Business English News 48 – Cryptocurrency

Business English News 48 - Cryptocurrency

In this Business English News lesson we look at business English vocabulary related to cryptocurrency.

You’ve probably heard stories of young investors lured by the promise of quick gains in the world of “crypto,” or cryptocurrency. And while it’s Bitcoin that gets the lion’s share of attention, there are over 10,000 digital currencies in use today. There’s the big names, like Ethereum, Binance, and Ripple. And then there’s currencies like Dogecoin and Loser Coin, which started as jokes. If you’re confused by the hype, you’re not alone. So just what is cryptocurrency? According to Investopedia:

A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that is secured by cryptography, which makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend. A defining feature of cryptocurrencies is that they are generally not issued by any central authority, rendering them theoretically immune to government interference or manipulation.

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BEP 371 – English for Startups 5: Demonstrating Leadership

English for Startups 5 - BEP 371 - Demonstrating Leadership

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on English for startups and demonstrating leadership.

In the early stages, startup companies are built on the ideas and energy of their founders. These are often smart, creative people with great technical knowledge and skills. And this creativity and technical know-how is crucial to bringing great ideas to life.

But very quickly, a startup becomes more than just one or two individuals. As it grows, it becomes a team of people. And as it changes, or pivots, the original founders need more than just creativity and technical skills. They need to be able to lead their team with passion.

Leading a team might not come naturally to every founder. Or to any manager in any type of company, tech startup or not. But you can learn and practice the skills of a being a great leader.

For starters, you’ll want to know how to be positive and show compassion for your team members. Taking care of your team will also involve responding decisively to needs. And people are depending on you to show them the vision behind all the hard work, and to underline the shared purpose of everyone on the team.

In today’s dialog, we’ll listen to a startup founder named Quinn, who has recently pivoted his online payments company to focus on business customers. He’s talking with lead developer Jill, and a new marketing manager named Colin. To execute this pivot well, Quinn will have to call on all his leadership abilities to guide his team to success.

Listening Questions

1. How does Quinn set a positive tone at the start of the conversation?
2. What is the big vision, or change, the company wants to make?
3. How does Quinn respond to Jill’s request for help with infrastructure needs?

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BEP 366 – English for Startups 3: Addressing Investor Concerns

BEP 366 LESSON - Startup English 3: Answering Investor Questions

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on addressing investor concerns during a pitch in English.

One of the greatest skills in business is the art of persuasion. Whether you’re running a startup and wooing a big investor or trying to convince your boss to give you a pay raise you need to be able to persuade.

Of course, we often use a pitch or presentation to persuade, especially when looking for startup investment. But the pitch alone won’t seal the deal. The real test is handling questions and concerns after your pitch. Can you anticipate these concerns and be ready to address them? Can you think and speak on the fly? Do you have the confidence to back up what you’ve said in your presentation?

There are several concerns you might have to address. For one, you may have to explain exactly why your idea is unique. And you might also have to show clearly that you’re committed to the idea. One common investor concern is the valuation, or how much you think the company’s worth. You’ll need to justify your valuation clearly, and explain what you’ll do with the investor’s money. And through it all, you’ll be trying to show why you are backable, or deserve the investor’s support.

In today’s dialog, we’ll rejoin Quinn, who is seeking investment for his online payments company called Moolah. In our last lesson, Quinn gave his pitch to the investor. Now he has to address some tough questions and concerns from a potential investor named Mason.

Listening Questions

1. What does Quinn believe shows that he’s fully committed to the company?
2. What exactly does Quinn plan to do with the investor’s money?
3. Why does Quinn believe he is backable on a personal level?

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Business English News 45 – The 5G Revolution

Business English News 45 - 5G Mobile Communications Revolution

In this Business English News lesson we look at vocabulary related to technology and mobile communications.

There’s a lot of buzz around 5G technology these days. And it’s not just tech giants like Samsung, Ericsson and Huawei that are getting excited. Everyone from consumers to governments are paying attention. And with the excitement comes no small amount of controversy. But what’s all the hype about? And for starters, what exactly is 5G? Technology website Inventiva explains:

Put simply, 5G is an innovative mobile technology, which is expected to impact all aspects of our lives, including our homes, entertainment, work, and travel. In part, this is because it enables download speeds 10 to 20 times faster than the 4G networks of today. But it’s also much more responsive than the current networks, and allows many more devices to be connected to the internet. In short, it radically improves network bandwidth. With such speed and capacity, 5G is expected to transform everything around us.

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Business English News 41 – Data Privacy

Business English News 41 - Data Privacy

The digital age has brought unprecedented access to information and new online services. And in exchange, people have proven very willing to provide personal information and to have their online activities monitored. But is it worth it? As Wired reports, more and more people are questioning this trade-off:

The US has found itself in the middle of a data privacy awakening, and you can credit the recent spate of headline-grabbing scandals as the kick-starter. Cambridge Analytica illicitly took the personal information of up to 87 million Facebook users and turned it into targeted political ads. And Equifax let slip the sensitive details of 148 million Americans because it couldn’t be bothered to patch a known vulnerability.

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