy?

Aside from the skills that I’ve learnt from the Startup course, I’ve also gained a deeper understanding about myself and what actually motivates me. For example, being able to work remotely is important so that I constantly feel challenged in new environments and can bring a creative perspective to what I do.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

If you’ve been working for a number of years, it’s important to take a step back and ask yourself if the career and lifestyle you’re leading is what you actually want. Everyone is at a different stage of figuring that out for themselves, it’s not easy and you might not have a clear answer after 3 months, but as long as you keep questioning yourself, you’re taking steps towards finding out answers.

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SALMA REYES

Sustainable Product Development

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise program?

I began my career working with luxury hotel brands and before the program, I was leading Sales & Marketing for BeeVital, a global company focused on organic beekeeping solutions. In the past 1.5 years, the brand has experienced tremendous growth, and we recently received a European- wide registration for one of our products, so this has brought even more responsibilities to my role.

How has your career changed since graduating from Uprise Academy?

I decided to join Uprise Academy because I knew it would be beneficial for me to step out of my routine and strengthen my entrepreneurship skills so that I am more confident and focused towards scaling the growth of BeeVital. I’m using it to develop an effective relaunch strategy for the US market, tapping into the trend of sustainable urban beekeeping.

What was the biggest lesson you learned after joining UpriseAcademy?

Discovering how to maximise my productivity, manage my time better and to stay focused in a constantly changing environment. When I return to my workplace, I’m looking forward to continuing building on these healthy habits, like giving myself time to reflect and consistently set goals to push myself.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

Don’t limit yourself with expectations and embrace the unexpected moments and growth that come from new, challenging experiences.

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PHIL EVANGELOU

Founder & Philanthropist

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise program?

Before the program I was in a high pressure job in London, working as a lawyer for an investment firm. I was feeling depressed, not connected to the world around me. I felt isolated and alone, on the other side of the world away from my family in Australia. Something inside me said I needed a change and try something different. That's when I found Uprise Academy, on Instagram. It was my escape from London. I realised I wanted to learn something new and was considering a new career direction.

How has your career changed since graduating from Uprise Academy?

The program helped through mentorship, it helped me understand the fundamentals of what it takes to be an entrepreneur and how to launch a business. I got me face to face with other entrepreneurs and their journey, including the Uprise Academy founders. And just having a regimented framework and certain dates by when you need to complete certain things by, combined with travelling and socialising. It teaches you how to balance which is something you definitely need to understand when kickstarting your own business.

Since Nomad, I got involved in Coretorno and I went back to Cape Town to deliver the toys for the Non-Profit that I started called Kupendo Kids. They were over the moon when they saw us arrive with all those toys and books. On the side I work on a project for the Salvation Army, as a lawyer, they picked me because of my philanthropic efforts.

What was the thing that surprised you most after joining Uprise Academy?

The most surprising thing was the people, both the organisers and the people that attended. I knew what the program was about, travelling through Africa. But it was really about the tribe getting really cohesive and close, really quickly in the first weekend on the program. I was really nervous, to be honest, to go on a program where I didn't know anyone at all. But I was surprised about how well everyone got along from the beginning. Of Course it wasn't all smooth sailing all the time but it was actually very harmonious and fun.  

My biggest learning was my ability to achieve goals in a short space of time if I really focus and put all my energy into one project. It showed me that I can achieve amazing results in 8-12 weeks, which is something I didn't know I could do. Learning the formula of success was the biggest learning. And also that not succeeding or achieving your goal is also not a problem but just part of the learning process. Getting over that fail of failure.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

Only do the program if you're willing to give 110%. Otherwise, just go backpacking. You need to be motivated to change your life. Be willing to learn a new skill and apply it in a practical way for it to become an addition to your resume.

2018

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JUSTINE MUJICA

Entrepreneur

What were you doing before you joined the Nomad Academy program?

I was a promotions manager at a japanese retail company in New York, I was just feeling really uninspired and I needed a transitional experience to explore what I wanted and find more passion in my life.

How has your career changed since graduating from Nomad Academy?

I'm working on my project which is inspired by my experiences in Peru learning about natural healing and plant medicine. I want to create a healing bracelet which utilises these natural substances and can help young adults with addiction - which is a cause I'm really passionate about especially given the addiction situation here in the US. At the same time, I am focusing on remote work as a creative marketer.

What was the most surprising thing about your experience with Nomad Academy?

