Language contributes to the most basic form of communication, and most of the times there could be a communication barrier if the native language is different. Especially for professionals and students, when working or studying in a different country, they may face this difficulty.
Marina Tognetti, who herself is fond of learning new languages, founded mYngle end 2007. Originally from Italy, she has worked in different countries and speaks several languages, Italian, English, Dutch, French, Spanish, and some Mandarin.
Marina, with her successful 18 years of corporate career by Procter & Gamble, Philips, Billiton, Sara Lee, The Boston Consulting Group and eBay, decided to become an entrepreneur and started the venture mYngle. She first saw the potential of the internet while she was working as a consultant project. That is when she realized that it would disrupt entire industries and forever change the way people buy/sell/interact.
“I had to be part of that! The idea came later on from when trying to learn Mandarin. There are thousands of teachers all over the world; I just need to use the internet to connect teachers with students. That is how mYngle was born.”
mYngling with Languages-
mYngle is a platform that pioneers in online language lessons. Native teachers offer classes by means of a live virtual classroom to professionals all around the globe. mYngle offers the possibility of teaching or receiving live one-on-one lessons from the comfort of your home or office, or even when travelling.
mYngle offers customized language training programs through video conferencing in 45 different languages anytime, anywhere. Lessons are one-on-one, with highly qualified native coaches and related to the learner’s job-position. The virtual classrooms enable learners to take classes 24/7. The platform is a perfect solution for busy professionals who need language training to be successful in their international business, and for Companies that want great learning results and a transparent and controllable learning process to make their investment a success.
The key to success for mYngle was being able to ‘pivot’ from the initial business model to a completely different one. mYngle was launched as a marketplace, something Marina was well familiar with from her previous experience at eBay. Even though the company had a good funding, and a very motivated team, little development was seen initially.
“We listened to our customers and they gave us the new direction, from an open marketplace to a quality global online school.”
That brought them to a different place where companies more than consumers were interested in the services mYngle was offering. The second pivot was from B2C to B2B. mYngle now has prestigious business clients and learners all over the word, with tens of thousands of lessons given each month.
mYngle strongly believes that the key to success is not constantly comparing with competition, but aligning with what customers want. They have always been known for uncompromising quality of their trainings and service. This means the best trainers and tailored courses, a proven method and the highest flexibility, with (online) lessons 24/7 that can be rescheduled just 2 hours in advance.
Continuous improvement comes from constantly listening to users’ feedback and improving accordingly, as well as using new technologies at their advantage. Data analysis and machine learning helps to triage new products better, it helps to understand clients and try to anticipate possible issues better, it also helps Sales department with forecasting, funnel analysis, staff coaching…
“One size does not fit all.”
Education is still operating in the old traditional way, offering learners what is available, and not what they want. mYngle constantly monitors their users’ reactions and tries to adjust accordingly, using adapted versions of NPS (Net Promoter Score), which defines that only excellence counts. Constant focus on customers and their needs is one of mYngle’s pillars and key strengths. This is particularly important when you are in an industry like that of online education, which is in a transition or evolution phase, where the main challenge is not competition but the unawareness or inexperience of customers.
What makes the mYngle team Unique
mYngle stimulates a culture of experimentation and allowing mistakes. Innovation cannot exist in a culture of fear of consequences. The team tries to develop people who think and not only do ‘’jobs’’. In its staff mYngle looks for entrepreneurs, people who do not keep the status quo, but push themselves beyond their comfort zone.
“If you try ten new things, some will fail, some will be OK, and one will make a difference. We are looking for that ‘’special one’’.
Tech entrepreneurship is the ultimate challenge. Only 5% of tech start-ups are owned by women. The issue about female leadership is amplified in tech start-ups: women are as innovative as men and companies run by women are as successful. Yet, the percentage of women owners of tech businesses is incredibly low.
“I believe the main issue here is that too often women don’t take the first step as they are held back by too many doubts about their own ability.”
Marina Tognetti- The Pioneer of Online Language Lessons
With her love for other countries, their cultures and languages, the internet, and most importantly, a passion to create something new and useful, Marina ended her long corporate career to pursue her love for languages and create mYngle. Her goal was to use the internet to strengthen and challenge the traditional practices of education.
Marina is a regular speaker at international conferences on topics of women entrepreneurship and leadership. With her innovative approach and leadership, mYngle has been a recipient of several awards right after its launch:
- Techcrunch Europa’s Tech Awards- Nomination for Best European Web Application or Service EMEA, July 2009
- FEM Business Top 5 Start-up Media in The Netherlands, June 2009
- Plugg People’s choice award, March 2009
- Best ICT Company at the European Venture Summit, December 2008
- Accenture Innovation award, October 2008
- One of 33 hot Dutch web 2.0 companies, August 2008
- Most promising ICT Company in Benelux, in March 2008