Interview with MinorMynas, an immersive language-learning experience for kids
Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to be a kidpreneur?
I am Hillary Yip, and I am 12 years old. In my free time I love to read, hang out with my pets and mess about with my younger brother as well as working on MinorMynas. I was inspired to become a “kidpreneur” when the AIA Emerging Entrepreneur Challenge came along in late 2015.
What is your favourite part of being a kidpreneur?
My favourite part of being a kidpreneur is the valuable experiences I have gained along the way that I could never have dreamed of. In business or elsewhere, I am certain that what I have learnt can be applied in many different ways.
Who is your role model when it comes to business?
When it comes to business, my role model is my mum who is always there to support me through lows and highs and will persevere in accomplishing what she thinks is right.
Tell us about MinorMynas. How did you come up with the idea? Why is it called MinorMynas?
MinorMynas is a kids-only online platform where children talk through live video calls to learn each other’s mother tongue. I came up with MinorMynas in the summer of 2015 when I was learning mandarin in Taiwan. The immersive experience meant that I learnt very quickly and when I came back, the AIA Emerging Entrepreneur Challenge triggered this idea.
MinorMynas comprises of 2 words “minor” to symbolise us kids and “myna” which is a bird who imitates words and never forgets what it learnt. By naming MinorMynas the way it is, it shows our mission - to enable kids to learn languages quickly and never forgetting it.
What challenges have you encountered in your journey? How did you find the courage to overcome these challenges?
Preparing for pitches and events. Since I didn’t have much experience of memorising things, knowing that a business lies on it makes a lot of pressure build up. What made me go through was knowing that all you do in the dark is made up for in the light – no one can do a good job if it wasn’t for preparation.
Congratulations on winning the AIA Emerging Entrepreneur Challenge last year. What was the most valuable thing you got out of that program?
Thanks! The most valuable thing I got out of the AIAEEC was the exposure and experiences they gave me. Without them, MinorMynas wouldn’t even exist!
Any advice for aspiring kidpreneurs in Hong Kong?
My advice for aspiring kidpreneurs in HK is to always believe in your dream. If you don’t believe in your idea, then no matter how you try, you won’t get anyone else to.
What’s next for MinorMynas?
We are due to launch hopefully at the end of February. At this point, our goal is to build up our community in the app as well as creating a wider network of people to reach out to.
OK, time for fun. What’s your favourite movie, favourite book and favourite food?
I don’t have a favourite movie because I am not a great fan of them...But I read a lot! My favourite books are:
• The Fault in Our Stars
• The Chaos Walking Series
My favourite food is certainly chocolate — especially M&Ms...
Interviewed by Kaden Ng