Julio Corredor, CEO of Zooterra
“The more I’ve experienced the amazing beauty of nature, the more I want to do this work. From Angel Falls in Venezuela, to Orangutans in Borneo, I’ve seen what we can lose. Everyone should be able to experience this.”
Meet Julio Corredor. Julio is the founder and CEO of Zooterra, a soon-to-launch platform which is a transparent, dynamic, and gamified approach to how we can better engage with, and financially support, global conservation efforts. He holds an MBA from Columbia University and has spent his career in innovation, management consulting and R&D in consumer products and healthcare. Before launching Zooterra Julio worked for Pfizer, where he had the opportunity to work in corporate innovation, leading the execution of several innovation initiatives including strategic planning, startups ecosystem engagement, as well as accelerator program implementation, while leveraging human-centric design techniques and new technologies. Julio has also worked with CARE in Vietnam to develop their private sector engagement strategy to help reduce poverty. He mentors a number of startups in the healthcare space, including Rimidi, a platform for supporting physician-patient interaction. Julio describes himself as an adventurer and, as of this writing, has visited 51 countries. You can follow him via Twitter or Instagram or email him directly at email@example.com
How Did He Get Into This Work?
“Being an adventurer seems to be in my family genes. My paternal grandfather left Colombia to help build the Panama Canal, moved to California, and then moved to Venezuela where he married my grandmother.”
Julio grew up in Venezuela, experiencing a pastoral childhood where he created a world of his own, taking care of the house garden and having a menagerie of pets, one that his mother was completely unaware of. He might’ve grown up to be a veterinarian, save for an opportunity to study in the States, where he earned a BS in Chemical Engineering, as well as an MBA, choosing a path in corporate innovation.
In 2013, Julio had learned that the cheetah – an animal species he had admired and adored since childhood — had dwindled to less than 7,000 worldwide. He dedicated his birthday party that year to raising monies to protect our fastest land animal but was frustrated to discover that none of the well-respected philanthropies in the space allowed him to earmark monies specifically towards saving the cheetah, that accounting for his donation was opaque, and that there was no way to monitor impact. Learning that we were in the midst of the Sixth Mass Extinction was his point of no return. It compelled him to step off the corporate path and to leverage what he knew about innovation and consumer behavior to mindfully research how he might build a platform that could increase engagement with nature. In the process, he discovered that while there was an astonishing $125 TRILLION value created by nature, that at least $200 Billion is required annually for its proper conservation. Of that, currently, only $50 Billion is covered.
Five years after that birthday party, Zooterra is ready to launch. Charles Darwin went to the Galapagos Islands to collect species data. I think it took him ten years to come up with his Theory of Evolution.”
What Does He Do?
Julio is the founder and CEO of Zooterra which is reimagining how we support nature through a patent-pending product that gives users a direct, transparent and fun way to help protect wildlife and natural habitats. Zooterra is a Public Benefit Corporation. Zooterra is focused on raising not only awareness but social and financial participation. Julio is in the process of identifying high-quality partners – currently he is working with projects in Kenya and in discussions with partners in Guatemala and Madagascar – and the launch of digital collectibles – or “Terra’s” which enable members of the community – or “Guardians” — to own a collectible which is explicitly correlated to a hectare of land (100 meters x 100 meters), and the species’ contained within. Seventy percent of monies collected – these Terra’s will retail starting at $24.5 – will go directly to the project, while users are provided with project updates and information on impact. Julio’s experience in innovation has given him a perspective on how gamification can make this process engaging: “People are primed to collect things – as a boy I collected stamps. We’ve learned from gaming. How players enjoy unlocking levels, seeing these as opportunities versus being stuck.” To that end, Zooterra will be able to reach different Guardian levels and collect terras from different parts of the world.
Currently, Zooterra is working with several projects in Kenya: One that will fund “water pans” for wildlife, which have become necessary to fight drought caused by climate change, an aerial patrol project for surveillance, and – returning to Julio’s love of his childhood garden – vertical gardens for a women-led cooperative which will offer a more efficient approach to agriculture.
How Did He Come To Civic Hall?
“Given the social and environmental mission of Zooterra, one of my connections in the innovation space recommended that I look into Civic Hall. When I read about it and visited it, I realized that there was a great alignment between the Civic Hall community and Zooterra so I decided to join. And I love the space – so much light!”
What is He Reading/Watching/Listening To?
Julio is currently enmeshed in Reid Hoffman’s Blitzscaling as well as the classic, ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie. “How To Win Friends” has been a quite unexpected read because although it was originally published in 1936, the principles are timeless, including something as simple as remembering to smile: The world will be better from it.”
What Is His Ask of Civic Hall?
With the launch of Zooterra imminent Julio has two asks:
- Introductions: “We are adding nature conservation partners to Zooterra so that if you know organizations doing great work on the ground from around the world, I would be very interested in connecting with them.”
- ”Please do join the Zooterra community! We’ll be launching Zooterra digital collectibles called “Terras” as well as our first set of projects, so I would love for the Civic Hall community be on our mailing list so that they can be the first to know.” Julio’s advice to the community, which Zooterra is itself taking to heart: “The faster you can get feedback and be in the market, the better.”
Julio was a presenter at our Member Showcase last week. Here’s a clip of his Zooterra presentation: (7th Presenter starting at 1:30:00)