"Without LaunchBox I don't think Lexi would have reached the milestones it has reached in such a short amount of time. From the scope of the workshops to the value of the LaunchBox network, I truly think it gave us the concrete foundation needed to launch a successful product." - Machaela O’Leary, Co Founder of Lexi, LaunchBox 2017

Founders: Machaela O’Leary and Catherine Coffey 

One line description: Lexi is an elearning platform that teaches non native English speakers industry specific vocabulary to improve their employment opportunities. 

URL: www.lexi.ie 

The Story

Lexi teaches non-native English speakers industry specific vocabulary that improves their employment opportunities. As the employment market is becoming more globalised, the need to speak English is more important than ever.

We see a war on talent in Ireland with non native speakers migrating to the capital to work. However many are not succeeding in securing the job they deserve as they do not have the industry specific vocabulary to set them apart at the interview stage. Those that do are often stuck at entry level jobs, unable to progress their career. 

Lexi aims to tackle this problem, providing the courses necessary to remove the language barrier from the equation. 

Machaela and Catherine grew up together in Kerry and are childhood friends. They both made the move to Dublin to study in Trinity College with Machaela studying Computer Science, Linguistics and French and Catherine taking on Philosophy and French. Both have a keen understanding of the problem as they both struggled to work abroad through their second language. 

The journey

Lexi was born out a problem that both Machaela and Catherine felt throughout their college experiences. Although both held a university standard of French, neither felt comfortable working in specific professional environments. When studying abroad both struggled to secure employment through French although they could hold a conversation easily. 

This prompted the idea that there was a need for a platform that would improve your industry specific language in a way Duolingo or other language learning apps never would.  

Speaking of her time in LaunchBox, Catherine said, “the lessons learned during the LaunchBox program will have a lasting effect on Lexi. Without that time to iterate and fail, there would have been no success.” Throughout the summer program workshops such as legal agreements, customer development and pitching sessions provided insights into the startup world that weren't available elsewhere. Lexi feels these workshops and the mentoring they received is what sets them apart from other budding startups.

Where are they now? 

After finishing the summer accelerator program, Lexi took a well deserved break and headed home to Kerry. Since coming back to Dublin they've gained support from Enterprise Ireland and the New Frontiers program and are participating in the Startup Boost Accelerator program a pre-accelerator for Tech Stars to continue with their mentoring. The next steps from Lexi involve running customer testing, launching their beta quiz and preparing for a full launch in April 2018. The team hopes to expand in the next 8 months hiring a software team with the intention of raising more capital during the summer of 2018.