quarta-feira, 30 de maio de 2012

20 Startups Changing The Way We Learn New Languages

Sent by Larry Dignan

Source: http://www.onlinecollegecourses.com/2012/05/23/20-startups-changing-the-way-we-learn-new-languages/

Languages tend to stay the same, but the way we learn them is in a state of constant change. With new technology, great ideas, online courses, and an increasingly connected world, there are more new ways to learn a language today than ever before. For this, we can thank startups who are working hard to bring new and creative ways to get connected, practice language, and get access to language learning resources. Read on as we explore 20 startups who are making an impact on the way we learn new languages.

Verbling has been described as the "chat roulette of language learning," allowing language learners to find someone to have one-on-one language exchanges with via online teleconference. Users are connected through spontaneous chat sessions, matched up by their language needs, and given a 10-minute session in which they can practice language before being cut off and connected with a new partner, offering an experience that sounds frenzied, fun, and learning-intensive. The startup recently raised $1 million in capital to continue its project and hire new talent.
Bringing a social media spirit to language learning, Lenguajero has built a great community around learning both Spanish and English. Through the site, users can practice speaking, join a writing club to get corrections from native speakers, and participate in a fun community that explores other cultures. Amazingly, this project was bootstrapped by its two founders while living and traveling in South America and Mexico, built using the Google App engine.
Voxy takes an on-the-go approach to language learning, turning content from users' lives into foreign language opportunities so that users can "learn a language from life." The smartphone app turns users' photos into flash cards, creates language lessons out of the latest headlines, and even uses a geo-located phrase book to target vocabulary learning based on your location, like a restaurant or playground. Voxy's app was the No. 1 ranked Education app for most of 2011 in 13 different countries.
Using Facebook for language learning, PlaySay allows users to add a language layer to the social media site, communicating and understanding different languages through pictures. Founder Ryan Meinzer says of the app, "Your Facebook friends are your new classmates. Check-ins, status updates, and pictures are your course materials," turning a social media site that so many spend a lot of time on into a great resource for language learning.
Like Voxy, Lingibli has set its sights on allowing submersive language learning to follow you wherever you go. Through the use of QR codes, smart phone users can improve their vocabulary by scanning to hear words spoken by native speakers. Students can use the app to learn the fundamentals of a language, gathering an understanding of just 100 words from each language offered.
The people at Memrise think that learning a language should be as fun as playing a game. That's why this online learning platform combines memory learning with game-like experiences. They've turned learning a language into a game where you can interact with a rich community full of multimedia and mnemonics. This Boston-based startup recently made headlines when they released a Valentine's day video featuring 100 different languages in which to say "I love you."
Hello-Hello's language learning app combines social networking with learning. Students can access courses in 11 different languages, doing lessons anywhere, anytime using smartphones, and then help friends learn languages, sharing written or recorded feedback. The site also makes it easy to connect and make friends with native speakers around the world, offering a great opportunity to learn in a practical environment. Hello-Hello won the Best Startup Company Award at the 2011 SiliconIndia Startup City Event.
Keeping up with language learning is a commitment that not everyone can stay on top of. Unless you're enrolled in a for-credit class, motivation for language learning can wane, but Keewords is working to help keep your interest on track. Creating a tool to track your goals and keep you accountable, Keewords offers challenges and competitions that can get you going on your goal to learn a new language.
Described as "YouTube meets Rosetta Stone meets Guitar Hero," EnglishCentral offers a 24/7 platform for Japanese speakers to learn the English language. Users can watch videos, improve vocabulary, and use interactive speech assessment technology to get immediate pronunciation feedback and assessment. This startup is so exciting that it won funding from Google Ventures.
Language learning typically involves a major time commitment, but LingoBite allows users to take on bite-sized lessons, covering roughly one topic within five minutes. Embracing the short attention spans of online learners, this service offers interesting content and keeps things fresh to help language learners make excellent progress.
Wander takes pen pals to a whole new level, connecting students with peers all over the world to learn about each others' lives and languages. Using new friends as a local guide, you can use Wander to learn about life in another country through daily photo missions and instant messaging. This startup recentlypivoted from YongoPal into its current iteration.
Babelverse is working to develop the world's first universal translator, offering real-time voice translation that is powered by a global community. This tool can revolutionize language learning, as stumped students can use it as a resource to get past roadblocks and better understand a language. Babelverse took home the prize at LeWeb 2011, beating out 700 other startups.
Like Memrise, Native Tongue is working to make language learning into a fun game. The startup has created a game called Mandarin Madness, which challenges English speakers to learn Mandarin by matching characters with a visual representation of their meaning. This fun, competitive method of learning helps to keep language learners' attention, and with visual representation, improves memory retention.
If finding a foreign language tutor has been a challenge for you, you can get connected with the Myngle platform. This website is known as a "marketplace for languages," connecting teachers and students for private or group lessons. Students can select teachers based on their own specific needs, and can even try out demo lessons to make sure they're getting a good fit.
WeblishPal co-founder Danny Wang used his less-than-ideal experience of learning English in a Chinese classroom to create this system that allows language learners to get regular interactions with native speakers. Although he studied for more than 10 years, his grasp of English was seriously lacking when he immigrated to Canada in 2000, and this startup works to improve upon the "crazily inadequate" classroom experience. Using WeblishPal, language learners can get connected with teachers through real-time video chats in order to see facial expressions, mouth movements, and more that can greatly improve language learning.
Combining traditional language learning with online interaction, Livemocha offers an incredibly useful foreign language experience. The site has instructional materials, including basic courses and active courses, plus peer feedback and social networking conversations with native speakers, deepening learning connections so that users can better understand a language as it's actually spoken.
This startup aims to help kids get an early grasp of foreign language, offering a multiple context approach that addresses the way that children learn language. Through mini games, kids can have fun learning words as they're used in real life, giving them the opportunity to learn foreign language in a brand new way.
Words With Bears brings language learning to the Kinect, allowing users to "live the language" as they learn. They are working on the development of this software based on cheap, accessible tech that is fun to use and offers experiential learning. The idea was sparked at the Women 2.0 Startup Weekend 2011, winning the event, and it continues to grow.
Using this web-based chat tool, language learners worldwide can connect with chat partners. Unlike other startups that offer voice chat, Polyspeaks focuses on text, making it a comfortable environment for learners who are not yet ready to speak a foreign language.
Lingt was created to help language learners tackle the challenge of huge vocabulary lists bit by bit. Instead of trying to cram lots of information very quickly, this startup helps you not only learn words, but review them just when they think you're going to forget them. The service was recently acquired by Dictionary.com and continues to grow.

