Jeff Novich of VocabSushi

EDUKWEST is close to its 50 episodes! It’s been a long and exciting way and as you may have heard from me once or twice, I don’t simply want to portray upcoming edupreneurs once and after watching the video we forget about them. Instead, one of the aims I have with EDUKWEST is to invite my “alumni” to come up on the programme again and we have a look at what has happened with their upstart in the meantime.

Around 11 months after his first appearance, I invited Jeff Novich, founder and CEO of VocabSushi, for a follow up interview and give him the possibility to talk about his development as an entrepreneur at the beginning, the lessons he learned and then coming to the news around his product.
And there a quite a few: VocabSushi itself now exists in two different versions, the Pro for schools and professional educators and the learner/student or consumer version. Both are paid what I feel, was the right move.

Jeff also rolled out a stand alone VocabSushi application for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad that is, unlike the normal VocabSushi site, not built around news articles but around classic books. The business model here: the application comes with the first two books for free, then each additional book can be downloaded at the fair price of $1 or $2 depending on the amount of vocab words/bites it contains.

In the last part, we cover a funny little twitter game he coded, called vocabbomb. Each day, one vocab word becomes the word of the day and you can actively participate in submitting your funny, witty or creative sentences using this word and the #vocabbomb on twitter. Users can then vote your use of this word up and down. It’s social, it’s boots creativity and it’s a great way to use some elaborate vocabulary for both native speakers and learners of English.

Besides my considered opinion that Jeff is one of the most creative and prolific edupreneurs and that his products deserve the attention of our community, he also turns my job as interviewer into a smooth experience!


Audio only:

1. EDUKWEST #48 with Jeff Novich of VocabSushi     

Additional Links:

Website: VocabSushi
VocabSushi iPhone app: VocabSushi iPhone app
VocabSushi on Twitter: @bitesizelearn
Jeff on Twitter: @jeffnovich
Jeff on LinkedIn:

Kirsten Winkler is the founder and editor of EDUKWEST. She also writes about Social Media, Digital Society and Startups at

  • Beatrizm Volpe

    Great idea…It is my first contact and I am loving it!!