Zizzle: Learning Chinese Just Got Easier
Anyone who has tried to learn Chinese formally, or has simply looked over written Chinese characters can recognize the complexity and difficulty that comes with learning to read and write Chinese. Zizzle is a Germany-based company which has set out to make this process a little easier, creating an app that utilizes storytelling and pictorial devices to create a better way for Chinese learners to read and write Chinese characters.
So what does a German e-learning company have to do with the Beehive State? Zizzle is the only foreign company of the 2016 Spring Cohort at BoomStartup. After originally being contacted by BoomStartup, Zizzle’s founder Lukas Lohove said that he found “Utah was one of the best places for foreign language learning from elementary through university levels and beyond.” This includes but is not limited to the language immersion programs in Chinese as well as other languages and ultimately, Zizzle chose to come to Utah to be a part of the vibrant entrepreneurial community.
Zizzle is the brainchild of Lohove, created while living and studying in China. He stated, “Many Chinese learners have a hard time learning and remembering Chinese characters, a process that traditionally consisted of rote memorization.” In order to make the process more fun and effective Lohove created mnemonic devices and stories to go with each character as he learned. This process proved to be so effective that Lohove and his team are now seeking to fill this education gap by making the process widely available through technology. This product uses a subscription based model, targeted to serious learners of Chinese who will continually use the product for months or years instead of just weeks. The Zizzle team is also hoping to enter the school market, making the app available for students learning Chinese in a more formal classroom setting.
Lohove (CEO) has partnered with Kevin Li (CMO) a native speaker of both German and Chinese to provide an accurate educational product for their customers. They have leveraged the community and comradery of the BoomStartup program as they work with their CTO Hagen Hubel, who is still based out of Munich, to complete their product. “Zizzle is currently beta testing with 650 users,” Lohove said, and they will “launch their app for both Android and iOS before the end of June in preparation for BoomStartup’s demo day.” The team hopes to prove the efficacy of their mnemonic storytelling system with this initial product and eventually grow their e-learning company outside of just Chinese learning and into other fields including history, mathematics, or economics.
Republished from Beehive Startups.