It was definitely life changing for sure, an amazing experience. Month 1 I was pretty afraid but I knew immediately in terms of networking and making amazing relationships that it would be worth it. It was the first time I'd travelled properly but the whole experience really opened my eyes to the idea we have total control of how to live our lives. From quitting my job and thinking 'oh god what am i going to do now' but then learning from everyone, the workshops and experiences - it gave me a sense of calmness and peace that simply whatever was going to come next was just part of my journey and I can make choices and create the direction I want to head in. It was just such an inspiring place to be surrounded by these people the entire time all pushing each other and developing each other.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

Honestly just take the leap and see where it takes you because for me it really changed my life and I saw the changes in everyone on program., from the start to at the end. I would encourage you to go into it just super open minded and be present with it!

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GARAI CARUTH

Founder @ Come Find Help

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise program?

Before the nomad academy, I was an artist and tech activist. the founder of a new NYC nonprofit designed to use help the homeless of my city through community gardens, I applied to the nomad academy looking to acquire the skills I’d need to seamlessly bridge the many kinds of people needed to make this happen.

How has your career changed since graduating from Uprise Academy?

What the nomad academy taught me helped hone my passion for helping people through symbiotic systems into a UX Design career. I’ve since taken freelance UX positions with new businesses in Harlem in an effort to healthily integrate them into the community and lower the negative impact of gentrification.

What was the thing that surprised you most after joining Uprise Academy?

How calmly I handle situations now. I'm able to better prepare myself now for the role of entrepreneurship. I'm very much a self starter and before it would have been much more burdensome the failures that come with learning fast, but now I'm able to take them in my stride and fully understand they're all part of the right process.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

Go in completely open. Expect everything, because everything will happen – you are there to meet people, to be out of your country for three months and learning something completely different with completely different people all ready to redefine their lives. You're there to meet thirty people and learn something new; and if you go in with a fully open mindset you will change for the better.

2018

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MIGUEL JIMÉNEZ

Data Scientist

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise program?

Before the program I just finished a master’s in International Business, and my idea was to look for jobs abroad, however I came across Uprise Academy which looked like a much more interesting experience that combined learning and travel in Asia (which was precisely where I wanted to go initially).

How has your career changed since graduating from Uprise?

I’ve been looking to relocate in Asia, and I have also been sticking to certain habits I’ve acquired during the program. For example keeping a journal, practicing yoga, meditation, and generally being more mindful in my daily life.

What was the thing that surprised you the most about Uprise?

It would have to be the fast development of my capabilities to socialise. And also the push to come up with a new business idea, and all the general soft skills - from pitching a business idea to delivering a workshop to a large group of people.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

If you do decide to join, be sure to dedicate a hundred percent of your energy to the program and the course. Make sure to get out of your comfort zone, connect with every tribe and Uprise team member. Time will fly by while you’re out there, so make sure you’ve tried everything you wanted to try, from travelling, to connecting, learning etc.

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MARCO VALLEDARES

Tech Accelerator

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise program?

Before the program I was specialised in a field where there was no room for growth. I was stuck in a routine, doing the same thing every day. There was no encouragement for growth, or care about my development.

How has your career changed since graduating from Uprise Academy?

So now I'm on another training program, helping me to become a business developer for Tech Startups in Silicon Valley. This role is very far out of my comfort zone. However, because I did the Uprise program because this is a role I felt like I could do. By going on the program I realised that I can set a way higher standard for myself.

What surprised you the most about Uprise Academy?

The most surprising thing for me was finding similarities with strangers from all over the world, I thought that was really cool. Just vibing with them and learning about other cultures. Besides that, the program really opened my eyes about what is available and what direction I could take my professional life.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

I would say don't hesitate. It's going to be uncomfortable, you are going to be in a different country, different environment. But you'll learn so much about dealing with this and the local people you'll meet are so sweet that you will get through it. It opened my eyes and helped me find my direction which is in Tech and Startups.

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MAE BEUKEBOOM

Entrepreneur

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise program?

Before Uprise I worked for a company in the Netherlands, I'd been working as a buyer. So I'd been travelling a lot all over the world for this company – we bought products from China and then would sell them in shops across the Netherlands.

How has your career changed since graduating from Uprise Academy?

After Uprise I went into work, and have been travelling a lot across Asia. I've been heavily focussed on personal growth and now I'm growing my own company focussed on bringing sustainable bamboo products into the European markets.

What was the most surprising thing about your experience with Uprise Academy?

The most surprising thing was the diversity of people you travel with, you work with, you share with – it was very interesting for me because I'd been travelling and working alone always. So to be in this group of 30 people was a real eye opening experience for me. You learn a lot from them.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

The best advice I could give is to just do it. You have to experience it for yourself – to go for it and find out for yourself what you want to create from your life. Find your purpose through this program – you learn a lot from this program and meet a lot of people to create that experience you need.

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FANNY ZSOLDOS

Entrepreneur

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise program?

