2012 – Touchdown in Beijing!

2012 – Touchdown in Beijing!

In June of 2012, in Dublin, Ireland I presented our nascent technology to a few hundred educators, entrepreneurs, government officials, and academics from around the world. It was a very exciting time for us and my initial presentation to the large audience was very well received. But wait, there’s more…

 As I was recovering from the big presentation and looking forward to that evening’s open bar… I was approached by one of the facilitators who asked, “I know this is probably not convenient, but our partners from China were delayed and they just arrived. They would very much like to see your presentation. Could you do it again, just for them? I will arrange a room for you.” I thought to myself, “Of course, the Chinese, why else would I have come to Dublin?”, and I gladly agreed.

 I was escorted to a majestic part of the venue and noticed beautiful maritime oil paintings, of which I’m a big fan. In my former life, I sailed the U.S. Coast Guard Bark Eagle and a variety of merchant ships. As I’m led into the room I notice a brass plaque on the door, “The Irish Constitution was signed in this room.” My audience was a small group that was quiet throughout my presentation. I paused and asked if this was interesting for them. I’ll never forget the group leader’s response, “I need your product. All of China needs your product. Can you come to Beijing?” It’s always great when a presentation connects!

What I didn’t realize was that they were asking if I could be in Beijing tomorrow! I explained that I am traveling with my wife and… “No problem, please bring her.” Okay, then we realized we needed visas to go to China, and as Americans could not obtain them in Ireland. We headed back to Florida, applied for visas, and were in Beijing within a couple of weeks.

We began a fascinating part of our journey as we deployed and explored our technology with our soon-to-be Chinese partners. It was an amazing introduction to Chinese culture, technology, and education in the field of English language learning. We were introduced to RISE, a company later to be listed on the Nasdaq, and to the emerging Metrics China, who would become our seed investor and distributor for China. Coming up, how this partnership expanded to include a major American publisher, and led to the creation and deployment in China, of a disruptive product to help children learn English.