Podcast

Marko Hozjan On Building AI-Assisted Translation Solutions

In this podcast, Marko and Mat discuss how localization can accelerate your global brand awareness and SEO score. They talk about why translation is not treated as a cost any more, but as a tool to generate leads. Marko explains why AI-assisted translation solutions are the future of translation.
Banner photo with caption: Marko Hozjan On Building AI-Assisted Translation Solutions
“Now I see that companies are no longer treating translations as a cost, but more as a sales propeller. So, companies that work internationally are now learning that localizing can really boost their sales.”

Marko Hozjan, Co-founder and CEO @Taia Translations

Marko Hozjan

Marko Hozjan

Co-founder / CEO @Taia
Marko Hozjan is a serial entrepreneur and the co-founder and CEO of Taia Translations, a company breaking down language barriers with the help of Artificial Intelligence, translation memory, and a team of highly experienced translators.
Mat Sherrman

Mat Sherman

Founder @Seedscout
Mat Sherman is a founder of Seedscout, a platform that helps founders connect and build relationships with investors in order to raise capital. Mat is also a host on the Forward-thinking Founders podcast.

What you'll learn

  • What is Taia, and how can you order a translation project for your business.
  • How you can speed up your translation workflow with Catapult- Taia’s own CAT tool.
  • How translation can improve your brand’s awareness as well as your SEO.
  • How a typical daily routine for a serial entrepreneur like Marko Hozjan looks.
  • How AI-Assisted Translation Solutions are changing the translation industry, and how you can benefit from it.
  • How localization will change everything around us, and why you should start localizing content to get ahead of your global competition.

Transcript

Mat Sherman:
What is going on, everyone. Thanks for tuning in to another episode of Forward Thinking Founders. I am very grateful to have your attention, at least for the next 15 minutes of this episode. Forward-thinking founders is a podcast where I interview pre-seed and seed stage founders about their products, what they want to build into the world and why. We dive into how they spend their time, what’s their vision, what’s the origin of stories – all of these things – so you can learn all about what’s coming tomorrow. Because these companies haven’t hit critical scale yet; most of them haven’t hit product market fit. These are just early stage companies, and the big question is what can this be? And in this podcast, we bring that out.

So, with that, I really hope you enjoy your time listening to today’s episode. And I’ve already done 200 plus, so if you like this, you’d want to listen to some of the other ones like with Immad Akhund, Austen Allread, Leah Culver, we did great interviews. So, check it out, enjoy the repository, and for now let’s get into today’s episode.

Here we go. Alright, how’s it going, everyone? Welcome to another episode of Forward Thinking Founders, where we talk to founders about their companies, their visions for the future, and how the two collide. Today I’m very excited to be talking to Marko Hozjan, who’s a co-founder of Taia. Welcome to the show. How’s it going?

Marko Hozjan:
Hi Perfect. So, I’m calling from Ljubljana, Slovenia. Nice weather here. We have snow already which is very, very early, but still, it’s nice. Can’t wait to start skiing.

Mat Sherman:
Already have snow? I cannot say the same here for sunny Phoenix, Arizona, but just two hours north of Flagstaff, I’m sure it’s snowing as well. But we’re not here talking about the weather. We’re here talking about your company, so for people that haven’t heard of Taia, what are you working on? What is Taia?

Marko Hozjan:
So, we’re a cloud-based translation platform, sort of a one-stop shop for all your translation needs. We’re a B2B platform focused on medium to big-sized companies for now, actually more in Europe, but preparing to attack the US.

Mat Sherman:
So, walk me through a little bit about, kind of, how it works. If someone was to engage with it, or someone wants to use it, what would their experience be?

Marko Hozjan:
Sure. So, they just log into the platform. They come in, the platform asks them, for example, do they want to outsource their translations, or do they want to translate on their own? For example, either way, they just drag and drop the document. If they want to outsource, the document is automatically analyzed within seconds, so they get an immediate offer. So, they choose their service – all from machine translation up to so-called TEP, which is translation, editing, and proofreading, so human translations. They choose their time, and they can order online instantly without ping-ponging the quotes in emails.

The other option is that they choose to translate on their own. They’ll do the same; drag and drop the document, the document is automatically pre-translated by MT, and the key here is that they can download the document after post-editing the M T in formatting that’s intact. And while they post-edit the MT, their own corpus of translation memory learns. So, whatever they confirm as good, they don’t need to translate again.

