We’re Honored to Win the Most Innovative Startup Award

We’ve been eyeing PhoCusWright’s premier Travel Innovation Summit since we began supporting travelers with our interpretation and translation solutions 15 months ago. Having the opportunity to present 
our language translation services to thousands of the world’s leading travel organizations was amazing. Finding out we won the award for Most Innovative Startup was even better. Check out our CEO, Ryan Frankel’s, award-winning presentation and the highlights below. 

Ryan Frankel At Pho Cus Wright

The judges awarded points for the “ease of use” of our seamless API which connects our customer’s content directly to our community of thousands of translators around the globe through a single line of code.

Verbalize It's Api

Additional points were awarded for drawing parallels directly to other success disruptions of traditional industries. Uber, Fandango, and Zappos didn’t exist fifteen years ago, now they’re household names.

Verbalize It Disrupts The Translation Industry

We’re combining the speed and cost-effectiveness of machine translation with the quality and professionalism of traditional call centers. 

Verbalize It's Competitive Advantage

The result? A disruptive technology that companies from a wide variety of industries are using to internationalize their businesses.

Verbalize It Use Cases

Ready to internationalize your communications? 

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Go Global

Travel Innovation Summit Winners!

This week we presented our translation platform on stage at PhoCusWright’s Travel Innovation Summit and won the Best Startup Award. This is a huge honor and we couldn’t be more excited!

Verbalize It Wins

Our company has come a long way in the last 18 months (we started out with 50 Spanish translators in Philly and now have more than 16,000 worldwide) and we owe a great deal of our success to our early adopters who stuck with us through the hard times (we list them in Forbes) and the good times (check out our Shark Tank victory and our New York Times writeup).

The judges at the innovation summit agreed with us that a self-service translation platform will change the game in today’s global economy. If you’re ready to take your business global, email us at pcw@verbalizeit.com and we’ll help you get started. 

Thanks for all of your support!

-Ryan Frankel
CEO and co-founder
Ryan Frankel Image

LIVE from #PhoCusWright’s Travel Innovation Summit

Today we’re presenting VerbalizeIt on stage at PhoCusWright’s Travel Innovation Summit in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

We’ve come a long way since appearing on ABC’s Shark Tank and we wanted to invite you to
watch us live on stage today at 5.30pm EST. If you can’t tune in, that’s okay, you can still signup for a
free global expansion consultation. Here’s a flashback to Shark Tank and an article on how we
prepared for the Innovation Summit

The Secrets to Taking Your Small Business Global

The following post originally ran in Forbes

The world is changing. “Crowdsourcing companies” like ours didn’t exist ten years ago and the concept of the “large multinational” truly only came into our lexicon at the end of WWII. Today, the combination of the internet, global markets, and a rising international middle class, have allowed a company of any size to compete globally. The world isn’t just flat— it’s completely open. Small businesses should take notice.

Ninety-six percent of the world’s consumers live outside the US, and they account for nearly two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power according to the US Small Business Administration. Despite these shocking statistics, only one-percent of American companies currently exports its products and services overseas. What was once a game reserved for multinationals is now open to anyone. Why haven’t small businesses gotten the memo?

Several roadblocks—some perceived and some very real—are holding back small business owners from capitalizing on the growing global marketplace.

As a crowdsourced translation platform, we’ve been forced to meet this demand head on and have grown from a small start-up to a global company that serves customers all over the world. Based on previous roadblocks of our own and our customers, here are three recommendations we have for small businesses looking to take a bite out of the global pie.

1. Be Laser Focused

As a small business with limited resources, chasing down any and every market opportunity that seems attractive is not an option. Narrowing down which markets you want to approach and why is critical when taking your small business global. Develop a disciplined method to expanding your business and ensure that every new market you explore offers at least one of the following advantages over others:

  • A larger customer base, potentially with a higher willingness to pay
  • Access to cheaper supply of labor or raw material, leading to cost efficiencies
  • Legal, regulatory, or other systemic factors that make it easier to do business

2. Be Contextually Sensitive

Starting a business takes pivoting (lots of pivoting). Starting a business overseas with cultural, language, or legal barriers, requires even more iterations. Companies can drastically steepen their learning curve and avoid catastrophic mistakes by leaning on local experts.

