Meet Tania Zapata, the Latina Entrepreneur Who Is Breaking the Glass Ceiling

Tania Zapata BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of taniazapata.com

Tania Zapata is one of those stories that break the mold from the start. Today she is recognized by Forbes as one of the Latina entrepreneurs revolutionizing the industry.

Tania Zapata is the founder of Akily, an app that offers in-person activities for parents to do with their children at home. She is also the former founder of Voice 123, the first marketplace of its kind, which allows companies like Disney, Pandora, Pixar, Spotify, History Channel, Warner Brothers, and many others to find voice talent without using agents. Zapata and her husband have recently sold Voice123 to Backstage.

Born in Bogota and based in the United States since she was 18, Tania worked from the ground up, doing all kinds of jobs while learning English.

The opportunity to work as a receptionist at a Miami radio station opened her eyes to a new professional life.

As Tania tells on her website, she began volunteering to learn all she could about the craft and the process and quickly found herself behind the microphones of media outlets such as Caracol, RCN, and Radio Uno.

Eventually, she began working as a freelance broadcaster and discovered the shortcomings of the industry. Together with her husband, entrepreneur Alex Torrenegra, Tania Zapata decided to revolutionize the industry.

Together they created Voice 123, the first marketplace of its kind that allows companies like Disney, Pandora, Pixar, Spotify, History Channel, Warner Brothers, and more to find voice talent without using agents.

“Voice123 taught us the value of innovative tech, network effects, remote teams, innovative business models, and, more importantly, the value of creating businesses with a real purpose,” they wrote in a recent article on the decision to sell their first tech business. “We had envisioned a platform that would provide all aspiring and established voice actors with the opportunity to grow their professional careers.”

With the success of their first business venture, Zapata and Torrenegra diversified services following the Voice 123 model, encountering their first failures and, at the same time, their first important lessons as entrepreneurs.

In 2012, the couple partnered with Lucho Molina and founded Bunny Inc. and Voice Bunny, an on-demand voice-over service that directly connects companies or individuals looking for voice-over artists with voice-over artists.

This led to new brands such as WritingBunny and TranslationBunny.

In addition to their own ventures, Zapata and Torrenegra have invested and diversified their assets in companies such as VivaReal, Brazil’s largest real estate marketplace, Cornershop, a grocery delivery app in Latin America, Vaki, a crowdfunding platform in Colombia, Kiwi, an autonomous robot delivery service, and Endeavor Catalyst.

Now, with her new app Akily, Tania Zapata wants to democratize the development of children and facilitate access to educational tools in every home.

“More than half of the population of the world is already connected via mobile phones. My aspiration is that Akily will be able to positively impact millions of children, parents, and caregivers around the globe, particularly those in underdeveloped countries where access to a good education is very limited,” she says. “I would love for every child to have the opportunity to know and enhance their strengths while leveling up areas that could become problematic.”