Virgin StartUp: Intrepid English

Intrepid English creates online classes for people to learn how to speak English. Through Virgin Startup, founder Lorraine Mattacola has been able to get the funding and support she needed to turn her business idea into a reality. Here, Mattacola explains how she went from an idea, to a fully-fledged business.

Founder: Lorraine Mattacola


Age: 29

Location: Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

Local enterprise agency: Business west

Business pitch:

“Online English courses designed for you. Intrepid English is an online language school that offers English courses that are tailor-made to the specific requirements of each student. This personalised approach means that each student gets exactly what they need, when they need it at a price they can afford from the comfort of their own home."

The story so far:

"Intrepid English began as a concept in 2012 when I was working as a business English trainer in Cologne, Germany. My students were hard working and enthusiastic but I noticed several distinct barriers that they were forced to overcome to learn in the classroom. Access to a qualified native speaker at a time convenient for the students, even in Germany, proved to be difficult. Once in the classroom, most students had an inherent fear of making mistakes in the presence of their peers and often performed exponentially better when they were alone with me. I had heard that there were online language schools that taught students from all over the world, so I began conducting research into these and realised that very few were student-focused and offered English courses designed specifically to the needs of the students.

In October 2013 I moved home to England and was finally able to open the virtual doors of Intrepid English. In only two months I now have several regular students who all confess to having had reservations before they began their respective courses but were relieved to find how easy and convenient learning English can be. Intrepid English allows anyone with Internet access the opportunity to learn English and opens doors to a worthwhile career, worldwide travel or simply the ability to speak English for pleasure at any place or time that suits them. This ensures the best possible conditions for learning and therefore fosters rapid progress towards each student’s goals."

How will you use the funding you received from Virgin StartUp:

"The loan will be used to pay for start-up costs including advertising and search engine optimisation."

For more information on Intrepid English head to You can also like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.