As we grew to support customers and translators in foreign countries, we found ourselves in a unique situation with brand evangelists all over the world. Rather than look at each of our translators as a number we put each and every one through a survey to better understand them and the culture they are from. This led to thousands of meaningful global data points that inform how we approach international markets. Small businesses can achieve the same goal through simple online survey tools like Google Forms, Wufoo, or Survey Monkey.

3. Be Multilingual

Language barriers are by far the biggest challenge in going overseas. Yet they are often a secondary thought when looking to expand globally. With only eighteen-percent of Americans speaking a second language, it’s difficult for American small businesses to appreciate that English is not the primary language for doing business overseas.

In fact, if you are targeting one of the top fifteen emerging markets, there is asixty-percent likelihood that your customers speak little to no English. Couple that with the fact that more than seventy-percent of customers say that they would be more likely to buy a product with information in their own language and the importance of being multilingual magnifies.

The language translation industry runs the gamut from free and often unreliable machine translation to large expensive call-centers. Small businesses looking to expand globally need to work somewhere in between where they can pivot quickly without committing to long-term contracts or risk alienating new customers.

Take Away

When the time is right, focus in on your new market, be sensitive to their culture, and go beyond English. The multinational game isn’t just for Fortune 500 companies anymore, the rules are changing.

B Wbio Photo Kunalsarda
-Kunal Sarda

Co-founder of VerbalizeIt


Our Shot at Fortune 500 Employees

This article originally appeared in the Wharton

Heed these three pieces of advice if you want to succeed at your next big meeting with potential clients

.Pho Cus Wright Conference Badge Innovator250

On Nov. 19, 2013, we will be presenting our translation platform on stage at PhoCusWright’s Travel Innovation Summit in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. This is part one of a three-part series documenting how we prepared for the summit, what the onstage experience was like, and what happened to our company VerbalizeIt, after the conference.

We’ve had our eyes set on PhoCusWright’s premier Travel Innovation Summit since we began supporting travelers and travel organizations with our interpretation and translation solutions 15 months ago. Now that moment is finally here.

We will be presenting our language translation services to thousands of the world’s leading travel organizations, and we’re working on securing additional distribution partners and clients to continue helping global businesses and world travelers. Based on previous successes and failures, here are three recommendations we have when preparing for a major event and presentation:

1. Do Your Research.

Our objective from the outset has been to introduce VerbalizeIt to set up in-person meetings. Most of this work has happened well before the event. We’ve done our research on the attendees, and through conversations with them ahead of time, we have a presentation that we’re hoping best matches our strengths with the pain points of the attendees.

Like most growing companies, aligning ourselves with companies of all sizes has led to stronger distribution and better differentiation from our competitors. Unfortunately, like most growing companies, we’re not the only ones trying to set up meetings. This leads to our next recommendation …

2. Don’t Go Empty-Handed.

Just like with any decent cocktail party, you don’t want to walk in empty-handed as you likely won’t be invited back. Once we identified certain companies, we knew that reaching out to them cold was going to be difficult. As with most requests in life, it’s easier to get something after you’ve given something away. We built a dedicated global expansion Web page that offers a free month on our platform. Now that we have garnered attention and secured meetings, the next step is to cement a lasting impression.

3. Take a Risk and Make a Memory. The PhoCusWright Travel Innovation Summit will feature 30 other innovators, many of whom have taken steps one and two above, as we have. In order for us to stand out, we’re going to have to deliver a clear and compelling presentation capped with a memorable moment. We obviously don’t want to give away what we’re planning, but we can tell you that what we’re aiming to deliver started long before we were accepted as a summit innovator. If all goes well, it should sustain our business for some time. Stay tuned.

