Latino entrepreneurs Felix Ruano and Michael Vilardo’s passion for education has brought them closer to revolutionizing the world of virtual education. Combining their eagerness to perfect the user experience with their skills, Ruano and Vilardo created Emile Learning, a platform that promises to be the Netflix of education.
“At the end of the day, what zip code you’re born into or how much wealth your family has largely dictates your education, and your education dictates your trajectory throughout life,” Vilardo told NBC News. “We want to provide [someone from] any socioeconomic status or zip code with a top-tier education that is affordable. If we can empower anybody in the country and eventually the world to be able to access the best education, that is a monumental lift to society.”
Both Ruano and Vilardo had the opportunity to attend the best universities in the country, knowing that it is a privilege not everyone has access to.
The two Latinos launched Emile Learning in October 2020, offering “bingeable” accreditable courses that many students can access for free.
Their mission of providing quality education to all students worldwide led them to receive $5.3 million in angel investment from backers such as Softbank, Owl Ventures, and Kleiner Perkins.
The platform offers high-quality virtual high school classes, ranging from AP language and AP biology to personal finance and acting, TechCrunch explained.
Emile Learning started to help students prepare for AP exams since a good score can help a student earn college credit once they enter college and save them thousands of dollars.
Two years after its founding, it has added a suite of accredited classes that can also be used in high school. Students can earn high school credit through a WASC-accredited transcript in addition to college credit through AP classes.
Emile Learning seeks out the best high school and college teachers from across the United States to create its content. They fly them to Los Angeles and record the content there.
“Our main focus right now is helping all these students, especially those that have fallen behind during the pandemic,” Vilardo said. “We’re going to help them bridge that gap and be able to come out with more confidence after using our products.”