Baruch graduate co-founds online language learning company
Lamm's background is in logistics and process management. Prior to enrolling in Baruch, he worked as an inventory manager and Director of Operations at a distribution warehouse.
He later worked as a freelance photographer for real estate companies, which eventually led to his first business, SnapShotNY.
“From a young age, I was exposed to two very different worlds,” said Lamm, comparing his experience working at the warehouse to working at his own company.
He liked not having to sit in front of a computer for 10 hours a day and instead enjoyed doing work for himself and his customers in his own way. Lamm’s early experience building the new company equipped him with the know-hows of starting a new business that later helped him seek out future ventures.
“I learned a lot,” said Lamm. “I was getting work, making money and hiring people, but I was bored and it was a lot [of] repetition. It was like I hit a ceiling, and I couldn’t grow anymore.”
While working in his photography business, Lamm tested out beta sites for a new company he was developing. After finding a bit of success with his new project, Lamm decided to shut down SnapShotNY to focus his efforts on Skill Silo.
Lamm teamed up with Josh Aharonoff and Akiva Gordon to jump-start the new company. Skill Silo, an online platform that connects students and educators via live one-on-one sessions over video conferencing, currently provides courses in up to 12 different languages. The mission of Skill Silo, as Lamm put it, is to “empower users via education.”
In the coming months, the company is expecting to expand to other subject areas such as mathematics and music. Lamm hopes that his company can help users “enrich their lives by connecting with other people and learning about different topics, subjects and cultures.”
Users have the option to schedule their own lessons at a time that is convenient for them and with an instructor of their preference. Each lesson is entirely customizable and focused on the needs of the student.
“If you want to learn a language for a specific business, you can focus on industry jargon,” said Lamm. “If you want to learn grammar, syntax and sentence structure, you can do that too.”
Over the past couple of years, Lamm and his partners have worked hard to distinguish their company from its competitors by focusing on software and technology. At Skill Silo, two-thirds of the staff members are full-time software engineers and full-stack developers, meaning that they are capable of doing both the front-end and back-end work.
Lamm also pointed out that the success of his company is largely attributed to their investment in customer service.
“We sit on top of our emails all day long,” said Lamm. “We treat everyone how we would want to be treated. If you contact us, you’re going to get a response within 24 hours.”
When the company first launched, Lamm personally contacted users who violated the cancellation policy to refund their lost credits.
Moving forward, the company hopes to internalize the video chatting software and improve the vetting system so that more eligible instructors will be encouraged to join. Recently, the company introduced a coupon program that gives users discounts and savings on their lessons. New users have the chance to sign up for a free 30-minute session with an instructor before determining whether or not they want to purchase the lessons.
“What really drove me to entrepreneurship was that I got to decide what the vision of the company would be,” said Lamm. “I’m passionate about learning new things and if I get to share that with others and enable other people to learn better and quicker, to me that’s what gets me going everyday.”