sexta-feira, 25 de maio de 2012

Bilingualism Across the U.S.

Sent by Sara Miller

Source: http://www.bestcollegesonline.com/bingualism-across-us

Bilingualism Across the U.S.
Via: BestCollegesOnline.com

The 7 Hardest Languages to Master

Sent by Crystal Hall

The benefits of bilingualism have been established time and time again. You’ll be better at everything! Your mind will never grow old! You’ll be able to pick up chicks! But have you ever tried learning another language? It’s not as easy as taking a class or two. It takes years of practice and immersion to really master a language, and that’s just for the languages similar to your own. These seven tongues are among the most difficult in the world for English speakers. Start with any of them now, and maybe you’ll be able to do more than order food and ask where the bathroom is by the time you die.

1 - Arabic

Arabic is becoming an increasingly important language in our world, but it’s a hard one for English speakers to pick up. Besides the initial setbacks of learning the Arabic alphabet in which most letters have four different forms and getting used to reading from right to left, many Arabic writers leave out the vowels, making it hard for a beginner to get the hang of vocabulary and comprehension. Then try pronouncing Arabic sounds, which can be very different from sounds we’re used to making in English, and figuring out the order of words and genders that words take on. With all of these foreign concepts to sort out, an Arabic student will take about a year in the classroom full-time and a year in-country to become proficient.

2 - Basque

You may not have even heard of this language spoken in Northern Spain and Southwest France, but we can bet you’d have a heck of a time learning it. Not even all of the Basque people speak this complicated language. Part of what makes it so difficult is that it is unrelated to any of the traditional European languages. In fact, linguists aren’t totally sure where it originated. In Basque, you can add suffixes, prefixes, and infixes to simple words, resulting in lots of long, complicated vocabulary. The grammar also differs enormously from Romance languages, from the way verbs are formed to how you use objects in sentences.

3 - Japanese

When learning a language related to English, you at least have the advantage of knowing the alphabet and pronouncing words based on this system. Even if the pronunciations are slightly different, you have a general idea. No such luck with Japanese. Because the language is composed largely of symbols, you have to learn written words and pronunciation separately. And since you can’t use mnemonic devices to help you remember, thousands of symbols must be memorized without using the techniques we typically use in English. The State Department gives students learning Japanese about three times as long to learn the language as they gives those studying Spanish or French.

