Young Central Ohio entrepreneurs create language learning app

A trio of college freshmen and a PhD candidate at Ohio State University have teamed up to develop a language learning app called ‘Lingohop’.

18 year old Michael Ashley from Cincinnati is the CEO of the new company and says Lingohop differs from other products in that it tailors the learning experience for the user depending on their needs.

“Are you taking a business trip, a mission trip or are you learning for fluency? We take your specific needs for the language and mold your experience around that,” Ashley said. “So that you can learn exactly what you need to know in the time you need to know it.”

The young entrepreneurs are trying to raise $25,000 on Kickstarter before the end of May and hope to have the product ready for market before the end of the year.

“We’ve actually finished up with the Beta version of the application and we’ve already started on our user-testing and we’re conducting experiments to find out how well the app actually works,” Ashley said.

The Lingohop team is one of dozens of new startups in Central Ohio. In fact hundreds of people with big ideas attended Columbus Startup Week events this week. They were learning, networking and brainstorming with others about their ideas.

Ashley says he found a network of support for startups in Columbus that was unfazed by the age of the Lingohop team.

“It’s actually one of the fastest growing startup hubs in the country,” Ashley said. “For us, even though we’re 18 and 19 years old and trying to build a company while we’re just starting college, the support and network that we’ve been able to find has told us that it doesn’t matter how old you are. If you have a vision for something that can affect the world then you can build it and you can make it a reality.”

Ashley said contributors to the Kickstarter campaign will get discounted access to the app and a chance to participate in testing its effectiveness. By midday Friday, the campaign had already raised 40 percent of its goal at just over $10,000.

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