Finding Refuge in the United States and a New Career Using Thunkable

Gerardo Villena left Venezuela looking for a fresh start. He found one in Utah and by using Thunkable's no code app builder to start a new career.
Written by
Blythe Bartel
Published on
May 9, 2023

Growing up in Venezuela, Gerardo Villena was always full of ideas, sharing, “Since I was a child, I have been having a lot of ideas of business and apps, and I always keep writing them on paper.” Villena first heard of Thunkable through MIT App Inventor and quickly got to work building apps, even winning a national prize. 

“In Venezuela, I built myself a company of web app development and virtual solution for small businesses,” he said. “The most amazing thing that I did was I developed a ticketing [app] for concerts and events that I built myself from scratch. I won the national prize of entrepreneurship with that. I started growing fast.”

Starting Over

Unfortunately, Villena’s success in Venezuela was short-lived as he had to relocate to the United States due to his country’s civil war. Now living in Utah and adjusting nicely — “Now I love cold. I love not being sweaty," he shares — Villena is again building his business by creating apps for small companies with Thunkable. “Right now, I own an insurance office, and I just created a second company just to build business solutions and apps and websites for small companies,” Villena shared.

Villena’s main focus is helping small businesses automate processes and increase efficiencies. He shares, “Basically, my business is to create ideas or solutions for a small business easily, or automatization through web apps or phone apps. For example, I need to create a greeting message for a client right away. So I design that. I just put the name of the client, and [the app] will automatically make it happen. That helped me a lot. Maybe it's a small, simple app, but that saves a bunch of time for me and my employees. That's what I'm doing right now.” 

Saving Time and Money

Anyone who’s managed clients knows that the more time and money you save, the better. Villena continually looks for ways to apply his app-building experience to his business. He explains,” The other day, I just was making a campaign, and I just created an app that I uploads into a Google Sheet. [It has] the names and Gmail [addresses] of all my clients, and the app creates a personal message and an image and puts it in email and sends it to them.”

Being able to automate communication with his app led to big returns for Villena. “That saved me hours of time,” he says. “That's something that helped me have a better relationship with my clients, have [retention] of my clients, and make me $8,000 in just a single month of revenue, just because of that.” 

Villena’s working smarter, not harder by having Thunkable as part of his go-to tech stack. “It's not that I'm building big apps or big platforms with hundreds of users. It's just that I'm using Thunkable as a way to have my own tools and solutions,” he shares.

Advice for Other Entrepreneurs

Villena’s advice for other entrepreneurs is to really think about what you want to accomplish with Thunkable. He explains, “I will say that they need to be honest with what they want. Do they want to program for fun or do they want to program like I do?”

If you want to add Thunkable to your professional tool stack, we offer different payment plans that come with various offerings like storage, available downloads, support, custom fonts, and more. 

Get Started Today with Thunkable

If you have an idea you’d like to bring to life, reach out to our sales team to talk through your idea and how Thunkable can make it a reality. If you’re new to app-building or are full of ideas you’d like to bring to life, you can start building on Thunkable for free.  

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Written by
Blythe Bartel

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