4 - Mandarin Chinese

With so many Chinese speakers in the world, Mandarin is growing as an important language in business and modern life in general. This Chinese dialect is hard in similar ways to Japanese, as each character has its own pronunciation without giving phonetic clues within the word. This requires a lot of memorization to be able to read the language. A particularly difficult task for English-speaking students to undertake is understanding the tonal differences between words. In English, we use different tones to convey the meaning of a sentence — questions, commands, exclamations. In Chinese, there are four tones that can make one word mean four different things. On top of this, there are many homophones, or words that sound exactly the same but have different meanings. Some have as many as 30 meanings.

5 - Korean

To learn Korean, you’ll have to learn many characters, many of which come from Chinese, on top of learning a phonetic alphabet to build words and two sets of numbers. It also takes time to understand the difference in speech patterns used when talking to or about someone with a higher status than you, wrapping cultural lessons into the language-learning process. Many English speakers will find the pronunciation difficult, with tensed and aspirated consonant sounds that probably won’t sound different to your untrained ears.

6 - Navajo

The Navajo Nation stands in parts of Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico, and more than 170,000 people reportedly speak the Navajo language. But don’t expect it to be easy if you want to become one of these speakers. Besides a decreasing number of teachers, especially if you live away from the Navajo reservation, the structure of Navajo makes it pretty difficult for English speakers to pick up. It was even used during World War II to transmit messages because the Germans and Japanese couldn’t crack the code. Navajo uses prefixes on every verb, has up to 10 intonations on each vowel that can change the meaning of words, and many words can be very long. So if you want to learn Navajo, you’re going to have to work at it.

7 - Hungarian

You know all those conjugations you had to memorize when you learned French or Spanish in high school (and then promptly forgot when you graduated)? In Hungarian, you’d have to learn twice as many; you can conjugate almost every verb in two different ways depending on the object of the sentence. The Hungarian word order also takes some getting used to since you can change around the words depending on what you want to emphasize. If this weren’t enough to make Hungarian confusing, many of the letter combinations make different sounds than we’re used to in English, such as “c” being pronounced like “ts” and “gy” pronounced as “di.”

quinta-feira, 24 de maio de 2012

10 new ways to build a kick-ass digital resume

Sent by Valdir Nascimento

Source: http://thenextweb.com/lifehacks/2012/04/07/10-new-ways-to-build-a-kick-ass-digital-resume/?awesm=tnw.to_1DxOL

Despite all the advancements in technology over the last decade or so, the traditional word-based resume is still as popular as ever.
However, if you’d like to stand out from the crowd there are a number of new school options for you to consider. And we’re not talking about simply having a LinkedIn profile which could almost be considered ‘old hat’ now. Nope, we’re about to enter a new world of resume building and sharing.
The only question is;  Are prospective employers ready for what you can now dish up? It’s time to find out!
Zerply is one of the more high profile socially-shaped resume and career sites going around. In fact, Zerply makes a point of telling new users that it is ‘killing the resume’ by showcasing your work in a more interactive and engaging manner. It features all of the social elements you’d expect including the ability to follow people, access a news stream and analyse stats.
2. ResumUP
The first of two Facebook-powered apps, ResumUP wants to make your ‘social profile visual’. Of the two options you’re given (Facebook or LinkedIn), the latter will give you the most professional looking account of your history. And they’re not kidding about the visual aspect, it can make anyone’s work experience look hot! [Read ourfull story on ResumUP here.]
Yes, BranchOut is technically more a ‘network’ than a plain old resume builder option but it allows you to create a profile which features everything that is wonderful (or not) about you.
LinkedIn have been quietly developing this functionality as an add-on to the main site. It literally takes your profile information and formats it in traditionally-styled word-based resume. If you are after consistency across the web, this is possibly the one for you.
This is one of the more robust options out there thanks to its powerful interface. It also features all of the most up-to-date social sharing links so you can get yourself noticed too. Other key features include job search and notification functionality, a cover letter builder, stats and insights and adjustable templates.
VisualCV.com is one of the more popular resume builder sites thanks to is simple user experience. To get the best feel for what it can do, check out the big bank of examples hosted here.
The most exciting element of ResumeBear is its real-time tracing capability which can give you a sense of how popular your resume is. It can even tell you who opened your resume so you can reach out to them while the iron is hot. You can access your resume dashboard via your mobile phone (iPhone and Android).
This is quite similar to ResumeBear in that it provides you with a complete build and track solution. You have a number of design options with DoYourBuzz and it is also optimised for SEO visibility (but then again you should expect this benefit as standard for services like these).
I’m an Android guy so I can’t vouch for this one first hand but it looks interesting enough. The Infinity Resume Builder (iPhone app) essentially brings basic resume creation capabilities to your mobile. It features a series of drop-down menus to help you create your ‘on-the-go’ work experience snapshot.
One of the more unique and VERY new ways to illustrate your career history is by creating a Facebook timeline edition of your resume. While it may not be the most natural way of showcasing your career, the chronological timeline display and ability to back-date milestones works pretty well. I actually created my own Facebook timeline edition resume which you can see here.

