Ever thought about learning a language but couldn’t find a teacher or a class near you? Well, you can with the new online platform, Langu, set up by Travis Wentworth, who won our Young Entrepreneur Award 2017.
Langu is a virtual language learning platform that simply and easily connects those wanting to learn a language with independent language teachers for live, one-to-one lessons in their own virtual classroom. What language would you like to learn? Do a simple search and Langu connects you with the very best language teachers from around the world. As Travis says, “the beauty of the site is that you can find a teacher to suit your individual needs – whether it’s learning a language for university, traveling, or for your career. What’s more, Langu means you can learn a language anywhere – in your local café, at home, or on the train to and from work – with a good internet connection”. Research shows that if you study the same material, whether it’s French verbs or Spanish grammar, in a different place each day it makes you remember information better: our brain is forced to create new associations with the same material and then it becomes a stronger memory!
Travis came to Oxford to do a master’s degree in migration studies. While there he met Agnieszka Nowicka, who was doing a degree in Applied Linguistics. They later moved to London and when he was going to meet her family for the first time and wanted to learn a bit of Polish to impress the in-laws. He looked online but drew a blank and it was then that he came up with the idea for Langu.
He founded Langu with Agnieszka (see photo with CTO, Patryk Zajdler, right) as a better, more accessible way to teach and learn languages. Travis says: “There are so many great teachers out there but students struggle to find them. Our idea was to create a marketplace where students can type in the language they want to learn and choose the right teacher for them, based on criteria like background, price, availability, and reviews.“
He adds: “It took a while to pull it all together but investment in the technical build and money to pay a salary was the trigger for us to work full-time on developing Langu.”
Travis’ aim is to make education more accessible to everyone and he hopes Langu will help him achieve that goal.
Setting up your own start-up can be a lonely road and Travis says it is the support of organisations like The Oxford Trust that have given him access to networks that have helped him on his journey. Winning the Young Entrepreneur Award this year has given him the boost he needed and Langu is now part of Ignite – the UK’s leading accelerator supporting tech businesses.
What next? Travis says:“I want to grow the business steadily over the next few months, especially in the UK and Polish markets where we have good connections. Then it’s another round of investment to scale-up and market Langu all around Europe.” The world is his oyster and the Trust is happy to have played a part in cracking it open. Good luck, Travis!
Find out more about Langu here.