A startup that helps people learn different languages is the winner of the 2022 University of Hawaii Venture Competition (UHVC). GOALL (Great Online Activities for Language Learning), led by doctoral students from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, won a prize of over $34,000.
GOALL provides a web and mobile app to help adult language learners achieve their goals through customizable, research-based task-based activities. Its prize package includes $10,000 from title sponsors Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI) and Hawaiian Electric and over $24,000 in in-kind prizes. The team members are Ann Choe, Kristen Urada, Yang Liu, and Susanne DeVore, all of whom are doctoral students in the Department of Second Language Studies at UH Mānoa in the College of Arts, Languages, and Humanities.
“We are very honored to receive first place,” said Choe, team leader of GOALL. “This whole experience has been a fantastic opportunity to develop our knowledge and entrepreneurial skills. We are grateful to PACE, our coach Jeff Hui and those who have always supported GOALL. We look forward to taking GOALL forward to its next stage.
UHVC is hosted annually by PACE at UH Mānoa’s Shidler College of Business to support aspiring entrepreneurs by providing hands-on training, mentorship, and resources to students in the ten-campus UH system who want to start new businesses.
The third place winner was the Ōfaga Leo Preschool System, which provides immersion language education in Hawai’i and the mainland Americas in areas where there is a high demand for Samoan-language childcare and preschool services. .
The third place prize totaled over $10,000, including a cash prize of $2,500 sponsored by HiBEAM in honor of trailblazer Billy Richardson. The team members are John Patu Jr., a doctoral student in Hawaiian and Indigenous language and culture revitalization at UH Hilo, and Carmelita T. Patu, a creative media student at Windward Community College.