Launchpad 2017

Inspired by the show Shark Tank and its predecessor, the Japanese TV show Dragon’s Den, LaunchPad is designed to facilitate early dialogs between startup companies and world language professionals. At the inaugural event during the 2017 ACTFL Convention, five startup companies will present their technology innovation. All of them are first-time ACTFL exhibitors who have created an innovative technology product intended to fill a need in world language education. A panel of experienced professionals and event attendees will provide feedback and decide on a winner based on the pedagogical merits of the product. The winner will receive formal recognition in the form of an honorary plaque.

A Heartfelt Thank You!

The Tech Center would like to recognize the great work of our 2017 LaunchPad Judges:

Cherice Montgomery, Robert Moser, Nicole Naditz, Mat Shulze, and Julie Sykes.

Year 2017 participants:



Presented by Matthew Hightower, CEO
Primary Audience: K-16 Language Learners and Instructors
Language(s): All Languages

Class2Class is a multi-faceted educational platform that connects language teachers and their students with teachers and students from around the world. It is built to facilitate tandem project oriented exchanges. Teachers can pair their students together, create specific assignments, monitor the students’ conversations, and leave each student valuable feedback. Our platform also allows teachers to post articles, hyperlinks, and videos to their class message board, which in turn can be shared with other educators also involved with Class2Class. Furthermore, we provide students with the unique capability to send video, audio, and text messages to their language-learning partner or partners, either through their phone or desktop, just as easily as they do now with their friends at school.

App called Terratalk


Presented by Yoshiyuki Kakihara, CEO and CTO
Primary Audience: K-16 ELL and Instructors
Language(s): ESL

TerraTalk is an ESL platform with primary focus in building conversational skills, currently available for iOS and Android devices. Our vision is simple – assessment and learning should be integrated with no distinction in between, even for a complex and intricate subject like languages. TerraTalk makes extensive use of speech and language processing technology to analyse student’s language proficiency in terms of pronunciation, fluency, grammatical composition, word use and vocabulary. The analysis takes place automatically as users study in our platform. This new dimension in assessment paves the way for the next generation of adaptive learning.

App called Extempore


The Speaking Practice App

Presented by Carlos Seoane, Co-founder and CEO
Primary Audience: K-16 ELL and Instructors
Language(s): All Languages

Extempore (latin for “Spontaneous”) allows foreign language teachers to assign speaking assignments to their students without losing class time. Extempore makes frequent and effective oral assignments possible by removing the dependency on a face-to-face meeting and by making them self-contained in one platform. Extempore is the only purpose-built solution for speaking practice, built “by and for” foreign language teachers. It integrates all the functions needed to have frequent speaking activities in one easy-to-use, portable platform.

App called Openwords


Presented by Marc Bogonovich, CEO & Founder
Primary Audience: K-16 Language Learners and Instructors
Language(s): All Languages

Openwords is a social enterprise building an open source foreign language learning webapp. Openwords will allow instructors to author content, or borrow open source curricula designed by colleagues around the world, for use by their students outside of their classrooms. The curricula will also be free and made available as an OER (open educational resource). Various kinds of language learning exercises can be authored including sentence construction, conjugation, listening and hearing, minimal pairs (phonetics), fill in the blank and multiple choice, and simple vocabulary review. Openwords lessons can be generated in any language.

Contact Information


1890 East West Road

Moore Hall 256

Honolulu, HI 96822

(808) 956-5121

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