Language Learning Market is one of nearly 20 startups to move to or expand within Mckinney, lured by its EDC's Innovation Fund.
After launching Language Learning Market from McKinney at the end of April, the startup is rapidly expanding in the city.
The online educational marketplace and language learning resource directory is the latest in many startups lured to move or expand in the city by a grant from its economic development corporation’s Innovation Fund.
“We think of ourselves like the 'Etsy for education in all languages,” said Allison Monroe, Language Learning Market founder and CEO, in a statement.
With the funding, Language Learning Market plans to create 17 new tech and leadership jobs over the next three years, bringing its total headcount to 20. In addition, it will be expanding its headquarters at the Millhouse McKinney, a nonprofit and coworking space aimed at empowering female entrepreneurs located within the McKinney Cotton Mill.
Language Learning Market says it also has offices in Mexico, India and Jordan.
The startup is a three-in-one platform comprised of a marketplace to buy and sell educational resources, a directory of businesses and schools and an education-focused media network. The idea was born from a need Monroe saw within her own family. A mother of four to children who speak three languages, she has worked as everything from a Peace Corp. volunteer to a “restaurant-prenuer” to the founder of an educational material distributor in places ranging from Jordan to DFW to Australia.
“This innovation center for the global education industry allows entrepreneurs and companies to monetize their products while being the world’s only one-stop-shop for parents to find high-quality language learning content,” Monroe said in a statement. “We’re empowering micro-entrepreneurs to reach their customers globally,”
Language Learning Market was recently one of 12 mostly local startups to join local nonprofit accelerator Impact Ventures’ newest tech-focused cohort. That opportunity could present more funding down the road, as Impact has launched the Dallas Inclusive Capital Fund and is using its program as a pipeline.
The Language Learning Market announcement comes on the heels of two other companies landing grants through the McKinney EDC’s Innovation Fund. At the end of May, AI startup Aiotics announced it was relocating to McKinney from Plano to create 20 jobs. This month, robotic mowing startup Robin Autopilot USA also relocated from Plano, with plans to create 58 new jobs.
With Language Learning Market’s move, the Innovation Fund has attracted close to 20 tech-enabled companies since its launch last January. The goal is to help diversify the city’s local economy and develop a high-density innovation ecosystem.
"We're trying to increase the average salary in the community, as well as bring in those target sector jobs,” Danny Chavez, senior vice president at the McKinney EDC, previously told NTX Inno about the fund. “There's a huge black hole in economic development in figuring out how to recruit tech."