We're forever amazed at the creativity of our businesses - and Bilingual Beats, founded by Claudia Ladaria and Almudena Vieitez, is the perfect example. Believing that it's never too early to get kids involved in music and languages, Bilingual Beats helps children learn a foreign language through the medium of song and use of instruments.
We choose one Virgin StartUp company to be featured on Virginstartup.org each week. We ask our startups of the week to deliver the ultimate elevator pitch. What would they say if they had one minute in a lift with Sir Richard Branson? Please answer the questions below, keeping each answer to five sentences max.
Ground to floor 1 – Explain what your business does
Bilingual Beats is an innovative bilingual music programme for children that teaches them music and a foreign language (Spanish or French at the moment) at the same time, using live music in our classes.
Floor 1 to 2 - Where are you based?
We’re spread all over London. We’re already working at more than 40 nurseries of different boroughs, and so far we have 5 venues for our family classes in different neighborhoods of the city, but we’re opening new ones every month.
Floor 2 to 3 – What’s the business model?
Our classes are 100% fun; children play percussion instruments, dance and sing our original songs in the foreign language. They enjoy and learn so much without realizing!
We offer our classes to nurseries and preschools, and we also have a family programme run at different venues in London where families come with their little ones to share this learning experience.
Floor 3 to 4 – Who are your competitors?
There are so many different early childhood programmes in London, related to a wide variety of activities: cooking, drama, ballet, yoga…there are also a lot of music programmes and language programmes, but we’re the only one combining these two disciplines in one programme! It’s difficult to get a foothold among such variety, but the key is to offer something with great quality.
Floor 4 to 5 – What’s your USP?
Live music and two native teachers in our super fun classes. We bring a team of two professionals to each class: a native teacher who performs the activities and sings, dances and plays with the children, and a musician who constantly plays live music with his/her guitar or keyboard, allowing the teacher to change and adapt the activities as required.
Floor 5 to 6 – Where did the idea come from?
I was a bilingual music teacher at a secondary school in Spain, but always believed that with languages and with music, the sooner you start the better. My dream was to start up a programme for little kids, and thought London was the perfect place, since here families are very concerned with early stimulation. I contacted Claudia, my friend from school and a mother herself to two little girls. She was already living in London, and she jumped in the very first second I told her my idea! And that’s how we created Bilingual Beats in October 2013.
Floor 6 to 7 – How much funding did you receive from Virgin StartUp?
We got £5,000
Floor 7 to 8 – How are you going to use it to grow your business?
We’re developing an app for tablets and smartphones with musical videos of our songs and games to allow children learn and play from everywhere!
Floor 8 to 9 – Who’s your Virgin StartUp Mentor?
We’ve just been matched with Gary White, Business Development Director of CBHC LLP and we’re very much looking forward to meeting him this week!
Floor 9 to 10 – What’s your workspace like?
The main work (our classes) is done by our lovely teachers at the different nurseries or venues where we work at, and we do all the admin work from home.
Floor 10 to 11 – where will your business be in 12 month’s time?
We would love to bring Bilingual Beats to as many children as possible. In 12 months we'd love to be working for many other nurseries around London and opening new venues, and possibly to start expanding to other cities in the UK.