Behind Beepboop’s success, an app that is helping thousands of health professionals communicate better with their Hispanic patients, is the incredible story of Alejandra Molina, a young 23 years old Hispanic, who speaks 4 languages and lived in at least 14 countries before coming to New York and trying to make her mark in the business world, where she promotes equity and inclusion as core values in her company.
Beepboop, just one-year old, experienced growth rates of over 60% per week during the summer! In 12 months, it reached more than 15,000 registrations to improve its communication in Spanish classes, which is now extremely focused on serving the needs of the health sector.
Beepboop offers 25-minute online group lessons, focused on speech. Each lesson is guided by a live instructor, in a round robin style, where students stay at the edge of their seats while being guided through a series of increasingly challenging pronunciation and memory retention exercises.
The method of teaching Beepboop’s online exercises is influenced by the pedagogical work initiated at Dartmouth College by Professor John Rassias. This method, although eccentric to many, has been shown to make students comfortable speaking a new language extremely quickly.
Alejandra is also a proud alumni of the Latinx Incubator at Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (IHCC), a selective program where she developed some skills that allowed her to improve her leadership within her company and also to have a better interaction with potential investors.
The Latinx Incubator is proud to see Alejandra’s rapid development as an exceptional entrepreneur; she shows the importance of technical assistance programs designed to help Hispanic entrepreneurs in the area of technology, where there are more and more opportunities.
In early October, Beepboop was awarded in the “HealthCare Entrepreneurship Community Challenge”, funded by the EDA (US Economic Development Administration). This recognition has been a new validation for Alejandra’s and her team’s work, which deserves to be told in our blog.
In the United States one only says their first and last name. But Hispanics, in many cases, are proud to say our full names. Alejandra Aylén Molina Pérez, born in 1997 in Lima, Peru.
Raised in a bilingual education, Alejandra has developed special skills in handling languages since the age of 10.
She sought to do the International Baccalaureate 100% in English and Spanish specializing in digital marketing, obtaining her high school graduation in 2014 with a clear inclination towards business.
Alejandra doesn’t waste any time. After finishing high school she worked for her father’s company, preparing to travel to New York where she studied in the Long Island University Global program (LIU GLOBAL), a program designed for those young people willing to do a semester in a different country of the world. This led her to live in Spain, Morocco, Germany, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, New York, Austria, Hungary, Bosnia… and 2 years in China.
Her passion for languages (she speaks perfect French, English, Spanish and Mandarin) and her interest in business development led her to discover a world of opportunities that opened fluid communication.
People want to connect better with each other and speaking to them in their native language, is the best way to reach new opportunities and close business deals,” explains Alejandra.
In May 2019, she graduated and before that in 2018 she had an opportunity with the Economic and Commercial Office of Peru in Shanghai, where she helped many companies in Latin America to enter the complicated Asian market.
She also had the opportunity to attend a “Techstars Start-up Weekend” in Taipei, where she confirmed that her entrepreneurial spirit and her passion for speaking different languages needed to converge in one company.
In September 2019, after meeting Devon Saliga, an investment banking executive as passionate about languages as she is, they launched Beepboop.
Humanizing language education
At Beepboop we aim to nothing less than to humanize online language education.
They are convinced that quality human-led education is the fastest way to achieve oral fluency. That’s why they created the technological platform that allows access to everyone who wants to speak another language well and quickly.
Previous studies taught Devon and Alejandra that Spanish was a big barrier for many health professionals in the United States. Doctors, nurses, paramedics, and support staff do not have the time to learn everything about a language. They only want to learn about their interests, which in this case is communicating better with non-English speaking patients.
In fact, market research showed that the vast majority of patients who only speak Spanish are at a disadvantage and receive a lower quality of medical service in the United States, since many doctors and nurses do not know our language.
Beepboop classes start every 30 minutes and there is always an opportunity to connect, showing that language teaching is good when you really teach people to communicate in what they are interested in.
“We want our students to break free from inhibitions and be able to focus on speaking, in record time, about what they are interested in,” explains Alejandra.
Her experience at Latinx Incubator
Alejandra Molina participated in the last in the last cohort of IHCC’s Latinx Incubator.
“I basically loved strategy sessions that were designed for those of us who are founders; we were able to work in small groups and be part of the same community, with common interests, since most of the participants are Hispanic and startup founders,” explains Alejandra.
She understands that her participation in the Latinx Incubator was especially important to realize how to lead a company in the United States.
“We focused a lot on understanding how to manage investor relations and we learned to take advantage of the teachings so that we don’t let stereotypes dominate business conversations and better validate each project,” said Alejandra.
She acknowledged the experience at the Latinx Incubator opened doors for her and wanted to give a special recognition to Liana Bran, program director, who Alejandra highlights for having taught her how to connect with the group, to have a more orderly agenda and to use her time wisely.
Leaving a mark
Alejandra is not only worried about making money. “Revenue is a consequence of a job well done, but we are also interested in leaving a mark,” she explains.
The partners are focused on having a diverse and inclusive company that generates job opportunities for minorities.
That’s why almost all of the teachers on Beepboop’s staff today are Hispanic women.
“I am a Hispanic and I want to create more opportunities for Hispanic women,” says Alejandra who, at 23, has the maturity and preparation to shine in the complex universe of start-ups.
Like Buzz Lightyear, she is ready to go to infinity and beyond.