You can watch us live at the Travel Innovation Summit on Nov. 19, 2013, by registering here and email me directly at ryan.frankel@verbalizeit.com

Ryan Frankel Image

How to Reach the 53 Million Spanish Speakers in the US

This article originally appeared in the New York Enterprise Report

The 2012 US Census showed that the number of Spanish speakers continues to rise. Today, there are some 53 million Latinos in the US. Is your organization reaching them effectively?

For the past 10 years, Ad Age has been publishing a Hispanic Fact Pack that covers this rise and the corresponding rise in US Hispanic media yearly spend: Media spend has tripled from $2.8 billion in 2000 to $7.9 billion in 2012. Ad Age goes on to report that major companies like Procter & Gamble Co. (P&G) are funneling millions of dollars every year into reaching Hispanic consumers (P&G spent $246.2 million in 2012, up from $169.8 million in 2003). General Mills, Kraft Foods Group, and Mars Inc. have all joined P&G on the list of the 25 largest Hispanic advertisers (notably, none of these companies were listed a decade ago).

Reaching the Spanish-speaking consumers within the US has become a top priority for the world’s biggest brands and institutions. If your company, firm, or nonprofit does not have the multilingual capacity to speak to and listen to the Spanish speaker, you are likely falling behind your competitors or falling short of your mission. Here are three things you can do to help your organization reach this growing population:

1. Understand Who You’re Really Trying to Reach

The roughly 53 million Spanish speakers inside the U.S. borders are not all the same – far from it, in fact. The argument could be made that this demographic is nearly as diverse as the European immigration waves of past centuries. The PEW Research Center mapped the Latino population, by state, county, and city and drilled down on specific segments of the U.S. Hispanic population – namely, where they live and what percentage they comprise of a given region.

To reach your customers, you have to understand who they really are. For instance, a consumer-facing company in New York might be interested to learn that New York is home to nearly 3.5 million Hispanics, 60 percent of whom are Puerto Rican, Dominican, or Mexican, and that 79 percent of these people speak Spanish at home.

2. To Send the Right Message, Consider Context

Crafting a message that resonates with a targeted constituency is a fundamental rule of any marketing, political, or fundraising campaign. But considering context is harder when dealing with language barriers. As with demographics, a good outreach campaign also accounts for the contextual relevance and understanding.

In a classic example of not understanding context, American Motors, formerly one of the largest car companies in the world, completely missed the mark with its car the Matador in the 1970s in Puerto Rico. “Matador,” which is usually translated as bullfighter in the continental US, also means “killer” in Spanish. With nearly five million Puerto Ricans living in the US now alongside 48 million other Spanish speakers, getting the contextual framework right matters a great deal.

3. Partner With Organizations That Are One Step Ahead

Aligning your brand with organizations that have already established that trust with Spanish speakers will help activate a lasting relationship.

Case in point: According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., approximately one-fifth of Latino households in the U.S. don’t have a deposit account. In homes where Spanish is the only language spoken, more than one-third don’t have bank accounts.

Enter the Latino Community Credit Union (LCCU), which has 10 branches throughout North Carolina and serves Spanish speakers other institutions overlook. According to National Journal, “LCCU is one of the fastest-growing and most financially stable credit unions in the country, with a delinquency rate lower than those of its peers.” Partnering with organizations like LCCU that have already established trust with Spanish speakers will help ingratiate you with the Spanish-speaking community.


Ryan Frankel Image
Ryan Frankel is the co-founder and CEO of VerbalizeIt. You can follow him on Twitter @rvfrankel

Top Three Ways to Turbocharge Your (Awesome) Marketing Video

There is no denying it. A well-made marketing video can be a huge asset to your brand and company. Just ask Michael Dublin, the CEO and star of the Dollar Shave Club marketing video, widely regarded as one of the best executed marketing videos ever. 

In an interview with Entrepreneur magazine, Dublin talks about leveraging his network to create the video for a mere $4,500. We say mere, as the video has amassed a whopping viewership of over 12 million since its launch in March 2012. We’re not one to ascribe much financial value to video views or Facebook likes, but it is probably safe to say that Dublin broke even on this ad, and then some. 

