From The Founders – Musings on TechStars: Would I do it again?

2012 Techstars Boulder

Over the last ten days since wrapping-up my 13 weeks at TechStars Boulder, I have been asked on several occasions if it was worth it. These inquirers, usually investors, cite the richness of the equity (6% for $18,000) and the opportunity cost of my time as strikes against the program. Admittedly, the decision to give up any portion of our company was not easy and with plans to ultimately base the company in New York where international business, travel and foreign culture permeate everyday life, the choice to spend more than three months in Boulder, Colorado was not obvious. Excited and a little anxious (some might say, “giddy”), I took off for Boulder hours after receiving my diploma from Wharton.

To attempt to describe our entire TechStars experience in a blog post would not do justice to the breadth and quality of the program, however I will highlight some of my favorite takeaways from the summer:

Team: We started the program as a team of two and grew to a team of eight by the end of the summer. Our team today are MONSTER executors with the passion to blow this business out of the water. Rock on Team VerbalizeIt.

Mentors: Seriously, another mentor meeting? Meeting with nearly 100 experienced entrepreneurs and investors proved to be one of the biggest benefits of the program. Who else can meet with a world-class investor and marathoner, a serial entrepreneur and a marketing guru all before breakfast? Awesome.

Product: We came into the program with a delivery solution that enabled anyone to use their phone to access our translator community. We left the program with an improved phone-based solution, an iPhone and an Android app, a relationship with Skype, powerful API enabling developers to have the power of our crowd at their fingertips and custom portals designed for businesses of all shapes and sizes. 

Community: The Boulder community rallied around our team and business and really invigorated our existing excitement for the business. Boulder is a seriously awesome place to build a startup and I’m thrilled that we have team members leading our operation out of Boulder and New York.

Capital: Exposure to world-class investors – ‘nuff said. We’re excite to share in our exciting future with the amazing investment partners who have committed to backing our vision.

TechStars Entrepreneurs: I’ve always said that I will be doing well in life if I surround myself with people who are smarter and more experienced than I am. The current and former TechStars-backed companies are, in short, amazing. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to benefit from their unique perspectives and excited to be apart of this amazing community moving forward.

I would be thrilled to provide any TechStars candidate with my perspective on the program.

Wishing for the best for all of the mentors, investors, entrepreneurs, coordinators and supportive members of this rockstar community.

Best,

Ryan Frankel











VerbalizeIt App Now Available for iPhone!

We’re happy to announce that the VerbalizeIt mobile application is now available for iPhone.

The VerbalizeIt app turns your iPhone into a human translator! Instantly speak another language by connecting to human translators who can communicate on your behalf. Simply select the language pair you need help with and click “Translate!”, and you are instantly connected to one of thousands of translators around the world. Put your phone on speaker, start talking, and hear your words in another language spoken by your personal translator!

Download Now:









2012 Techstars Boulder Demo Day

It’s finally here. Tomorrow, August 9th, the class of Techstars Boulder 2012 will take the stage at the Boulder Theater and pitch our companies to the crowd of investors, press, entrepreneurs, fans, and everyone following the event online. The past 90 days have been an amazing experience and we couldn’t be more excited to present VerbalizeIt to the public.

We have some great announcements that are part of our pitch and we can’t wait to publicize them.

The event starts at 9:00am MDT and we’ll be live tweeting all day so make sure to follow us on Twitter.  Also, you can follow the Twitter hashtag #TSDemoDay for all of the updates.

*original photo credit: @AndrewHyde











Proud to Announce Some Key Relationships

The VerbalizeIt team is extremely happy to announce a few key relationships that we’ve established.

StudentUniverse:

We’re excited to announce that we’ve formed a relationship with StudentUniverse to offer VerbalizeIt to their members at a 20% discount.

StudentUniverse is the United States’ largest student deal site and offers exclusive deals to its members worldwide. With a goal of maximizing student’s time in school, millions of students use StudentUniverse every year.

The VerbalizeIt team is looking forward to breaking down language barriers for students across the globe.

If you’re a student and would like to take advantage of all that StudentUniverse offers, sign up for a free membership at StudentUniverse.com.

Skype:

Skype and VerbalizeIt

Earlier this summer we released the VerbalizeIt Skype App which enables anyone to add a live human translator into any Skype call. We’ve had users in every continent (including Antarctica). We’ve been amazed at the response and usage of VerbalizeIt for Skype.  The VerbalizeIt Skype application is currently being featured on the front page of the Skype Shop and the Skype App Directory where you can try the VerbalizeIt Skype App for free and get 20% off any VerbalizeIt pricing plan.

TripLingo:

TripLingo is an amazing language learning application that allows you to effectively and efficiently learn the specific phrases that you’ll need during your travels. We’re proud to announce that TripLingo has integrated VerbalizeIt into their application so users can connect directly to a live human translator to help them during the language learning process. We’re excited by the ways that VerbalizeIt can have an impact in the language learning space.











From the Founders: Our Techstars Experience – 2

VerbalizeIt founders Ryan Frankel and Kunal Sarda update us on what’s been going on during their Techstars experience.

This video was created using Flixmaster (a 2011 TechStars Boulder company).  Flixmaster is a could-based video editing platform that enables anyone to create interactive videos.  Try it for free today!