Trace Ostergren, senior, traveled to New York to pitch YuYanCloud

A Valparaiso University student is taking international boundaries and pushing them a little closer. Trace Ostergren, a senior International Business and Chinese-Japanese Studies major flew out to New York City, New York Wednesday, Dec. 10 to pitch the YuYan Cloud to potential investors on New York City’s Wall Street.

The YuYan Cloud was one of only 47 startup business invited to The Next Webs BOOST technology startup competition. The BOOST competition enables different companies to come and pitch their potential startup ideas to venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, according to a The Next Webs press release.

The YuYan Cloud is a language-based program that helps interested students learn a different language by connecting them with tutors who live in the native countries that the language is predominantly spoken. The meetings would be conducted via proprietary software and there are a number of different class levels to choose from, ranging in focus on the ability to hold a normal conversation or becoming completely fluent in that language.      

“It’s a Cloud-based peer-to-peer language training platform,” Ostergren said.

The system is based off of a cloud based program that matches potential tutors with students looking to improve their language skills.

Interested students and tutors can go to their website, www.yuyancloud.com, and create a free account by filling out basic contact information and completing a schedule allocating specific times available for a lesson.

After, the software matches students to tutors based off of the language and available time slots. The website itself is very interactive and there is even a way to meet potential tutors before creating an account.

Ostergren, with the collaboration of two other colleagues, Santiago Ospina and Hernando Bahamon, who reside in Bogota, Colombia, created the YuYan Cloud after studying together in China.

“Each class is 30 minutes. The tutor gets paid and the student pays, and the difference is our revenue,” Ostergren said. “There is a video screen, audio and messaging platform… There are other widgets that are imbedded within that classroom setting, such as a dictionary, a translator, screen sharing, document sharing.”

There are a lot of tools for the student to use as they learn their desired language. There will also be the availability of cloud storage to hold onto previous class session notes to use in the future for other classes.

Students can show their support for this initiative by signing up to be a tutor on the YuYan Cloud website, or by having an interest in continuing a foreign language. Tutors get paid $8.50 an hour and are able to form international connections through the program.

There are also three different class selections which cater to your language speaking needs, from a simple conversational class, to a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) class that engages students to learn a language so they might take college level classes in that language.

YuYan in Chinese means language so the YuYan cloud is literally a language cloud connecting native speakers to interested students. Besides just learning a new language, the YuYan Cloud can offer the opportunity to form relationships that can last a lifetime.

Contact Austin Pittman at torch@valpo.edu.

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