For those of us not gifted with inherently viral products, or with Dublin’s professional network or good looks, there is still hope! Once you’ve arrived at your best marketing video, here are three small investments to consider to turbocharge the value of your marketing video.

#3 KISS (Keep It Short, Stupid)

The explosive growth of Vine’s six-second videos is a great indicator of how we are becoming increasingly ADD as a race. As further food for thought, consider the chart below, showing average daily views of the thirty most viral YouTube videos, against the length of these videos.


This analysis is highly flawed, as it doesn’t control for anything other than number of views. However, it should plant the seed that shorter may be better.

Once you have created your marketing video, ensure that you create and test several shorter versions of the video to see what inspires the most action and “virality” from your customers. The concept of A/B testing with minor alterations is widely employed on marketing websites, and if used effectively, can drive significant incremental value from your marketing videos.

#2. Video Powers Search Results, Captions Power Video

Google’s well-document emphasis on “Blended Results” – use of both video and text in search ranking – provides an incredible opportunity to rank high on search results by leveraging video. So, post your marketing video to YouTube and follow all the fantastic online advice about appropriately naming and tagging your video, and you’re half way there.

However, to make the most of your video’s ability to drive search, power your video with captions- text transcripts that are superimposed on, and show as your video plays. Why does this help? Without getting scientific, text associated with your video helps Google recognizes your video as high quality content, and allows your video to be placed higher in search results.

In addition, consider the following benefits of captioning in increasing viewership of your video:

1. Several people watch videos while at work, and can follow your video without sound.
2. Hearing-impaired individuals can now watch your video

YouTube offers automatic machine-generated transcripts, which are free but often highly flawed. Consider investing a small amount in human-powered transcripts through on-demand platforms like VerbalizeIt, that can turn around quality transcripts in less than 24 hours.

#1. Go Global

Perhaps the most astounding YouTube statistic is that 60% of video viewers are from outside the US. Couple this with research that individuals are 70% more likely to purchase a product in their native language, making your video available in foreign languages is a great way to boost its value to a previously untapped audience.

YouTube leverages machine translation to convert your transcripts into other languages. However, machine translation is highly flawed and may produce epic failures like the one below:


Again, on-demand translation platforms like VerbalizeIt can provide human-powered translations and voiceovers within 24 hours to maintain the quality and context of your marketing videos, and open up new opportunities to for your business.

Unless your product or concept is inherently viral, even the best and most expensive marketing videos can sit untouched in the ether of cyberspace. Make sure you go the extra mile to maximize the discoverability and accessibility of your videos, and you may just give Michael Dublin a run for his money!

VerbalizeIt provides on-demand access to human-powered captioning, translation and voiceover of video content. Start your first transcription for as little as $1.50/ media minute here.

Delivering Quality Video Translation

Did you know that every month, YouTube alone has more than a billion unique visits and more than six billion hours of videos watched? Put in micro-terms, that’s 100 hours of video are uploaded every minute. What’s most eye catching is that 70 percent of YouTube traffic comes from outside the United States and YouTube isn’t alone.

We’ve been helping companies transcribe and translate video since we launched our business over a year ago. One of our very first clients (which continues to be a client today) was ceilo24. Here’s a graphic showing how we’ve helped ceilo24:

Simple is effective

cielo24 was looking to expand its searchable caption offerings to more people, more countries, and to more languages. While they excelled at creating searchable captions, indexes and transcripts, their services were limited by their language capabilities.

VerbalizeIt’s Solution

Today, cielo24 and VerbalizeIt work together to leverage VerbalizeIt’s vast network of interpreters and give individuals and businesses access to cielo24’s services across languages.

cielo24 Today

In partnership with VerbalizeIt, cielo24 was able to quickly extend our high speed, high quality and low cost native language captioning service to include eight additional lanugages. Brian Plackis Cheng, CEO of cielo24, Inc

Our Customers Use Verbalize It For Video To