Lorenz Heine – Chief Innovative Officer – Babbel
Babbel is a language learning application and website. Lorenz Heine, Markus Witte, and Thomas Holl founded Babbel, but the initial impetus for its creation stemmed from Heine’s attempt to learn Spanish. Finding the current market for language learning to be boring and inefficient, he developed a vocabulary trainer. His main goals were to make the learning process easy and fun, and simple to integrated into the motions of everyday. Babbel is built around modular learning like many langua
Like many language learning apps, Babbel is organized around thematic modules, where it differs is in its holistic focus on language learning, its unique pronunciation-training tool, and its review manager. Launched as a Beta in 2008, by 2009 Babbel had 180 000 users from 200 countries.
Lorenz Heine graduated from the Technische Universitat of Berlin with a degree in Business Management. Before founding Babbel he co-founded the music software company Native Instruments. Here he gained experience as the CFO, as well as sharing responsibility for establishing production and overseeing the company’s logistics. It is clear that Heine has a strong vision, and by surrounding himself with Markus Witte, who is charge of the day to day of the company, and Thomas Holl, who leads the development and operation of the platform, Heine can focus on innovating and refining Babbel.
Babbel interests me because it is one of the few language learning apps that is close to getting it right. The experience in using Babbel is very intuitive and their focus on pronunciation ensures that you learn in away that is actually applicable to the real world. Of the three founders Heine interested me the most because he is focused on innovating and improving the application using the best practices of language learning. He is focused on researching and developing not just the technology but language learning in general. Personally I have no interest in the code monkey aspect of technology ventures, but I am very interested in the research and innovation aspects. Furthermore it seems that Heine clearly understands his strengths and limitations, and as a result has built a team that compliments and strengthens what he has to offer.