Helping the word as FlashSticks goes from strength to strength…
A fast-growing Birmingham-based company which has developed an innovative foreign language learning product has been given a further boost by the region’s leading business support programme.
The FlashSticks® product, packs of custom printed 3M Post-it Notes®, each contain a commonly used word, translation, icon and phonetic to help people learn a foreign language. A free FlashSticks App also provides free pronunciation videos from native speakers, when a user hovers their phone or tablet over any note.
By sticking the Post-it Notes up in convenient places – work, home or school – people can learn their new foreign vocabulary as they go about their everyday routine.
Launched 12 months ago, the company – based at Birmingham Science Park – has recently revamped its website (www.flashsticks.com) and incorporated a consumer video, thanks to matched grant funding from the Business Development Programme (BDP) – an £8 million business support scheme aimed at helping more than 400 SMEs across the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) area.
The BDP provides match grant funding of up to £15,000 for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have been trading for more than six months and have expansion plans ready to implement that will safeguard existing jobs or create new ones. The programme – managed by Birmingham City Council and funded through the European Regional Development Fund – runs until June 2015 and businesses in Birmingham, Cannock, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, North Worcestershire, Solihull and Tamworth can still apply.
Veejay Lingiah, CEO of FlashSticks, said the company – which has major deals with WH Smith stores, Staples and Amazon – was looking to continue to grow responding to huge demand for the product.
“We have printed more than 20 million language FlashStick notes in the last 12 months and when we see how people engage with this product it’s very obvious that we help them become immersed in a fun way to learn a new language,” he said. “The BDP funding has helped us take the next step towards implementing our growth plans by getting listings in major retailers but also making what we do more accessible through our website.”
Future plans include larger box sets of Post-it notes that also include sticker books, as well as rolling out more languages, including English and British Sign Language.
See www.flashsticks.com for more.
Using colour-coded notes, FlashSticks provide a remarkably simple way to learn word gender – pink notes showing feminine words, blue notes showing masculine words and green representing other words. A particularly novel feature of FlashSticks is their free app, whereby users can simply hover their device over any FlashSticks note to view an instant pronunciation of the word.
As well as the financial assistance scheme, an intensive coaching and mentoring scheme called great200leaders is available to 200 ambitious business owners and directors – helping them deliver personal performance and business growth. great200leaders includes 100 hours of leadership development. Each workshop is headed by an inspirational expert speaker and each participant receives £4,000 funding towards the cost.
For more information about the programme please visit http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/bdp
or to apply for the coaching and mentoring programme visit:
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