The strength of Mandy and Pandy lies in its magic power to arouse curiosity among young kids, who will then be engaged to learn the language with interest and fun. Everything in the book (texts pictures, activities, etc.) was meticulously developed for this purpose. Mandy and Pandy Co. was formed in 2007 with success in the book market - teaching American kids Chinese. With Chinese becoming more important in the global economic and cultural landscape, the company was re-invigorated in 2016 with a more ambitious B2B model selling to schools. The proven content is being digitized to scale and penetrate the school market.
Christopher Lin, the CEO of Mandy and Pandy, is an ABC – American Born Chinese – born in Detroit, raised in Troy, and educated at the University of Michigan (Go Blue!!). As a pre-admit into the Ross School MBA program, Christopher was charged with making a difference and trying a different path.
During successful international internships and (4-7 year) career stints with multinational corporations such as Nokia, Tatung, Ford, GM, and Deloitte, he learned the importance of international understanding and the role of learning foreign languages and cultures.
In an effort to teach his daughter, Amanda, Chinese, they went to the local book store to discover that there were only a few Chinese books for kids while there were hundreds of Spanish books for kids. This A-ha moment inspired Lin to write and publish his first book – Mandy and Pandy say Ni Hao Ma?
Update - Year 1:
Since last year, Mandy and Pandy has focused on developing the Digital Toolbox with support of Rochester Community Schools and Arbormoon. This SAAS program allows teachers to develop their own weekly curriculum in minutes instead of hours and then presents their lesson plans on their smartboards in class. As of the end of last year, 10 teachers are using the tool and teaching over 5000 students. Phase 2 of the project will allow students to perform activities at home and allow teachers to evaluate students' progress electronically. $75,000 of funding was raised from Angels to contribute to the development of the software and sustainment of the team. This year's focus will be to enroll additional customers in Oakland County, Macomb County, and Western Michigan, to hire another salesperson, and to raise $250,000 to support growth and further development.