How did Lingoda start? And who had the idea in the first place? We caught up with Fabian, one half of the brother duo who founded Lingoda back in 2013. We talk about what it takes to become a managing director and how language learning can change lives.
When you founded Lingoda with your brother, Felix, what was your mission?
Back in 2013, the main goal was to help expats in Berlin to learn German. We were excited that people wanted to come to Germany to live and work here. Berlin especially has become a vibrant place full of creativity, growth and opportunities.
Why did you choose to start an edtech company and move into the world of online education?
I think we are living in a time shaped by two megatrends: digitalisation and globalisation. Online language learning is right at the centre of it. And learning a language is very special. It allows you to see the world from a different perspective, become more open minded, and build bridges between cultures.
How does Lingoda differ from other edtech companies?
In the online language learning world, I think what makes us special is our focus on quality teaching paired with a rigorous curriculum. We want to be the best place in the world for language learners who need real results and are prepared to invest the time to study.
What does a founder and managing director do?
A little bit of everything. Since we founded Lingoda I have worked in almost every team: from coding the first version of our website to being the first teacher! Today, the focus is much more on attracting and retaining the best talent, leading a collaborative process to define our strategy, and making sure all the resources are in place to get there.
What does an average day look like for you?
Most of my day is spent in communicating and working together with people. This means a lot of meetings, and also a lot of time taking in information by reading.
How do you manage your time?
The to-do list never ends, so I try to group things to do in “important” and “urgent” and prioritise my time based on that.
Do you think learning languages can have an impact on someone’s career?
Yes, definitively. We have heard many stories from former Lingoda students who have changed their professional and private lives thanks to being more fluent in English. In today’s world, more and more workplaces are switching their company language to English.
What tips would you give someone who is thinking about starting their own company?
Do something that you are really passionate about and start by finding your first customers who love your product. As you gain traction, remember that capital and talent are the two things that allow you to leverage your own time.
Join the Lingoda team
Want to work with Fabian? Lingoda is hiring! With jobs in B2B, creative, product, marketing and research, you’re sure to find something that meets your skillset.