ALLVP Made an undisclosed investment in Boston-based edtech Slang and partnered with the startup to launch a free English course on entrepreneurship for Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs.
(Press Release) Slang, a Boston-based edtech startup offering English-learning solutions to the B2B market, has partnered with ALLVP, a Latin American venture capital fund based in Mexico City, to provide a free English language course focused on Entrepreneurship for Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs. The free Entrepreneurs English course will be multi-level and accessible via web (http://bit.ly/slangmx/) and mobile apps (iOS and Android) from June 11th 2019 onwards.
When Slang co-founder and CEO Diego Villegas was pursuing his MBA at MIT in 2013, he had great difficulty in finding resources to help him understand the specific, technical English of business cases and course materials. He met his co-founder Kamran Khan on campus when Kamran won an iOS app development competition. In their discussions, they realized the huge potential of a technological solution that would go beyond the general English of tools like Duolingo and Rosetta Stone to teach the specific technical terminology that would allow professionals to master the English of their chosen fields. They co-founded Slang to meet this need, using artificial intelligence and natural language processing to create the widest array of specialized English courses on the market, supported by the fastest, most efficient method for learning a new language.
Slang has developed a machine-learning-driven engine that automates the creation of language courses, enabling them to produce specialized English courses at a fraction of the time and cost of traditional approaches. Regarding Slang’s machine-learning technology, Diego says, “Since the company’s founding, advances in our ML-accelerated course development have cut the time to produce a specialized English course from 40 weeks to four. This rapid, technology-supported content development is what’s making it possible for us to offer the largest variety of professional English courses and, in turn, achieve our dream of making knowledge accessible to everyone.”
When Federico Antoni and Fernando Lelo de Larrea – the founding partners of ALLVP — were introduced to Slang, they instantly recognized the need for professional English courses built for specific professions and industry. Federico recalled that at one point he challenged Slang’s ability to develop a course on entrepreneurship in his first meeting with Diego and Kamran. To Federico’s surprise, Slang delivered the course and the team at ALLVP had the opportunity to test out the course content firsthand. As community builders with an eye for good opportunities, ALLVP immediately suggested a collaboration with Slang to offer the Entrepreneurship English course for free to help Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs familiarize themselves with key English terminology used in the world of startups and venture capital.
Federico and Fernando, who have been actively mentoring and investing in Latin American entrepreneurs since 2008, have seen growth in interest from international investors in Latin American startups in recent years, with the region recently reaching an all-time high in VC investments. Mexico City has been touted as one of the fastest growing tech hubs in Latin America, attracting a wave of international talent and entrepreneurs moving to work and start businesses. While Spanish is the most widely spoken language in Latin America, as international interest grows, Federico and Fernando want to help strengthen the connections between local entrepreneurs and international investors — with meetings principally conducted in English — and facilitate better understanding.
Fernando, who also teaches an evening class on Entrepreneurship Development at ITAM, says, “I’ve been teaching an entrepreneurship course since 2001, and I’ve witnessed native Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs struggle sometimes with understanding and expressing certain terms related to business and venture capital like ticket size, burn rate, go-to-market, and customer acquisition costs, among others. We are excited to work with Diego and Kamran on this initiative to provide Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs wider access of resources for their personal and professional development.”
Slang is a Boston-based edtech startup offering specialized and professional English solutions to companies, universities, and ESL schools, available via the web, iOS, and Android. If you would like more information, please contact Diego Villegas at [email protected]