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The story of a startup that wasn’t hacked over a weekend — Medium

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The founder's journey from China to NYC.

I'm confused by this. Isn't Stanford's incubator for Stanford students?

We built a prototype for an app called TunTunTuTu, which connects language learners around the world to practice speaking. I knew that I wanted to do something language related, because it had been a personal struggle of mine. We got into Stanford’s incubator program StartX, and I relocated to Palo Alto, the heart of Silicon Valley.

On the second day of StartX, we realized we needed to pivot from TunTunTuTu. A StartX peer shared with us his tremendous insight into the language learning business in China. Each of the successful companies has their own unique angle on the market. New Orientaltrains their instructors to be inspirational and edgy, doubling as both motivational speakers and stand-up comedians in a country that lacks either. Wall Street English focuses on the high end executive market, often hosting Friday night cocktails, providing a venue for the upwardly mobile to mingle and date. Disney English offers an over-the-top Disney experience to kids who had not grown up with these characters, conveniently cultivating a gigantic new market for Disney merchandise and the upcoming Disney Shanghai Theme Park. Obviously, these are all high-touch experiences which our online peer-to-peer app would not be able to compete with, let alone charge money for.

I'm not too sure about their rules, but one of the co-founders was affiliated with Stanford so that's how they got in.

Oh, okay. He made like he randomly applied to a Stanford incubator from Asia.

His bring affiliated with Stanford makes more sense. 

Thanks, Danielle!

No problem! I remember wondering that as well. 

P.S. the founder/author is a She =). She moved to NYC before SV, and now's she's back in NYC again.

Wow, shame on me!

Medium is really subtle with its placement of the author byline way at the bottom of the page. 

Why did she leave Silicon Valley?

No idea, the team is all over the world now! I'll ask.

Thanks, I'd appreciate understanding.

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