Vietnamese start-up wins Obama-backed contest for language learning app

By Dam Tuan   June 25, 2016 | 11:23 pm PT
Vietnamese start-up project Monkey Junior has won first prize ahead of 1,075 competitors from 104 nations and territories at a contest chaired by U.S. President Barack Obama in Silicon Valley, California.

Monkey Junior, a foreign language teaching application for children up to 10 years old, beat strong global competition to be named champion at the Global Innovation through Science and Technology Tech-I 2016 (GIST Tech-I 2016).


Monkey Junior won first prize at the GIST Tech-I 2016. Photo from Facebook/Dao Xuan Hoang

The foreign language teaching app was developed by Dao Xuan Hoang who integrated multimedia content, including funny and exciting photos, videos and audio, to help toddlers and kids learn new languages.

Hoang will receive $15,000 to develop the education app and the Monkey Junior development team will receive advanced training courses.

Second prize went to a Malaysian start-up, while third prize went to a Pakistani innovation.

Launched in 2011, the GIST Tech-I is an annual competition organized by the US Department of State to promote young innovators and entrepreneurs and help them build successful start-up projects. The contest was chaired by President Barack Obama and contested applications were evaluated by 140 global business experts and scientists to choose creative, feasible and potential initiatives.

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