Speaksli began as a true labor of love. After marrying a Swiss national and becoming a resident of Switzerland in 2014, Speaksli’s founder, Elizabeth Cummins, challenged herself to create animated videos teaching herself German and Swiss German. She started publishing her videos on YouTube and watched in delight as the channel rapidly grew to over 3.2 million views in 196 countries. Today, with a 97% approval rating and countless glowing user testimonials, Speaksli fans show a strong emotional connection to the brand and clamor for more content.
The main goal of Speaksli is to develop engaging video content so learners can quickly develop confidence and proficiency in a new language at their own pace. By creating simple, affordable and accessible technology solutions, the company hopes to reduce the frustration of learning a new language and adjusting to a new culture. The growing European refugee crisis in late 2016 showed how conflicts can arise from cultural and language differences. Speaksli hopes reduce these conflicts by promoting international understanding by facilitating language proficiency and communication across cultures. Language skills serve as one of the most essential early steps toward successful cultural integration and the obtainment of gainful employment by new immigrants. Speaksli could greatly help with cultural integration and economic empowerment within these communities.
Beginning with the 2016 MassChallenge Startup Accelerator program in Lausanne, Switzerland, Speaksli received great market validation through conversations with government officials and refugee aid workers. Soon thereafter, Speaksli was awarded the prestigious PremaGyan Good100 Award at the GoodFestival while also being selected for mentoring by Google at ImpactHub in Zurich. Next, Speaksli was selected as one of only 100 exhibitors out of 7,400 applicants for the StartupGrind Global Conference in the Silicon Valley, February of 2017.
Elizabeth always strived to make a meaningful contribution to society. As a result, Speaksli set off on a more formal journey to help refugees, fueled by the passion of many mentors and the support of many startup organizations.
Beyond helping refugees and recent immigrants, a secondary aim of Speaksli is to equip students, travelers, expatriates and lifelong adult language learners around the globe with a flexible learning platform that makes learning a second language fast and fun. As a starting point, Speaksli will license content to the eGranary Digital Library, which is installed in over 1,100 schools, clinics, and universities in Africa, India, Bangladesh, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, and many other locations. Ultimately, Speaksli plans to offer core basic language content in 7 languages by 2020, growing one day to 12 languages.