Many entrepreneurs tackle niche market segments. But Judy Ravin went out on a limb and started Accent Reduction Institute LLC before there was much of a market for technology tools that targeted accent-imposed language barriers.
Ravin was teaching English pronunciation to international students at Eastern Michigan University in 1998 when General Motors contacted her because employees had trouble understanding one of their executives from China.
She left her position at EMU to focus on her mission of helping nonnative English speakers eliminate language barriers caused by accents. After launching her first company, English Communication Services LLC, and writing “Lose Your Accent in 28 Days,” she founded Accent Reduction Institute LLC in 2005.
The company develops software tools that foster accent comprehension, identification and reduction. Ravin’s methodologies for accent reduction and comprehension which show results in 12 hours have been trademarked.
Ravin’s goal is not to eliminate accents. Her programs aim to retain individual cultures, teaching nonnative English speakers how to pronounce sounds that are inherently difficult or rare in their native tongue.
Her methods have spawned a globally instituted training model. The United States Marine Corps uses her patented accent comprehension program in its predeployment training.
Accent Reduction Institute’s programs are customized for industry and sector needs. And to extend the reach of the programs toward building a global bridge of communication, Ravin developed interactive online classrooms for virtual sessions. Future plans include expanding this online campus, as well as the company’s entire product line.
Ravin’s unique focus tripled the company’s revenue from 2007 to 2008, keeping Accent Reduction Institute in a class by itself.
How to reach: Accent Reduction Institute LLC, (734) 665-2915 or www.lessaccent.com