I was working in the marketing team for a software company for 6 years in Barcelona! I think I just wanted clarity on the direction I wanted to take, and needed the space, honestly to see how I felt towards the many ideas I had.

How has your career changed since graduating from Uprise Academy?

Back to Europe I’m working on launching my project later this year, which would be implementing all kinds of wellbeing services such as coaching, mindfulness and meditation with big corporates, startups and other companies in Barcelona, to help the workers achieve work-life balance and have less risk for burnouts.

Currently I’m testing sessions with 2 different companies to find the types of classes and sessions that fits people’s schedules and expectations best. Also working on my website for this, while continuing studies in coaching and dance teaching.

What was the most surprising thing about your experience with Uprise Academy?

The people. I love the way Uprise Academy selects people and creates these groups, it really surprised me how you can learn so much from each person, it's true what they say! Even the co-living I honestly thought I would not like but for me it became such an important part of forming such good relationships in the tribe. For me, it helped confirm for me the direction I wanted to head into, the coaching especially really helped with this. Actually, the first month was amazing I think it was such an incredible time and that definitely surprised me.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

Honestly, the way you can get the most out of this program is if you are sure that you can commit to exploring a new direction. If you are really, seriously motivated to make that change then you should do this and Nomad is a great support network to help you go towards that change!

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EUGENIO MANFREDI

Data Scientist

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise Academy program?

I was stuck in a job that I didn't like, and it wasn't fulfilling me at all. I was looking for a significant change both personally and professionally.

How has your career changed since graduating from Uprise Academy?

After the program my life has changed a lot. I was more open to new experiences, which led me to travel to Cambodia directly after the program. I then moved to Berlin in order to finish my specialisation in Data Science. I am now working at Accenture in Milan in the field of Data Science.

What surprised you the most about Uprise Academy?

The best and most important aspect of the program for me was to feel part of a community. The people I met made me feel extremely supported and ultimately like I was part of something unique.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

Have no fear and leave your old self behind. The program can be the push you needed in order to move towards a positive change in your life and career.

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FRANCOIS DANGOTTE

Freelance UX Designer

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise program?

I was lost before the program, I had quit my job as a UX Designer for an agency in Luxembourg to start a business but I didn't have a direction or think I was strong enough or had the mindset to do it. That's why I found Nomad Academy.

How has your career changed since graduating from Uprise Academy?

I am now a freelance UX Designer creating my own company and working with new clients. I also met someone on the program who I will work with to create our own agency together at some point in the future.

What was the most surprising thing about your experience with Uprise Academy?

The most interesting and amazing part of the program was the people and the way that we could connect. This really pushed us throughout the program to be ourselves, share and learn about everything, it was honestly a relief. I felt freedom. I thought the Program Directors created an amazing environment for us. I arrived with no expectations which allowed me to be really in the moment. Personally, I now understand that I can be myself with anyone, and true honesty scares me but can really change everything. That's with myself and with others. Professionally, I found a way to work by myself, to understand how I can work productively on my project. The structure of the course helped me define what I wanted. The coaching was definitely so useful to me, having the talks to discuss what was going well, what wasn't, it was a way to know what direction I was heading in. How I feel now is so different to before! I believe in myself and I have some direction now.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

Take the leap if you feel like something is missing in your life but you don't know the path to take. I think that 3 months outside of your normal place is something that pushes you to connect with people and discover yourself. But you have to feel like you really want that change. If you do - this will be the best experience.

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ROB REID

Entrepreneur

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise program?

So I was a training and development specialist at NASA. The motivation for joining was looking for something to jump-start my career, even though I liked working at NASA I wanted more opportunity and to create an impact that helps different communities.

How has your career changed since graduating from Uprise Academy?

The business I'm launching is about creating something which allows travellers to collaborate and be brought together based on personality types rather than preferences or interests. I'm already doing my research, I'm about to launch my website, we're moving forward!

What was the most surprising thing about your experience with Uprise Academy?

It was really wonderful, working alongside people from different walks of life and learning so much from collaborating with everyone. I now have a lot of direction and insight into where I'm heading. The surprising thing was seeing how everyone was really using each others skills and expertise to help and push each other, I found that to be such an inspiring place to be. The key moment was living and working so closely with people, it was like real innovative to have us all be close all the time. I was surprised that I could form such intimate relationships with everyone and yeah that everyone within an immediate network could be useful for partnering with from a business point of view.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

If you are currently not happy in your current state, why not take a chance on applying for something that can make you reach a whole new state!

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CHLOE SPINKS

Digital Nomad

What were you doing before you joined the Uprise program?

