When the Spring 2022 semester was about to conclude, we were almost certain that we would soon be in the United States for our summer internships. That was until we did the most unexpected thing: giving up on the internships to work on our first-ever startup. This was the story of my co-founder - Mai Quang Tuan (an Electrical Engineering rising junior) - and I - Nguyen Thi Nhu Tham (a Business Administration rising sophomore) - on our journey with Mount2 Speak – the first EdTech startup by VinUnians.
Founded on June 8th, 2022, Mount2 Speak harnesses the power of Artificial Intelligence to develop a software that provides automatic analytics & feedback for users’ speaking performance in Public Speaking and IELTS Speaking. This would be a helpful assistant for people who want to practice for an upcoming presentation, level up their public speaking skills, or boost their IELTS Speaking band score. The Beta Version is now available for testing at speaking.mount2.education, so if you are interested, please give it a try and share with us your honest feedback via the form embedded on the site.
For me, there were many reasons why I decided to start up at this age. I had always been passionate about education – especially Education Technology – and had wanted to start up in this field ever since I got into college. Moreover, starting up was the only thing, out of the myriad things I tried out in my first year, that truly made me fall in love. That genuine passion also fostered in me a strong determination to persevere in the face of hardships — which, I believe, is the most important quality since character and skills are all learnable. Most importantly, if not now, then when? I would probably never be brave enough to accept the trade-off of starting up, if I did not conquer my insecurities now. Therefore, with all the necessary “ingredients” — an exciting idea, a competent co-founder, an enthusiastic team, and my absolute resolution — I decided that the time was ripe.
Starting up was, of course, difficult. Leading a startup was very different from my previous leadership experiences with non-profit clubs, organizations, and projects, so I had a lot of room for improvement. For example, the pressure now was not simply to get something done, but also to get it done in the most cost-effective and resource-efficient manner, which was not at all easy. Moreover, I had to separate personal affairs from work, as I was working with some very close relations. Not to mention, there were several problems along the way, from product development to human resources and finance.
However, it is exactly those challenges that make this startup experience even more rewarding and meaningful. Every difficulty serves as a constant reminder for greater self-improvement. So, in order to fulfill it, I need to keep on learning. Indeed, over the past three months, I have learned so many things, from technical skills like UI/UX Design and Business Analytics, to administration to-dos and not-to-dos. The hands-on experience of starting-up taught me a lot more things about business than one year of college and four years of extracurricular activities combined. As people say: “Learning by doing”. In fact, the eagerness to learn is a pivotal characteristic of Mount2 Speak’s team. Young and inexperienced as we are, we never hesitate to learn new things to fulfill any challenging task.
The great news is that Mount2 Speak is looking for companions.
Lastly, I want to sincerely thank every teammate of mine as well as all the people who have believed in us and supported us from the beginning. We still have a long way to go, with so many challenges on the horizon, but you have empowered us all! Together, let’s build the future with Mount2 Speak!
Sign in or become a Sincerely, VinUnians member to join the conversation.
Just enter your email below to get a log in link.