Blog Post

From zoology to entrepreneurship: meet John, participant of the AI Program

John Harper came from Cambridge to participate at the first AI Program of Pi School. One week from launching his new App, we sat and talked about the role of the School at such an important moment of his life.

A moment of the interview
Moment of the interview

John’s professional path has been very rich and diverse. He studied Zoology at University, interned in Borneo with the Orangutan Foundation International and traveled around China doing business consulting. Back to England, John decided he wanted to move into entrepreneurship and invested his savings on his first business: Rize.

The idea of Rize came from John’s experience and from his will to help others. So, he developed a mental health app, integrating therapeutic concepts into interactive tutorials and exercises to help those who need to understand, track and improve their mental well-being. The new App will be launched on the 14 of December and, after this experience at Pi School, he believes he can play a more active role in product development within the business.

“Being here allowed me to understand what’s possible and what’s not”


The School crossed John’s path when he decided to learn the tools to get involved on the product design himself, adding the role of developer to the ones of CEO, CTO and CFO.

When we talked about his learning experience, John highlighted the informal learning provided by the contact with the other participants. This horizontal change of knowledge promotes the understanding of other fields and a more complete picture in terms of product development.

“This environment of knowledge sharing has helped us all to learn and grow at an impressive rate”

John said he wanted to be more of a craftsman and, thanks to the work of the last two months, he feels like he’s added more technical skills to his entrepreneurial background, feeling ready to boost his current project and starting to design his next business.

Pi School is a gathering point to the brightest minds out there, John and his team-mates were dared to be more creative, to master the product the design of their projects, augmenting their sense of ownership and entrepreneurial skills.


Want to know more about his startup?


  • Marta Romão

    Social Media Specialist, Pi School

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