Leap Financial, a financial services technology company focused on the specific needs of immigrants and their families abroad, has launched Lola4i.com, an AI assistant that coaches recently arrived immigrants to the U.S. as well all next-gens who may struggle to get fully integrated.
Lionel Carrasco and Marcela Henao, Leap Financial’s co-founders saw an urgent need when it came to providing guidance to recently arrived immigrants in the U.S. Learning a new language and navigating complex laws to find work, housing, healthcare and more are just a few obstacles for most immigrants face. Lola provides answers to questions that recent arrivals may be hesitant to ask in the real world. Lola facilitates faster economic integration for immigrants to become productive, and have a positive impact on our society. Additionally, Lola provides guidance on dealing with anxiety related to legal status, family separation and access to basic healthcare.
The US is home to more immigrants than any other country and their impact is sizable:
- More than 46 million immigrants live in the US, comprising about 13.9% of the overall populations, according to Census estimates (data.census.gov)
- In 2022, the foreign born accounted for 18.1 percent of the U.S. civilian labor force, up from 17.4 percent in 2021 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- Almost 80% of America’s unicorn companies (privately held, billion-dollar companies) have an immigrant founder or an immigrant in a key leadership role, such as CEO or vice president of engineering. (National Foundation for American Policy Study – 2022)
- Immigrants have started 55% of America’s startup companies valued at $1 billion or more (National Foundation for American Policy Study – 2022)
The immigrant community traditionally has relied on community organizations, or fellow immigrants to navigate these obstacles, but the process can be overwhelming, changes frequently and is typically not available in-language or in-culture. Unlike traditional AI tools, Lola takes into account not only language, but also country-specific expressions, common spelling mistakes and is constantly updated by custom-curating official information sources. Lola replaces the costly analog methods and word-of-mouth that leads to informational inaccuracies.
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“Immigrants make a substantial impact on our country, and the vast majority of them are coming here for a better life and to integrate and contribute to society,” said Lionel Carrasco Co-founder and CEO of Leap Financial. “As technology entrepreneurs and immigrants who have lived through the often-difficult journey of integrating into the US social, business and financial ecosystem, we created Lola as a first step to ensure our immigrant community has a coach right in their smartphones. Lola can help immigrants unleash their potential by helping them to quickly become economic contributors and active participants in our community. The faster the system can insert people into the labor and financial system by providing them with accurate information to operate in the ecosystem, the faster they will have a positive impact.”
“We are partnering with community organizations, consulates, and fintech companies like h.way to sponsor Lola and help increase its influence,” added Lionel Carrasco. “Additional services will be integrated into Lola to aggregate as much help as possible in one place.”