Globalme marries language and technology

For a successful company to be considered a true leader in today’s global economy, it must sell products and services worldwide – not just in its own backyard. In addition to advertising to foreign customers, tech companies have the added challenge of fully translating their products into multiple other languages. Just imagine if Siri was only available in Korean, or if you could only play a videogame in Greek – you wouldn’t be very likely to buy an iPhone or play that game if you didn’t speak those languages.

This is where Globalme steps in. By combining a passion for languages, cultures and technology, Globalme helps companies adapt their products and experiences through localization, data collection, and field testing services. This allows tech companies to simultaneously expand and globalize their reach with fully translated and tested products that are ready for their target audience. Globalme partners with companies developing cutting-edge technologies such as connected devices, wearables and voice activated tech.

“Right now we’re collecting data for voice activated car navigation systems that provide hands-free functionality in a variety of languages,” says founder and chief technologist Emre Akkas. “We’re also working with Cloudhead Games to provide translation for some of their virtual reality games.”

Over a decade ago, Akkas, who is Turkish-Canadian and has a background as a localization engineer, was providing testing in Turkish for language companies in Portland, Oregon. He thought it would be worthwhile to train qualified foreign language speakers with computer skills to provide testing in other languages, when he partnered with Hanna Golota in 2005. After trying to balance the growing company in addition to their full-time careers, Akkas and Golota decided to quit their jobs and give Globalme their full attention. In 2009, they moved their full-time operations to Vancouver, B.C. and haven’t looked back since.

Globalme credits Vancouver as the ideal location for their headquarters, not only for the talent available, but also because of its notable multicultural and diverse nature, allowing products to be tested by native language speakers from around the world. Akkas describes the company as truly global, because 15 of its 24 staff were born in other countries, including Golota who is originally from Poland. The team’s diversity is a major asset since they can all speak different languages, bringing a wide array of skills and perspectives to the job. Each employee’s unique cultural background and understanding adds to the company’s ability to look at each product, solution and experience through various lenses to bridge the gap between languages and cultures. In addition to the 19 staff headquartered in Vancouver, Globalme has expanded to include teams in Portland and Phoenix, Arizona.

Globalme was ranked 94th in Canada’s 2015 Profit 500 list and ranked 11th in Business in Vancouver’s Top 100 Fastest-Growing Companies in 2015 as well as 13th in 2016.