sexta-feira, 18 de maio de 2012

Vote no meu blog!

Cliquem no botão ao lado, depois em English for All e "Vote" para votar no TOP 100 Language Blogs.

quinta-feira, 17 de maio de 2012

Blog da Disal - Ensinando inglês com a Internet

Ensinando Inglês com a Internet

Por Vanessa Prata*

A Internet já faz parte de nossas vidas há uns 15 anos (e muitas vezes nos perguntamos como conseguíamos viver antes dela), e mais ainda das vidas dos jovens das gerações Y e Z, os chamados nativos digitais. Sendo assim, usar os recursos que a rede oferece para o ensino de idiomas já não é mais um diferencial do professor, mas uma necessidade de se mostrar atualizado e “antenado” com as novas ferramentas de ensino e aprendizagem disponíveis.

Seleciono abaixo alguns sites que podem render aulas dinâmicas e interativas, talvez você conheça a maioria deles, mas se tiver outras sugestões, não deixe de compartilhar nos comentários!

http://en.akinator.com/ – Você pensa em alguém, e um “gênio” faz perguntas para adivinhar quem foi a pessoa escolhida (e normalmente acerta). Ótimo para treinar perguntas e respostas com Simple Present principalmente. Após a atividade no computador, os alunos podem fazer a brincadeira entre eles (muitas vezes conhecida como “20 questions”), praticando a oralidade.

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/ – “Speeches” famosos, tanto de personalidades reais, como Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton e Martin Luther King, como de personagens de filmes, estão disponíveis em áudio e vídeo, com a transcrição. Perfeito para treinar listening skills, pronúncia, entonação, ritmo ou mesmo vocabulário.

http://moviesegmentstoassessgrammargoals.blogspot.com.br/ – O blog do professor Cláudio Azevedo, de Brasília, traz mais de uma centena de atividades com filmes prontas para serem usadas, já com a cena selecionada inclusive. É possível pesquisar por tópico gramatical, por filme ou por nível (basic, intermediate e advanced).

http://www.inglesnapontadalingua.com.br/ – Como se diz “mão boba” em inglês? E “me engana que eu gosto”? Ou “jogar verde para colher maduro”? Qual o professor que nunca sofreu com esse tipo de perguntas dos alunos? A resposta para essas e muitas outras expressões idiomáticas está no site do professor Denilso de Lima, de Curitiba.

www.stuff.co.uk/calcul_nd.htm - Praticamente uma única página com o alfabeto fonético (phonetic chart), tem como diferencial apresentar os sons junto com cada símbolo, facilitando o aprendizado de quem sempre “apanhou” para associar os dois.

www2.research.att.com/~ttsweb/tts/demo.php - Ainda com dúvidas na pronúncia de uma palavra ou frase? Digite-a neste site e ele “fala” para você. É possível selecionar ainda se queremos um falante de inglês americano ou britânico.

www.verbix.com/languages - Conjugador de verbos online, mais interessante para línguas latinas, em que a conjugação varia muito mais do que o inglês, mas sempre pode dar aquela forcinha para lembrar se um verbo é irregular ou não, por exemplo, ou para os alunos se lembrarem do “s” na terceira pessoa.

www.discoveryeducation.com/free-puzzlemaker - Crie caça-palavras, palavras cruzadas e outros jogos seguindo alguns passos apenas. E que tal pedir que os próprios alunos criem atividades uns para os outros, para revisar vocabulário?

