Former TIM Participant Developing Mobile Language Learning Software
As an engineer, Elias Majic quit his job at a software company to set up his own business. But when he realized that he needed more entrepreneurial savvy, he applied to the Technology Innovation Management (TIM) program at Carleton. He graduated in June.
“TIM provided us with the business knowledge that we as engineers need in order to create and grow early stage technology companies,” says Majic. “The program also provided connections, mentors and helped get early customers for my startup.”
He adds: “Being in Canada, it is a heck of a lot more difficult than being an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley in the United States. The TIM program really helps level the playing field.”
Majic’s company Ottercall.com is developing mobile language learning software and has already created some beta apps. “They are simple apps but they allowed me to validate my market and figure out what people want,” says Majic. “The next version is going to be awesome.”
Majic says the language software assesses and scores your pronunciation. The demo on the company website is an early version of the software that gives feedback on single words. Majic is now working on a version that has full sentences. “You really have a conversation with the app instead of just saying a word and it will give much more succinct feedback,” he explains.
The idea is that the user picks a theme which then shows related words and pictures. Users then listen to the pronunciation and tape themselves speaking the word. The speech recognition software then evaluates their pronunciation.
Majic says the TIM program also helped him to communicate more effectively about the value of his business proposition. “Pre-TIM I would say the value of our new mobile learning software is to improve language skills. Post-TIM I would say the value lies in helping people get jobs, travel, integrate into a new society.”
Majic recently participanted in the Carleton Entrepreneurs program. More details about that initiative are available at: http://ventures.carleton.ca/.
This kind of communication skillset is just one of the many ways the TIM program helps budding entrepreneurs get ahead of the competition.
Now he has graduated, Majic says that he will be focussing on his company full-time. But this time, with the knowledge that he has gleaned from the TIM program, he is feeling confident about pursuing his business goals and products.