Team SaaSEAD’s interview with Peter-Paul founder and CEO of AmberScript and an INSEAD alumni class of ’17 July
Located at Venture Builders in Amsterdam, AmberScript uses state-of-the-art speech recognition technology to quickly transcribe your audio automatically. Basically, the technology is composed of 2 parts, the first part is the speech to text engine, which automatically transforms your audio to text in 29 languages. The second is an online web text editor, with which you can very easily improve the texts. AmberScript produces their own speech to text engines, with Dutch having over 95% accuracy (…yes that’s more accurate than Google’s speech!).
Whenever you need to produce a text/transcript from audio (for instance an interview or recorded webinar), you can use AmberScript to do that much quicker than by doing it manually yourself. They also provide a service that fully does it for you at the lowest costs of the market by applying their technology. You can go to www.amberscript.com for a free trial.”
How the whole entrepreneurship gig start
I started off by taking all the entrepreneurship courses that INSEAD had to offer. I had initially planned to go into consulting in San Francisco then move forward from there. One day through the TMT club, efounders (a start-up studio located in Paris), and my account on angel list an investor reached out to me and it started from there. The investor liked that I had an international profile.
“Most of the times you don’t have to have an idea to start, it’s about the people first”
Tell us about co-founders
At the beginning I was the only person, then I started hiring for the technical guys.
Unlike the start-up studio play book, there is no set of rules. As opposed to other start-up studios, here at Venture Builders there are no set processes – companies are free to operate as they choose, and the studio provides resources and advice when asked.
How did you set the pricing model for AmberScript
We used cases and bench-marked to competitors such as AdWords and tested different prices in different countries. At first, we launched a beta-version to test it in the market, we used to also call customers and ask what they were using AmberScript for.
Our biggest users come from Academia (research) and Journalists. Our users can subscribe for a free trial then after the free trial is over its pay by the hour.
Tell us about your war stories
That’s a hard question to answer…. There have been many surprising negative findings since a lot of time is spent on the administrative and recruiting staff, but you must do it. As opposed to focusing on strategy and growing, a lot of time needs to be allocated to the tiniest of tasks such as paying the bills and replying to all emails.
Have you found love in the transcription industry
I believe in it! I wanted to be in AI and right now speech recognition is at its speak, so it’s the best of both worlds.
What is your focus at the moment
Right now, I listen to my customers’ needs and wants and address that, as for the technical aspects that is handled by the CTO.
How would you have spent your time at INSEAD differently
I would have networked even more. Reaching out to people as an INSEADer has a higher response chance on a global scale. I would advise current students to be more proactive especially during entrepreneurship courses as they make you look at entrepreneurship from a different perspective.
And finally, what is your reading diet
I rarely find time to read given the workload, but I’ve enjoyed and would recommend reading Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss. Who: the A method of hiring by Geoff Smart. Also, the Economist is my bible, I’ve been reading it since 18, it’s the best school of all time.
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