Mat Sherman:
And tell me a little bit about the origin of the story here. Why did you get started with Taia?

Marko Hozjan:
Sure. Basically, I can call myself now a serial entrepreneur. So, I started and ran many companies. I started with a marketing agency, then continued with sailing tourism, and then that led into a sailing school. That led into a language school, and that led into translation because within the language school we got first demand for translation. So, we opened a so-called traditional translation agency. We figured that we only compete with price and because we’re, I don’t know, tech savvy, we figured that by using the latest tech, we can optimize the processes. We can use the best MTs, we can build our own neural network and so on. And that’s how Taia was born.

Mat Sherman:
Walk me through a little bit about your day to day. I mean, today when you woke up, outside from doing this podcast, how do you know what to work on and how do you know what to spend time on as you’re working on the company?

Marko Hozjan:
Sure. So, either way, I’m in the club, the 5:00 AM club, so I get up early. 5:15 I’m already in the office, drinking coffee, some breakfast in the office. Sometimes I even do workouts in the office in the morning. So, I have mornings for my emails, meeting preparations, just planning, and so on. And then from 8 to 6, usually I’m just in meeting after meeting. And in the evenings, just some, I don’t know, hanging with friends or networking or family, but my day is packed.

Mat Sherman:
And one more question on that front – as you’ve gotten started with Taia, you know, what have been a couple of things that you’ve learned, or one thing that you’ve learned, whether it’s about marketing products, working with customers – what have you learned along the way?

Marko Hozjan:
So many things. It’s the first company where we’ve really used the so-called mind motivation 3.0 techniques, which are connected to scrum, lean, agile. So, our teams are very autonomous, knowledge is very important, purpose, mastery, and so on. So, we definitely all learned that the new way, especially for the new generations XYZ – so for millennials – these kinds of organizations are much better.

Secondly, just a lot about the translation market. Now I see that companies are no longer treating translations as a cost, but more as a sales propeller. So, companies that work internationally are now learning that localizing can really boost their sales. And it’s a really interesting sphere because there are so many changes within the translation market because technology plays such a great role. Machine translation and automation are just changing everything. A lot of companies are dying. A lot of translators are going out of work. But on the other hand, the ones that want to change are, and we see ourselves as one of those that are really riding this wave.

Mat Sherman:
And then, you know, as you’re working on the company, I’m curious – day to day, month to month, year to year, decade to decade, what is the decade or two vision for this? Or if you were to kind of lookout in 10 or 20 years, what does the world look like when Taia becomes a huge company?

Marko Hozjan:
Either way, the world looks like everything you see here, wherever you go, will be translated into your native language. So that is definitely a thing that will happen. It’s not a question of “if”, it’s a question of “when”, so when you travel, when you surf the internet, when you use IoT, everything will be translated if it needs to be translated into your native language. So Taia wants to be a part of that. We want to become THE platform for companies that need translation services – any kind or any translation tools. So, we’re not so much focused on the B2C market, just general translations, but we’re focused on high-quality business translations, whether they’re done by themselves, or we do them. So, we want to become THE platform for your translation needs.

Mat Sherman:
And in order to make that happen, you need some help, right? I mean, it takes a village to make a startup work. So, my question for you is how can the Forward Thinking Founders community help? Are you hiring, raising money, looking for customers, beta testers, how can we assist?

Marko Hozjan:
So, either way, we’re now in our new funding round. So, last year we received a pre-seed fund of 1.2 million. Now we’re raising 3 million either way. So, my advice for the community is if working internationally, try localizing and you’ll see how your SEO optimization goes up, SEO positions, how your sales can go up, and on the other side, just try using our platform, go to taia.io, try it out. It’s free to use, and then you’ll see how you can help yourself with it.

Mat Sherman:
And then for my last question. If someone wants to learn more or find you online, you know, what’s the website, one more time? Do you have, you know, social media or an email address…how can someone learn more about the company?

Marko Hozjan:
Sure. The website is T-A-I-A dot I-O, taia.io. The same as my email, [email protected] You can add me on LinkedIn or just write me an email. We know that we’re always open to new suggestions as entrepreneurs. We have our eyes open for different opportunities, so I think every entrepreneur is always open to new connections. And so am I.

Mat Sherman:
Cool. Well, thank you so much for coming onto the podcast. I really appreciate it.

Marko Hozjan:
Thank you, Mat, for the invitation.

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