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Admit.Me, ELSA, Words Liive Finalists in SXSWedu Launch

NARROW THE FIELD: A diverse group of edtech startups pitched their businesses to a full room of educators, investors and fellow entrepreneurs at SXSWedu Launch on Tuesday. The ten participating companies ran the edtech gamut from a game teaching organic chemistry to a marketplace coaching foreign students on soft skills.

Three companies were selected as finalists in the competition:

Admit.Me: Admit.Me connects college applicants with current students & experts at those colleges. The product’s goal is to provide students with more attention than the typical high school guidance counselor can provide, at a lower price than a private admissions consultant. Founder and CEO Kofi Kankam explained, “We envision that some day universities will be able to search for students the way we search for tickets on Kayak.”

ELSA: ELSA helps English language learners to improve their accent, pitch and intonation when speaking English. The app, which has not yet been released publicly, listens to the way that users pronounce words and provides specific feedback on how to improve pronunciation, for example, “Use a harsher ‘sh’ sound at the end of the word ‘flesh.’” The genesis of the app is rooted in founder Vu Van’s personal experience: “When I arrived for my first day at Stanford Graduate School of Business, I wanted to ask for the ‘information sheet.’ Instead I requested the ‘information s**t.’”

Words Liive: Words Liive helps students understand grammar concepts by comparing classic texts to contemporary song lyrics. For example, explained founder and president Sage Salvo, students are more apt to understand a metaphor by Shakespeare (“Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs”) if it is compared to a metaphor in a John Legend song (“Our love’s an asylum / where you go I go.”)

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Press Release – ELSA Announced Winner at SXSWedu 2016 Launch Competition

Austin, TX: Today, ELSA is proud and honored to be selected as the winner of the SXSWedu 2016 Launch Competition. Vu Van, ELSA Co-founder & CEO pitched in two rounds at the competition in Austin in front of esteemed judges who are education experts and leaders in investments, startups, schools and classrooms. ELSA is a mobile app for language learners to improve pronunciation and reduce accent, utilizing in-house speech recognition, automated feedback and deep learning technology. ELSA is recognized for its innovative approach and its vision for solving one pressing skill for 1.5 billion English language learners in the world.

“Winning the competition is a humbling experience for us. We’re honored, grateful, and especially even more reminded that we’re working on solving a real education problem with a technology solution that is scalable all over the world. The experience further motivates our team to keep moving ahead with our development and commercialization plans in Asia and the U.S.” – said Vu Van at the competition.

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Làm thế nào mà em gái ELSA lại khó hơn các anh lớn Siri và Google?

Mấy hôm nay ELSA rất vui được nói chuyện với bạn bè khắp năm châu bốn biển, Việt Nam có, nước ngoài có. ELSA cũng bất ngờ khi nhận được rất nhiều sự cổ vũ, động viên, góp ý để các trải nghiệm nói tiếng Anh với ELSA được hoàn hảo hơn.

1. ELSA ơi, tại sao khi mình nói với Siri và Google thì bên đấy nhận diện được còn nói với ELSA thì khó qua quá?

Tiếng Việt có câu sự thật mất lòng. Nói đùa thôi chứ vì công nghệ tạo nên ELSA được lập trình để càng nhận ra các điểm không chuẩn so với giọng chuẩn càng tốt. Chỉ khi nhận ra được các điểm khác nhau đó thì ELSA mới đưa ra những hướng dẫn hiệu quả nhất cho bạn. Siri và Google Voice đều là các anh khổng lồ lớn trong công nghệ nhận diện giọng nói và được huấn luyện để hiểu được và bỏ qua các lỗi chưa chuẩn lắm của người nói tiếng Anh không phải là bản xứ.

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