Sylby joined the AI Founders program to help them establish a significant presence in the language learning space, as they leverage cutting-edge AI technology and logopedic techniques to provide real-time, personalized feedback to language learners. We talked to them about their journey and how they transformed Sylby from an idea to a real product.
How did it all started for Sylby, from its initial concept to successfully securing funding? What were the pivotal moments and strategies that led to this stage where you are now?
Sylby’s origin can be traced to the Freie Universität Berlin. As Vera completed her doctorate, focusing on pronunciation and second language acquisition, she recognized a gap in language learning. To bridge this gap, she teamed up with Paras, a computer science Ph.D. They conceptualized Sylby, a language learning app focused on pronunciation & communication skills. Our journey took a significant step when we secured the EXIST-Förderung grant in 2022, allowing us to bring the research to reality. I joined this year as a co-founder to bring Sylby to the customers and further develop our growth strategy. Until now, we have organically gained 3.5K downloads and companies/language schools as B2B customers. Our strategy has always been to leverage the latest AI technology and logopedic techniques to offer real-time, personalized feedback to language learners. This approach not only addresses their specific needs but also boosts their self-confidence in communicating in a foreign language. We’ve been driven by a commitment to make language learning more accessible and empowering, especially for immigrants in Germany.
What were some of the challenges Sylby encountered during its funding journey, and how did the team navigate and overcome these obstacles?
Bringing scientific research into a business idea takes time, effort, and the willingness to endure rejection. It is important to test the product early on to ensure building a product that our users love.
In your experience, what are the key ingredients for transforming a startup idea into a funded reality, and how do you plan to continue this success moving forward?
Endurance, resilience, and teamwork. These qualities have been significant in our journey at Sylby. While there are moments that feel like sprints, building a company is predominantly a marathon. We rely on our company vision as a guiding light for strategic decisions, and it keeps us on track moving forward. Our plan is to scale our technology and expand to other languages. We are currently in the process of developing Sylby for Spanish and French, which represents our commitment to making language learning more accessible and empowering for a global audience.
As a participant in the AI Founders program by Campus Founders, what role has the program played in shaping Sylby’s approach to securing funding and growing the startup?
We are happy to be part of the Campus Founders ecosystem. Our participation in the AI Founders program has been a game-changer. We’re gaining invaluable resources, building new connections, and using these advantages to further grow Sylby and make our mark in the language learning space.