Evidentemente há centenas de outros sites interessantes, essa é apenas uma pequena seleção de alguns. Envie suas sugestões também.

sábado, 12 de maio de 2012

7 Foreign Languages Today’s Business Students Should Learn

Sent by Jay Smith 
Source: http://www.onlinebusinessdegree.org/2012/05/06/7-foreign-languages-todays-business-students-should-learn

While English is certainly the most preferred language of the business world, there’s no need to be arrogant about it. Business students can’t just be good students anymore — we live in an age where a successful businessperson must also be worldly to be a success. Learning a foreign language can be difficult, but ultimately supremely beneficial to a student’s credentials. And using Google Translate won’t do; you’ve got to know the ins and outs of an idiomatic language in order to really make your point. If you can do business in several languages, especially with written communication, there’s a host of jobs open to you that wouldn’t normally be on your radar. And that’s not all. Studies show that bilingual folks have better brain function. The limits of your world are the limits of your language, and it’s long past time to make your world as large as it actually is. Learn one of these seven relevant languages for business, and you’ll be one giant step closer to a truly global career.
  1. Mandarin

    The age of globalization and worldwide marketplaces are upon us, and China is the world’s second-largest economy. Don’t miss a host of opportunities available to you by skimping on learning this language — there are almost 850 million people who call Mandarin their mother tongue. With a fascinating culture and ancient heritage, learning Mandarin is also a proper way to experience part of China.Social Life Bonus: If you know as many characters as you should, you could be correctly translating people’s Chinese character tattoos in no time. They can’t all actually say “friendship” and “faith.” (Another social life tip? Don’t hang out with people that have Chinese characters permanently tattooed on them, yet have neglected to incorporate the language respectfully into their lives.)
  2. Arabic

    There are more than 300 million Arabic speakers around the globe, and if you’re in the oil and gas or defense industries, knowing this language could prove to be more than just a bit beneficial. And that’s not the only place you’ll find opportunity. Those fluent in Arabic are in high demand in and across many fields, and knowing the language can be a great resume (and salary!) booster. The Arab world’s GDP is more than $600 billion, and that’s nothing to shy away from just because you didn’t take the time to learn a second language.Bonus: Once you’ve mastered the language, you can translate the Arabic sections in Busta Rhymes’ controversial hit “Arab Money” for all of your friends. (OK, fine. You should still learn Arabic, but that won’t really help you here. The rapper earned some flack for substituting the Muslim call to prayer sample in the song with Arabic-sounding gibberish. Who would’ve ever thought that an arrogant American rap star would take a derivative artistic shortcut? Sounds crazy, we know. But it’s true. And maybe why we prefer Luda.)
  3. French

    If you’re looking for a positive move for worldwide collaborative projects, knowing French might be your best bet. French is spoken in two of the G8 countries, and is curiously (and laudably) bereft of many of the debt problems that face other first-world countries. It’s the second most popular language on the Internet, and — next to English — perhaps the most important tongue in the business world. Spoken in more than 40 countries throughout the world (with many of these being key or fledgling economies), French is more than just baguettes and bon bons. It’s serious business.Bonus: How many earnings reports have you read in English on a date? (Any number other than zero will net you a major loss on the dateability scale, by the way.) Not that it will get you laid, but even generally accepted accounting principles sound sexy when spoken in French.
  4. Spanish

    Although Spanish wasn’t selected as one of Bloomberg’s top three foreign languages that business students should know, it is spoken by more than 300 million people, and it’s the official language of 20 countries. Students are signing up for Spanish courses in record numbers, and it’s the most popular foreign language taught at American universities today. Whether you just like Teresa, or you’re trying to up your marketability, Spanish is a good choice for any prospective businessperson. Also, it’s not too terribly hard to learn, and there are lots of free resources to help you get started. And if you’re trying to be trilingual, Spanish should definitely be in your top three.
  5. Computer Programming Languages

    Whether it’s HTML, Java, Perl, PHP, C++, or any variant of ones and zeros, today’s business student should definitely be proficient in some type of programming. It’s a no-brainer — these languages are (somewhat) easy to learn with study and lots of focused practice. It’s methodological, and you don’t have to speak it! And coding can be fantastically fun. Plus, if you’re a business student rather than, say, a computer science student, knowing how to work on the web as well as tweak it will only improve your marketability.
  6. German

    With the fate of the European Union so unsure, Germany continues to be a good economic performer. If you didn’t have any luck with French, and you’re not into Arabic or SQL, learning German could be a good first foray into bilingualism.
  7. Japanese

