At just 10 years old, Hillary designed the social language learning app, MinorMynas. Her goal was to create a safe place for children to communicate, practice their forgein language skills and make friends from all over the world. According to Hillary, the idea came to her after her mother had sent her and younger brother to a Summer Camp in Taiwan as they had been struggling with the language for years.. While there, they had no choice but to speak the language. She feels like she and her brother learned the language overnight. She wanted to allow others to have the same experience in their homes, and thus designed the app.
In this interview with the European Innovation Academy, Hillary explains how she went from idea to beta:
Her app already has 4,000 users from 20+ countries. The app includes built-in parental controls to ensure safety. More importantly, Hillary says that here kids are just kids and don’t have the same concerns over race, gender, and stereotypes – everyone is just a kid. Which I think is a beautiful attitude to have and wish more people would have.
Hillary also attends weekly meet-up groups for entrepreneurs – of which she is always the youngest. She says that “the thing about entrepreneurship is that you can be so creative. It doesn’t confine you to a certain industry, but it means that you can work across whatever you like, and make sure you make your own mark on that particular industry”. She recalls that her parents have always told her that being creative is one of the most important things you can be.
Ultimately, Hillary hopes that her app will change the way people think about others. She quotes Nelson Mandela “when you speak in your language; you’re speaking to his brain. But if you’re speaking in their language; you’re speaking to their heart”.
She went on to win the first place and Best Business awards in the 2016 AIA Emerging Entrepreneur Challenge. The MinorMynas beta iOS app was launched in May 2017. As in Oct 2019, the app has over 65,000 downloads across over 50 countries.
Today, Hillary continues as Founder and CEO of MinorMynas, continuing her education through homeschooling while becoming a speaker a major events like TED Talks and the Global Women’s Forum. What we found most inspiring, however, was her advice to future entrepreneurs in an interview with POP FACECAM,