Zoom In Projects: Creating Video for Social Impact with Dur Montoya and Luis Barreto
By Sophia Wood | January 16, 2017
You might know Zoom In Projects as the creators of our kickass promo video that debuted last month. Driven by a desire to give back within their industries, Dur Montoya and her husband, Luis Barreto, quit their jobs in 2010 to found Zoom In Projects, and have been travelling the world making incredible videos for social impact projects ever since.
We recently sat down with Dur, to talk more about their mission of helping social enterprises and nonprofits spread their message through video.
Sophia Wood: Hi Dur! Could you tell me a little more about your role at Zoom In Projects?
Dur Montoya: I am the co-founder of Zoom In Projects. I founded this company with Luis and since it’s just two of us, I wear a lot of hats. I am in charge of production when we are in the field taking photos and videos. I help Luis with the videography. I am in charge of public relations, the person who speaks with our clients, meaning I lead the negotiations, and I deal with the finances.
SW: What inspired you to found Zoom In? What is the mission that drives your work?
DM: First of all, [Luis and I] were both tired of working for corporations. While we learned a lot and we are very grateful for the experience these companies gave us, we both wanted to go beyond a corporate career. Luis and I were passionate about working on social projects, and we really wanted to be able to travel.
So we left Colombia and visited to U.S. to see if we could help with any projects there. We realized that by combining our experiences – mine in public relations and Luis’ in videography – we could really support social projects through audiovisual tools. Within a month, we started planning Zoom In Projects based on our success in the U.S., and the rest is history.
SW: What is the hardest thing about starting a social enterprise?
DM: The hardest thing for me is to get over the fear. The fear of losing that monthly check is a really big barrier for a lot of people. That goes hand-in-hand with the fear of maintaining oneself, making sure we have another project so we have a consistent income.
SW: What is the most rewarding part of being an entrepreneur?
DM: I love basically everything I do with Zoom In. I love that we work on social impact projects of many different kinds – one month it’s an ecological project, then women’s empowerment, then a peace program – so I am always learning something new.
SW: What are the projects you are currently working on that you are most excited about?
DM: We have a giant event coming up in October 2018 that is called the Peace Hub that I have been dreaming about for four years. I am simultaneously thrilled and at peace because I have put a lot of work into getting us this opportunity.
As Zoom In, we applied to open a Peace Hub in Medellin in connection to the organization MasterPeace, which is based in the Netherlands. In 2018, we will bring together seven social entrepreneurs from all over Medellin, who are working in some way on the peace process.
Through the program The Peace Hub, we will provide them with workshops to take their enterprises to the next level. Then they will be presented to the 70 world leaders of MasterPeace in October 2018, during a five day bootcamp!
This event, called the Peace Hub, is also a way to demonstrate to the city, the country, and the international community the work that Medellin is doing to achieve peace.
We want to be the bridge that connects these projects to a global network, so we will make an online portal to help spread the word. Both of us are so excited to be starting this project after working on it in the background for so long!
SW: What are three tips you would give to entrepreneurs who are just starting out on their journey?
DM: First, to leave behind their fears.
Second, to choose something that they are really really passionate about, because they have to get up and do it every single day.
Third, to keep their minds open because an entrepreneur should never become so wedded to their idea that they cannot see when a better opportunity comes along.
Fourth, never throw in the towel. Perseverance is key to becoming an entrepreneur.
And finally, document all your mistakes so that other entrepreneurs can learn from you! I guess that was more than three!
SW: We loved working with you and Luis on the video. So I have to ask: Why did you decide to work with VamosA?
DM: Because it is a new company and because we entrepreneurs really have to support each other.
I think that VamosA is offering Medellin and its entrepreneurs a really big opportunity. We loved the project’s social mission and we thought that we could mutually benefit from the work you are doing.
We really chose VamosA because it was new and exciting and had a really great value proposition for Medellin, and for its customers.
Dur and her husband Luis are making a huge difference in Medellin and abroad with their videos for social startups. We will be supporting their work at the Peace Hub this coming October.
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