Inside the Duolingo headquarters - Duolingo and the global language mix
"Duolingo's mission is to make language education free and accessible to all." - Michaela Kron of Duolingo.
Duolingo's Michaela Kron spoke to the OriginalSteps.com team about the inner workings of this leading language application.
Duolingo was co-founded in 2011 by entrepreneur and computer science, professor Luis von Ahn, known for having invented CAPTCHA and reCAPTCHA, earning the MacArthur Genius grant, and giving a popular TED talk.
After selling two companies to Google in his twenties, Luis decided to dedicate his life to reducing educational inequity through technology. Inspired by his upbringing in Guatemala, Luis knew that while learning English could double one's income potential, high-quality language education was expensive and inaccessible to those who needed it most. His mission became making language education free and accessible to everyone in the world, so he started Duolingo.
Today, Duolingo has grown to more than 170 million users worldwide and offers 69 language courses for free. Duolingo is used both by the wealthiest people in the world and students in developing countries – a testament to its work promoting educational equality for all.
Success thus far can be attributed to Duolingo's core learning app, as well as with the Duolingo English Test (DET), a computer-adaptive English language certification test that anybody can take from their mobile device or at home.
Recent developments include the launch of Duolingo Bots, a set of AI-powered chatbots that help users practice conversation without the fear of embarrassment that comes with talking to native speakers.
Glimpse of the Duolingo app - Duolingo and the global language mix
The low down:
Founded: In 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Their business: Duolingo's mission is to make language education free and accessible to all.
Global reach: Over 170 million users worldwide
Social programs: As a mission-driven company, Duolingo makes an active effort to be involved with the local community in Pittsburgh, where they are based. This includes the sponsoring of hackathons at local universities such as Carnegie Mellon and a program called TechNights that encourages middle school girls to enter the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Careers: Can range from roles in Business, Community, Design, Engineering, Marketing, Operations, Product and Teaching.