Learning a new language is like taking a big trip to an unknown destination. This is the philosophy behind Speakly, the new startup for learning foreign languages, created by two LUISS students in Economics and Management: Adriano Galdieri and Giancarlo Ramos. The two twenty-two year olds met at university and found they had common interests, having grown up around the world: "We both had an international background and we immediately agreed that the idea of a startup based on learning English was the best project we could develop."
"I was born in Rome but by the time I was three months old I was already on an airplane that took me across the hemisphere to one of the 7,107 islands of the Philippines," says Giancarlo. Then, when he came back to Italy two years later with his family, he experienced the normal difficulties as well as the privileges of living between two hemispheres: "At first it was hard because of the language and the new environment, but after a few years I had an international perspective: two worlds, two cultures, two populations and a real knowledge of both."
Adriano’s life as well can be described as "a long voyage with many stops but a treasure trove of memories." He was born in Venezuela and moved around between Italy, Poland, Qatar and the United States during his childhood and adolescence; by the time he started university he had encountered so many different people and environments that it made him think that it was normal not to live in any one city too long.
In the end, both chose LUISS for its international and entrepreneurial culture. Giancarlo remembers deciding to study Economics after reading an article on the possible default of Italy during the financial crisis: "There was change in the air and I wanted to know more." Adriano, on the other hand, decided to come to Rome after having become interested in the world of startups, thanks to a web project on photography.
Out of this meeting of the minds came Speakly, the startup for learning English online through a series of individual Skype lessons. An idea that came out of the shared principle that "acquiring new languages opens new doors and leads to new opportunities." Bolstered by their synergies and the encouragement they got at university (particularly from professors Stefano Za and Massimo Bernaschi, for "fundamental tools acquired in the IT course" as well as Eloisa Campioni and Paolo Giordani with the courses of Institutions of political economy and Microeconomics, "which helped us conceive of an outsourcing platform, drawing on the strengths and capacities of emerging countries"), the two students quickly completed the site and began working with English teachers in the Philippines "who we personally and carefully selected, through a real recruiting process."
For them, this business idea is the latest stopover on a long journey, where what is important is not simply the destination but what you learn along the way. "We had the inspiration and the courage to launch ourselves in an enterprise of this magnitude thanks to the innumerable training opportunities and entrepreneurial stimuli that LUISS has offered us over the course of our studies. And now that we have made our ideas come true, we are ready to present our project to LUISS EnLabs".