    If you’re into love hotels, non-stop rocking (via karaoke, of course), or robotics, Japanese is the language that you should take up. And if you’re a fan of anime (you probably are, aren’t you?), you already know some words and concepts that can help get you started. Although “flame of fireball … LAUNCH!” in Japanese might not get you anywhere in the business world, it’s nice to know that you at least already have a command over how the language looks and sounds. (If that phrase does get you somewhere in business, you’ve probably earned plenty of street credit as a bringer of vigilante justice, and for this, we applaud you.) If you’re interested in international stocks, finance, and especially America’s national debt, a working knowledge of Japanese can fling you far.

29 Seriously Inspiring Interviews for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Sent by Kaitlyn Cole
Source: http://www.onlineuniversities.com/blog/2012/05/29-seriously-inspiring-interviews-for-aspiring-entrepreneurs

Business ventures build on top of one another like Lego towers — they don’t spring Athena-like from the foreheads of entrepreneurs, no matter what some may claim. Anyone with a strong idea, a lot of luck, and even more hard work can succeed in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. But they need to intently study the victories and mistakes of their predecessors before embarking on any sort of entrepreneurial journey. No matter their background or industry, the following folks have plenty of advice and inspiration to offer while future innovators compile their research.

  1. Muhammad Yunus with the Nobel Foundation, Oct. 13, 2006: This distinguished Nobel Peace Prize recipient pioneered the use of microcredits through the Grameen Bank, which he established in his native Bangladesh in 1983; many for-profit and nonprofit ventures these days utilize the same concept when investing in underprivileged regions. Muhammad Yunus stands as a sterling example of the social entrepreneurship phenomenon, which blends business opportunities with causes promoting economic, social, political, or environmental justice.
  2. Elizabeth Sabol-Jones at Inspirist, Jan. 19, 2011: At 19, an enterprising young Georgetown University Chinese language major launched Nightly Noms, a bakery with delivery service catering to hungry students up late working. Learn about how her creative mind discovered a niche and filled it, asking her peers in the Compass Fellowship — an organization devoted to nurturing and networking young entrepreneurs — for their input.
  3. Oprah Winfrey at Academy of Achievement, Feb. 21, 1991: Even Oprah Winfrey’s detractors should give her credit for forging a career now worth billions after starting out as a less-than-popular local morning talk show host from a traumatic background. Future innovators looking to launch their own startup can easily find inspiration in her perseverance and seemingly boundless work ethic.
  4. Lauren Bush at Under30CEO, April 21, 2011: Lauren Bush, co-founder of FEED Projects, discusses how she applied her entrepreneurial skills to the nonprofit, social justice sector. Partnering with the United Nations’ School Feeding initiative, the company blends business and activism by selling merchandise and donating the profits to Latin American, Asian, and African children in need.
  5. Patrick Chukwura at Young Entrepreneurs, Sept. 27, 2011: Creative and entertainment industries are notoriously difficult to break into, and more enterprising individuals frequently wind up better off creating their own opportunities as opposed to waiting for them to happen along. Learn a little something about innovation when developing and marketing video games from the co-founder of Fine & Dandy Games, whose Goop proved successful on the iPad and iPhone amongst hefty competition.
  6. Pete Cashmore at Bloomberg Venture, July 7, 2010: By this point, anyone familiar with new media, technology, social media, and the Internet know Mashable, seeing as how it’s currently one of the largest, most profitable blogs around. Watch this video with the site’s founder and CEO where he talks about how he launched everything solo and wound up with an entire company built around one idea.
  7. Beh Weng Wei at Tech65.org, Feb. 25, 2012: Beh Weng Wei won the grand prize at the 2011 Young Entrepreneur Awards for his Frambie pitch, which eliminates some of the stress associated with custom picture framing and should be launching in Singapore on June 1, 2012. A simple concept wound up netting him $17,000 from Canon and MediaCorp, proving that one doesn’t have to bog down ideas in needless complexities to produce something valuable.
  8. Luiz Seabra at CosmeticNews, March 20, 2006: One of the wealthiest men in the world erected his business empire around sustainable cosmetics, addressing mounting consumer demands for environmentally-conscious products through his Natura brand; it eventually became Brazil’s first bath and beauty company to utilize a refill structure. Rather than fad chasing, take away from his story a lesson in noting more permanent consumer desires and catering to them.
