Want to learn English? Try Voxy.
Who could have imagined that a post-college work/travel hiatus in Chile would result in a thriving EdTech startup?
Certainly not Paul Gollash, the CEO and founder of Voxy, a web- and app-based English learning subscription service.
A former financial manager for Virgin Hotels, Gollash started Voxy in 2001 with $600,000 in seed money. Through his participation in the New York State In-State Private Equity Investment Program, Voxy has expanded worldwide.
With 45 employees based in Manhattan and a 25-person satellite office in Sao Paolo, Brazil, Voxy’s future looks bright. The company also employs nearly 100 freelance teachers.
Voxy uses a unique approach in teaching English. Instead of studying boring dialogue and text, students speak to each other via internet using practical, everyday language. Contracting with media outlets like Bloomberg News, Huffington Post and the Hollywood Reporter, subscribers learn English reading real-time news. Clients include AT&T, Montreal’s McGill University and the U.S. Department of State.
Gollash has always loved languages. While in Chile, he learned Spanish quickly while working in an auto repair shop in Santiago.
“I had to know the difference between sparkplug and brake pad, or I’d get fired,” he said. “I want to bring that urgency, that sense of excitement to my clients.”
Since English is the language of world commerce, many of Voxy’s subscribers are professionals seeking to advance their careers. While customers come from all over the globe, the majority of business clients hail from South Korea, Russia, Brazil and Japan.
Gollash credits the In-State Program for helping start-ups grow.
“This program allows entrepreneurs to take risks and develop technology that can have substantial impact here and abroad,” he said. “I’m proud to be a part of this program.”