• Tech, Diversity and Unicorns – Listening Exercise

    LOI English is proud to have a diverse company with a female co-founder, lots of women on our staff, and an international and diverse group of teachers and employees. Based out of Montana and founded by a woman, we are not the typical start-up company. The video below illustrates why that might be a good thing.

    It also talks about a big buzzword in the world of startups now: unicorns. Watch the video below to learn more.

    Answer the listening questions in comments and we’ll reply. 

    1. I’m very fascinated ___ learning ____ the legendary start-up companies.
    2. How many stories does she say there are about startups? Why does she use that number?
    3. What is her definition of a unicorn company?
    4. How many female CEO’s were on the list with their initial analysis?
    5. How does diversity help companies?
    6. How many more “unicorn companies” are there in 2015 than 2013?
    7. What is their goal?

    Question 1 uses the prepositions “by” and “from.” Here is an overview of those prepositions and the differences between them.


    The preposition “by” is used in many different ways. One common use is in location phrases. When used to indicate location, the meaning of “by” is the same as “beside” or “at the side of”.

    When “by” is used with a verb showing motion, it usually shows movement past a location. Example: The bird flew by me.

    When “by” is used for time, however, the meaning is not later than, for example: Be home by 10. = Do not be home later than 10.

    “By” also shows ownership or creation credit to someone or something.


    The common preposition “from” can be used with verbs that show movement and with verbs that do not. When it is used with “movement verbs,” it shows the location that someone/something left. Example: The bird flew from the open window.

    To say this in another way, it shows the starting point of the movement (while to shows the destination or result).

    “From” is also used with certain “non-movement verbs” in two very common phrases, “be from” and “come
    from.” These two phrases are generally used to show someone’s origin. If “be from” or “come from” are
    followed by a location, it is understood to be someone’s or something’s place of origin. This can include the area the person or thing originates from. For example: He is from France. This wine comes from California. She is from New York City.

    The video above contained several vocabulary words that you may find useful.

    Wind Up – Arrive or end up in a specified state, situation, or place.

    Standing the Test of Time – To be well regarded; to last for a long time.

    Seed Stage Fund – The first stage of venture capital investment. Seed-stage investments are often comparatively modest amounts of capital provided to inventors or entrepreneurs to finance the early development of a new product or service. These early investments may be directed toward product development, market research, building a management team and developing a business plan.

    To back. – To give financial, emotional, or moral support to someone or something.

    To make room. – To open a space, way, or passage; to remove obstructions; to give room.

    Did you enjoy this lesson? You might also might be interested in trying series of live, 1-on-1 business English classes. Each class in the series focuses on a specific skill. For example: “Presentations and Pitching” or “Small Talk and Meetings.”

    Take an English class that focuses tech start-ups and learn more vocabulary for this subject, how to pitch an idea in English, give a presentation and much more.

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