Stefan Kiryazov / Lexicum Ltd.
Lexicum is a language learning and translation tool that provides word and phrase exercises based on everyday situations. Through an electronic dictionary, users practice words and phrases they encounter via a mobile app or the Lexicum website.
What inspired you to take on this business venture?
We saw the appalling set of tools that are currently used for learning another language, and we also saw how technology could transform it. Learning thousands of foreign words is a major pain for language learners, and yet all that teachers offer are simple and outdated written exercises. When I recognized this gap, I just had to build something better.
What goals do you have for your company (short-term and long-term)?
In the immediate future, we want build out our database of words and phrases from all experiences and contexts. Our mobile app is programed to save the location of where words are searched in order to integrate context.
In the long term, we want to have a lasting impact on how the world learns a new language. We did some research and found that 80% of learners use repetitive writing and paper flashcards to memorize vocabulary. We want to change that, and to be at the forefront of the revolution in language learning. There will be other tools in the future, and there are some reasonably good solutions even today. However, Lexicum will be the first to provide a comprehensive solution to language learning.
What makes your company/product/approach unique?
We are one of the few tools that offer learner-driven vocabulary building. We don’t push lists of words to learners to memorize like parrots. Instead, we collect and provide words and phrases that users naturally come across, and then help them remember the words/phrases using fine-tuned algorithms.
For someone who’s just starting out, what advice would you give?
- Focus on market research — Figure out who your customer is and how your product meets his or her needs.
- Be careful in interpreting what your customer is telling you – Sometimes customers don’t know what they don’t know.
- Find awesome co-founders (or at least one). You won’t be able to do it alone. More importantly, if you can’t sell your vision to a co-founder you won’t be able to sell it to anyone.
- Give potential co-founders a coherent pitch – it’s never too early to start perfecting your pitch.
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