  9. Kevin Rose at TechCrunch, April 20, 2009: Digg founder Kevin Rose almost sold his wildly popular aggregator to Google in 2008, and subsequently turned his resources toward creating a much stronger independent business instead. For wannabe entrepreneurs, this serves as a valuable lesson in how things might not progress in the intended fashion; they must be ready to keep things hurdling forward with strength, creativity, and — of course — luck.
  10. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala at The Independent, May 16, 2006: As an economist, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and current World Bank presidential candidate brings something completely different and equally valuable to discussions of entrepreneurship than CEOs and investment bankers. One doesn’t need a background in finance, history, or geopolitics to understand her explanation of how heavy political corruption restricts economic growth and what needs doing to ensure equal opportunities for all citizens.
  1. Mark Bao at Junior Biz, Feb. 22, 2010: Business wunderkind Mark Bao launched three nonprofits and 11 Internet-based companies by age 17, some of which he wound up selling and earning a comfortable profit. His promising career began when he was just a high school freshman, and he provides some awesome insight about starting something big from something small.
  2. Bill Gates at the Smithsonian Institute, circa 1993: Face it — the staggering majority of startup companies won’t wind up enjoying Microsoft’s level of international success; but that doesn’t mean they can’t pick up more than a few bits of solid advice from the corporation’s founder. The Bill Gates interview archived by the Smithsonian Institute heavily details both the personal and professional decisions that wound up dictating his entire career.
  3. Jessica Jackley Flannery at Big Vision Podcast, Oct. 30, 2006: Kiva nurtures entrepreneurship in economically deprived regions through microloans, which provide promising upstarts the money they need to launch without requiring exorbitantly wealthy investors. In this inspiring interview with the nonprofit’s co-founder, listeners pick up some useful information and inspiration about how to best invest in an entrepreneur’s dreams.
  4. Sheila Johnson at Prendismo Collection, Dec. 18, 2003: Sheila Johnson earned billions as the co-founder of BET and Salamander Hospitalities (for which she also serves as CEO) and owner and partner of the sports teams Washington Mystics, Washington Wizards, and Washington Capitals. From her, future business owners will pick up some excellent pointers on sharpening their leadership acumen, the importance of mentors and self-preservation, and other excellent personal and professional matters.
  5. Aneesha Raghunathan at Raising CEO Kids, Dec. 20, 2010: Rather than sweatshop labor, all of Hope Line Fashions’ products are created by adult women in India receiving a living wage and working in safe conditions. Founder Aneesha Raghunathan instigated this impressive initiative at 17 after witnessing firsthand the often horrific reality of outsourced clothing manufacturing, merging capitalism and charity into one impressively ethical package.
  6. Teri Moy at Small Business Trends, June 17, 2011: Entrepreneurs don’t have to think globally in order to achieve success, earn money, and creatively fill niches that many consumers may not realize even exist — sometimes all it takes is a little creativity in one’s own neighborhood to turn more than a few heads. Teri Moy, a Virginia-based photographer, began and operates a studio specializing in portrait and commercial shoots; she earned accolades for marketing toward couples on their second marriages and businesspeople desiring social media headshots, two demographics to whom few shutterbugs explicitly catered.
  7. Chuck Feeney at RTE Radio 1, Jan. 18, 2008: He may possess a net worth of billions from his international chain of duty-free shops, but most people familiar with Chuck Feeney’s name know him more as the paragon of frugality and philanthropy; he famously lives on the equivalent of a middle-class income (flying coach and renting apartments, for example) and sends most of his prodigious wealth toward education, world peace, and healthcare causes. From him, up-and-coming innovators with ideas to share about making their money stretch as far as possible as well as the importance of giving back to the world.
  8. Prerna Gupta at evolver.fm, Jan. 25, 2011: A singer funneled her love of music, fascination with technology, and entrepreneurial spirit into the establishment of Khush, exemplifying why up-and-coming business owners should pay close attention to their passions — they may very well discover others willing to shell out money and join in, too! LaDiDa, the company’s wildly popular iPhone app, pioneered the “reverse karaoke” phenomenon, which allows vocalists (and not-so-vocalists) to record themselves and receive a customized accompaniment in response.
