New Yorker Daniel Mattio is the founder and CEO, Mirror Media, Inc. Prior to founding Mirror in late 2011, Dan worked for over a decade investing in global internet and consumer businesses at firms like Citadel Investment Group and Goldman, Sachs & Co. He graduated from Georgetown University in 2000 as valedictorian. Dan has long been fascinated with the online dating marketplace. He met his wife on Jdate in 2003 and realizes that the mechanics of online dating haven’t changed much since the inception of the web. Sites like Match.com, Jdate, and eHarmony are essentially the same sites they were when Dan was single in the early 2000’s! He has sought to change this by creating Mirror.
Brains Byte Back interviews startups, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders that tap into how our brains work. We explore how knowledge & technology intersect to build a better, more sustainable future for humanity. If you’re interested in ideas that push the needle, and future-proofing yourself for the new information age, join us every Friday. Brains Byte Back guests include founders, CEOs, and other influential individuals making a big difference in society, with past guest speakers such as New York Times journalists, MIT Professors, and C-suite executives of Fortune 500 companies.
In today’s episode of the Brains Byte Back podcast, we speak with Dan Berges, Managing Director & Founder of Berges Institute, an online Spanish language school for adults headquartered in New York City.
In this conversation, Dan shares how, before the pandemic, the institute mostly comprised of in-person teaching, and had begun to dabble in online teaching in 2019, with a total of 1200 students and a large school in Chicago.
However, since the pandemic, the institute has transitioned to work 100% online, with students in the US, the UK, Canada, and beyond.
The school uses the Graf method, which is their self-developed style of teaching Spanish. It is a highly deductive method, meaning that they first teach the rules and then practice them, instead of an inductive method where students are expected to infer the rules from the examples.
Dan also shares the origin story of the company, stating that it first began in 2013 with a small studio on the upper side of New York City. They developed the Graf method themselves and it quickly became very popular.
Additionally, Dan discusses the benefits of learning a new language, claiming that most research shows that it improves cognitive ability, memory, and concentration.
He advocates that brain scans show an increase in the density of gray matter and white matter when learning another language. Alongside this, research has shown that learning a new language also can significantly delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
And finally, Dan shares how the institute is recruiting the use of AI in order to implement new Spanish language chatbot features for their students in order to help them learn.
Find out more about Dan Berges here (LinkedIn) –
Find out more about Berges Institute (website, Twitter + Contact page) –
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