Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in language education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Dr. Rocio Raña, Co-Founder of LangInnov, located in New York, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
LangInnov provides innovative technology to improve educational outcomes for young Latinx bilingual children. Our first solution, the BLAST mobile app, is a standard-aligned, child-friendly, and fully-automated assessment that measures bilingual speaking and pre-literacy skills in Kindergarten children. BLAST helps school principals and district leaders make informed placement and instructional decisions, reduce the number of Latinx bilinguals misplaced in special education, and accelerate literacy development.
Tell us about yourself
My inspiration for this project comes from my personal experience with my own kids, who were born in the U.S. and grew up speaking Spanish and English at home. When they started school, they faced many challenges because schools didn’t have adequate tools to assess bilingual children. I also worked extensively on literacy assessments during my graduate studies and after I completed my PhD. What motivates me each day to do this work is to help children in my community achieve educational equity with literacy technology that is designed to understand the assets of bilingual Latinx children so that we can empower them to maintain those assets and continue to flourish.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment as a business owner so far has been receiving recognition for our project via awards from the National Science Foundation and NewSchools Venture Fund.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things about being a business owner is keeping anxiety at bay! Sometimes I want to see results right away, and I have to remind myself that it takes time for efforts to generate opportunities and gains.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Trust your instincts.
- Surround yourself with partners and collaborators that share your vision and support you.
- Keep your ears open to be able to address the needs of your customers.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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