  9. Coco Chanel with Micheline Sandrel, July 31, 1969: Despite her more than a wee bit unfortunate politics, this legendary fashion and beauty mogul served as an inspiration to enterprising women before the feminist movement granted them the autonomy and opportunities to get ahead in business. Most of this interview, which went down when she was 86, revolves around her grim perceptions of where her industry’s obsession with youth might wind up taking it.
  10. Jane Chen at Social Capital Markets, Dec. 3, 2010: Jane Chen co-founded Embrace and serves as an excellent example of entrepreneurship with social consciousness and the importance of setting goals when serving society. For only $25, healthcare facilities and families can purchase portable incubators that do not use electricity to save the lives of babies born prematurely or with low birth rates; Embrace strives toward helping at least 3.8 million babies in India and save the lives of 135,000 between 2010 and 2015 — though any amount of infants and families assisted constitutes a victory.
  1. Warren Buffett at Huffington Post/Yahoo! News, July 8, 2010: Berkshire Hathaway’s billionaire CEO thinks love, not money, makes the business world go ‘round — hardly surprising, considering his well-documented frugality — and believes the greatest bit of advice he ever received centers around its perpetuation. Profits are nice, of course, and ensure health and safety, but when they grow into the largest priority, things begin suffering.
  2. Emily May at The Pixel Project, Jan. 9, 2012: Thanks to Emily May’s Hollaback! smartphone app and innovative blog network, women, minorities, the LGBTQ, and absolutely anyone else experiencing public street harassment, bullying, and assault hold the power to speak up and speak out against their tormenters. Her nonprofit blends new media, and activism to promote safer neighborhoods in all corners of the globe, offering some cool, inspiring lessons about creatively harnessing technology for the greater good.
  3. Caterina Fake in Entrepreneur, March 29, 2011: In this rapid-fire read, the co-founder of Internet sensations Flickr and Hunch talks about multiple topics aspirant and new entrepreneurs alike should pore over. Social media, personal memories, book suggestions, investments, and other hallmarks of succeeding in online business pursuits receive coverage here, though she doesn’t delve too deeply into any one particular facet.
  4. Edwin Broni-Mensah at Your Hidden Potential, Dec. 9, 2011: Regardless of whether or not a wannabe entrepreneur hopes to apply his or her business skills to charitable causes, this interview with the mind behind GiveMe Tap dishes out some most excellent advice about startups. Let both his lessons and his innovative approach to providing potable water through sustainability inspire undertakings across different industries.
  5. Pierre Omidyar in BusinessWeek, June 20, 2005: eBay’s founder draws parallels between launching and running his own company and operating a nonprofit investing in tech-related business ventures; lessons acquired in one venture often apply to others surprisingly well. At the center of it all, though, lay people, whose ideas and insights keep everything running — a little bit of belief, a little bit of luck, and a lot of bit of energy and resources make all the difference.
  6. Jiro Ono in Jiro Dreams of Sushi, 2011: Tucked unassumingly in the Tokyo subway and sporting only 10 seats, the modest sushi joint Sukibyabashi Jiro sports a most immodest 3-star Michelin rating — the first time such a prestigious honor was ever bestowed on such an establishment. Japan officially hails chef and proprietor Jiro Ono as a living treasure, and business students and entrepreneurs should pay close attention to his core values; quality remains paramount, and presentation means nothing if it doesn’t hail from a place of pride, passion, and sincerity.
  7. Georgina Cooper at Wealthy Student, March 30, 2011: Fashion aficionados on a budget adore Pretaportobello.com because it hooks them up with one-of-a-kind clothing and accessories from oft-overlooked designers, benefiting both the producer needing some attention and the consumer with constraints. This interview with the site’s founder tells the tale of how she synthesized different needs into one logical, mutually beneficial concept both simple and highly effective.
  8. Ben Cohen & Jerry Greenfield at Not Quite Nigella, Nov. 26, 2009: Few companies have so famously and seamlessly welded social with economic entrepreneurship as Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, making it quite the role model for progressive up-and-comers. Although the company obviously sparks controversy by taking public political stances, what frequently attracts buyers to the premium brand is its unapologetic “take me for what I am” attitude — something even non-business folks can benefit from witnessing.
  9. Blake Mycoskie at TreeHugger, Sept. 11, 2008: Consumers who don’t know Blake Mycoskie’s name at least know of TOMS, the shoe company merging for-profit ventures with nonprofit goals, matching every pair sold with one shipped to children and adults in need. Its core concept might very well serve as a particularly useful starting point for future business leaders hoping to better the world while still financially supporting themselves and their employees.