Founder and CEO, MinorMynas
Hillary Yip was inspired to begin online educational platform MinorMynas when she was just 11 years old. “I came up with the idea in the summer of 2015 when I was learning putonghua in Taiwan,” she says. “Learning a new language is such a tough thing for us kids, so I really wanted to make a change and solve this issue for all of us.”
MinorMynas provides language learning opportunities for children through live video calls — they are encouraged to use it to communicate with one another. After Yip came back from her trip in Taiwan, she applied to be a part of the AIA Emerging Entrepreneur Challenge, a kids’ entrepreneurship competition, which she won.
“I must say that my biggest double-edged sword is my age.”
“After that, I thought that this was actually a viable idea and decided to pursue it. With help from my mentors, who gave me loads of advice and support, and lots of help from my parents, we’ve created a public beta that’s available on the app store,” she explains.
Running her own business before she has even reached her teens comes with unique challenges. “I’ve met loads of really kind mentors, and really supportive people, along the way. But I must say that my biggest double-edged sword is my age,” Yip confesses. “While my age may give me more exposure, it can also influence my interactions as adults don’t always take me seriously.”
Still, MinorMynas has been a success. It now has users in over 10 countries, including Taiwan, the US, the UK and Turkey. After attending international school in Hong Kong, today Yip is homeschooled and divides her time between her studies and working on the company’s development.
Her very first job? MinorMynas!
Her inspiration? “I’m inspired by change. Any progression in society always comes with lots of change for good, in [our] minds, the way we interact, and things we use. I’m really inspired by that because it feels like you can be at the forefront of the next major movement.”