Two years have passed since 2015 CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge, now the Capital Championship, winner VerbalizeIt last dove into ABC’s Shark Tank. Where are they now?
WHAT IS VERBALIZEIT?
VerbalizeIt is a live translation service that leverages technology to enable businesses and consumers to access a global network of professional human language translators. They empower companies to seize international business opportunities and deepen their engagement with an increasingly diverse customer base, and help travelers navigate language barriers abroad. Their translation solutions include live conversation interpretation, document translation, and video and audio file subtitling.
VerbalizeIt has successfully assembled more than 3,500 highly qualified individuals who collectively speak 60 languages and reside in more than 75 countries. Translators are available at the touch of a button.
Their mission? Eliminating the language barrier in global communication.
APPEARANCE ON SHARK TANK
The “Shark Tank Effect,” in which the ABC show’s competitors benefit immensely from solely appearing and pitching to the Sharks, resulted in a windfall of good (albeit calculated) fortune. Co-founder Kunal Sarda remarked of the phenomenon: “All of a sudden, 8 to 10 million people know who you are … Our app sales went up seven times after the show, and the sheer number of customers who were calling us was amazing.” The $250,000 investment from Shark Kevin O’Leary after their 2014 appearance no doubt plays a part in their continued success.
VERBALIZEIT AND THE TOURNAMENT
In 2015, VerbalizeIt set their sights on the Capital Championship (formerly the Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge), and the $250,000 grand prize. In May of 2015, VerbalizeIt went head-to-head with—and outpitched—fourteen highly-qualified competitor companies. Of their triumph, Sarda emanated an air of extreme accomplishment. “This is an amazing opportunity … Winning the [competition] really puts all our hard work into perspective.”
Not unlike the prizes lined up for the 2016 Capital Championship, in addition to winning the purse, VerbalizeIt was also awarded entrepreneurship mentoring from Blue Ocean Enterprises.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
There is no doubt that VerbalizeIt has created a name for themselves in the business communications world. The Gazette Review’s Paige Turner lauded, “After only a month of being online, Verbalizeit [sic] already had over two thousand translators, and was making thousands and thousands of dollars in sales. [Co-founders] Ryan Frankel and Kunal Sarda were looking for an investment from the Sharks so they would be able to expand their translation company and get into contact with other technology companies in order to implement Verbalizeit in more apps and programs.”
The Capital Championship is proud to have played a part in the success of VerbalizeIt. Furthermore, we believe that companies like VerbalizeIt set the bar for our competition, and that they serve to inspire current and future Capital Championship competitors.