Colatris: App Localization via Plugin Removes Borders from the Power of Tech

October 27, 2014

11:00 am

AJ Cihla was in Southeast Asia when he made an interesting observation that would quickly turn into an idea for a company – he saw Monks using smartphones newer than his own, and a high volume of mobile phones in the area.

Asia isn’t the only place that’s experiencing a large smartphone growth rate: Africa and the Middle East also seem to have taken up the trend. By 2017, 2.5 billion people worldwide will use smartphones, which is why Cihla and the rest of his teams created Colatris.

“Colatris is the first and only plugin specifically designed to handle the entire localization process for mobile apps. Until now, this process has been a major barrier for those looking to reach users in different countries,” reads and excerpt from a release.

Colatris is transforming and disrupting the app localization process. Cihla says it’s difficult for developers to create apps and have to translate them in a different language.

“We witnessed first-hand how highly talented technical people end up wasting countless hours working on a faulty system to have their product translated. Finally fed up, we quit our respective jobs and decided to solve this problem ourselves,” says Cihla, the CEO of Colatris.

Colatris: Some of the Key Features

Colatris is easy-to-use and has a number of key features that makes it a notable product. Here’s what first time users should know:

  • Users drop in the Colatris mobile plugin: “We wrote a lightweight (35K) plugin for both Android and iOS. It gives translators the ability to submit and review translations right within your running app,” reads an excerpt from their site.
  • Choose which language you want to support: According to their site, “Deploy to any language with the click of the button. Localized strings are available to your users the next time they launch your app. “
  • The current pilot includes chat, music, social, and utility applications.

The Colatris team’s main goal is to remove the language barrier and make it easy for anyone in the world to use an app that’s in their native language.

“At Colatris, we think the power of tech shouldn’t be limited by borders. People should have access to high quality apps regardless of language, region, or culture,” says Cihla. “And we are here to make sure that happens.”

More about the Team and Colatris

Colatris has already received both national and international recognition. They were chosen to be a part of the Kairos50, a group of 50 of the most innovative ventures from around the world created by entrepreneurs under 25 and were also selected to be a part of Techstars Seattle. Cihla is joined by team members Albert Eloyan and Josh Deffibaugh.

While the team has seen a number of successes, there have been some challenges.

“It’s quite an undertaking to understand both iOS and Android at a level that allows you to hot-swap strings reliably and quickly,” says Cihla. “Also, serving out translated content to millions of our customers’ users requires a robust and scalable infrastructure.”

Additionally, Cihla’s advice to young entrepreneurs is to keep pushing and treat entrepreneurship like a team sport.

“You will get run into the ground during practice, you will get beat sometimes, and you will sweat, strain, and strive to reach the ever-extending finish line to greatness,” says Cihla. “But, you will find strength within your team, you will have your wins (whether they be in a game or in practice), and you will be stronger and faster at the end of each week.”


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Amanda Quick is a tech/startup reporter covering young entrepreneurs for Tech Cocktail. She's also interested in covering apps, emerging technology, IoT and beauty & wellness. Amanda is currently in grad school at Syracuse University studying Information Management. In the past she has interned at NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, Brand-Yourself, and the Times Leader Newspaper as well as worked at WWNY-TV and the StartFast Venture Accelerator in Upstate New York. Amanda is originally from Kansas City, MO but has also lived in Canton, MA and Scranton, PA. To learn more you can visit Like Amanda on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

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