Author: Sergio Achinelli, Milingual Head of Studies
What is Milingual? 
Imagine bringing to Madrid the experience of living in London. Getting full immersion in English without making the sacrifice of leaving your job, your friends and your family behind. That’s Milingual. We don’t teach you English, we give you the opportunity to live the language in your own city.
Milingual is an online community of people interested in languages. Some are teachers, others are learners. Many are both. They organize social events in trendy venues in Madrid, like meetings at pubs, cinema nights, cooking classes, trekking days, music practices, and many more. We provide our user base with all the activities you would find in any English-speaking country.By following our Natural Method, the end result is people really learn the language.
We don’t provide certifications or diplomas, because once you truly learn a language, getting a diploma is a piece of cake. Easy peasy! We focus on the hard part. We want Spaniards to be fluent English speakers. And soon, we will take our method to Spanish, French and other languages!
Is Milingual an alternative to traditional language learning systems?
It’s not only an alternative; we firmly believe we offer the only effective method to learn a language. People spend hundreds (or thousands) of euro on language schools, and decades later; they don’t see any significant improvement on their language skills. The truth is that the only way to learn a language is by integrating it into your own life. You must go shopping, order food, meet new people and work in the target language. It’s the only way. No one in the business of languages will tell you the truth – they would go bankrupt if they did!
Milingual is a first step into that change of paradigm that needs to happen in the learner’s mind. We encourage our clients to go further and try to introduce the target language as much as they can into their lifestyle.
What makes you different from your competition?
We are radically different from other language businesses, but we are similar to a few companies that fall under the umbrella of the sharing economy. Our teachers can organize their own conversation groups and events, and they get all the money generated on them. We just receive a commission. That’s turning inside out the traditional teaching business model. Our partnered venues can also organize their own events, and get paid just like teachers. Many of our teachers are learners on other languages, and vice versa. You can picture Milingual as a mix between MeetUp and Youtube, where users create and consume content seamlessly. Milingual is a great place to meet new friends and even your soulmate – so you can also add Groopify to the blend!
What kind of services do you offer? Who’s your target?
Our target is a middle-aged urban professional; well-educated, cosmopolitan and curious about the world and other cultures. One of our secrets is that attending a Milingual event is a great way to meet interesting and like-minded new people. We offer a full range of activities that emulate real life in English-speaking countries: conversation groups at trendy pubs and cafes, radio shows, cinema nights, book clubs, music classes, etc. We also have programs for companies and kids.
Who do you adapt your method to the business student?
In the same way we can emulate real life in the US or UK, we can emulate real life in a multicultural, international office. We organize mock job interviews, presentations, videoconference meetings and a plethora of situations that teach you how to deal with actual, concrete business problems.
What kind of feedback are you getting so far? Have you identified any blockers?
No matter how good your project is, or how much you work on it, in the end, results on the language business depend on the quality of your teachers. And there are not that many great teachers out there, with the ability to educate and entertain at the same time. Our business model was designed to incentivize teachers as much as possible. It’s the only way to ensure we get the best in the field. Our feedback reflects this challenging reality. We are working very hard to find and retain the best teachers in Madrid. Our success depends on that.
What are your plans for 2016?
We are introducing French into our power mix! We will expand our range of activities, and we want to organize morning and afternoon events. We are working hard to make it a reality!
Gabriel Pazos, CEO and Co-founder
Andrés Pazos, CTO and Co-founder
José Antonio Antolí, International Business Developer
Sergio Achinelli, Head of Studies
Daria Vilodenova, Marketing
Noemi Gutierrez, Language Assistant
Daniel Muñoz, Programmer