I worked for a mining company based in my hometown Newcastle in Australia. It was one of those scenarios where I fell into the job because it was what my father wanted me to do. We’re taught to go to university and get a good job, and it all comes down to social conditioning, what we’re led to believe we should be doing. So I was living a life that was considered very “normal”, working in a job that is “okay” and “earning good money” but it really wasn’t fulfilling.

How has your career changed since graduating from Uprise Academy?

I know exactly what I want to do in terms of my purpose, my passion and why I’m here. I’m now starting up my own business on the side, as well as working in digital marketing, so the course that I did on Nomad Academy really helped me transition into this.

Now that I’m a digital nomad, when I wake up every morning to decide whether or not I want to work, I have the freedom to choose to explore if I’m in a new place. When I do feel like working (which to be honest is most days anyway because I’m that excited and passionate about it), it doesn’t feel like work. I can work for 10 hours that day and it feels like I haven’t done anything, that’s how different it feels - as opposed to being in an office job, wondering when your next break is and being bored to death.

What was the biggest challenge you faced after graduating from Uprise Academy?

The biggest challenge I had to overcome was not giving in to that self doubt. Especially this past year, telling myself that I can and will do this, and that I won’t go back to my previous life. That I will live the life that I set out to achieve through Uprise Academy. That’s exactly what I’ve done and I’ve definitely overcome it.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for the program?

The program is life-changing. You will gain so much from it, there’s really nothing else like it.

At the end of the day, it’ll change everything for you. The more you put yourself into it, the more you’ll get out of it. Where else can you go where you can have so many like-minded people around you and supporting you, whilst travelling and changing your career and doing what you want to do, being who you want to be, with no other noise around you telling you otherwise? You can actually think and be yourself, and you will figure yourself out and come out a totally different person.

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170

Alumni

42

Countries

28

Average age

5*

Rating of their program experience

30%

Launch their own companies

64%

Join a mission-driven startup

Past Programs

Take a look at some of the cohorts from our earlier programs. You’ll get access to their experiences and expertise when you join our alumni community after doing the program.

Some of the companies started by our alumni

Stages Of Limbo

CREATIVE COMMUNITY

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Stages of limbo creates a space for professionals to explore, play and recharge their creative energies. In their community they believe in intuitive first times, in imperfect outcomes, and in creating.Their mission is to activate artistic potential and explore the inner creative in everyone. With the aim of liberating people from the strains they put on themselves.

WPKurzu

WORDPRESS EDUCATION STARTUP

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ATTILA

28 years old, Hungary

Attila, a 2018 alumni, founded WPKurzu (translated as: WP Courses). In 2013, Attila began his entrepreneurial journey as a result of his lack of technical web design and development skills. He wanted a high quality website, but didn’t know how to build one. This sparked his eureka moment: What if he could provide succinct WordPress courses to help people to build high quality websites faster and better? So he did and WPKurzus was founded in late 2015. Atilla joined our Latin America 2018 program to accelerate the growth of his business.

Dutchdaytrading

AI BACKED TRADING PLATFORM

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ENGO

31 years old, Netherlands

Dutchdaytrading is run by a group of experienced traders on the stock exchange. They also teach from a passion for commercial craftsmanship. Day trading is buying and selling securities on the stock exchange to benefit from price fluctuations during the trading day. DutchDayTrading was founded by Nomad Alumni, Engo Koc

ComeFindHelp

PURPOSE-DRIVEN COMPANY

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GARAI

25 years old, USA

ComeFindHelp uses community green spaces as the vehicle to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable New York City ecosystem. Through the use of renovated shipping container installations, they bring communities together around the major issues affecting them.

DGTL

DIGITAL MARKETING AGENCY

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EMILY

33 years old, USA

Uprise Alumni and Founder Emily Brennan is an award-winning digital marketer with the expertise and enthusiasm to help businesses grow. She is a tenured agency executive who rolls-up her sleeves to understand the most efficient ways to attract customers and increase revenue with the power of online marketing. Her deep digital roots and a proven track record of understanding business needs and designing effective marketing programs has enabled businesses of all sizes to benefit from search, social and digital display marketing.


Utamu

ETHICAL FASHION BRAND

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DIEGO

23 years old, South Africa

Founded by 2018 alumni, Utamu is an ethical fashion brand that celebrates craftsmanship and supports children’s education. For every jacket or tunic sold, you sponsor 3 months of English and Math class for a kid at Ukhanyo Primary School in Masiphumelele.

Who it's for

Not for people motivated
by the status-quo

We aren’t for people who are prioritise the high pay and reputations of corporates.

But for professionals
who aspire to more

We're for those who want to understand themselves better, reach their potential, and launch ideas they believe in. Even turning those ideas into companies; from side-hustles to startups.

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