CLEVELAND — Marina Jackman is the boss.
She is the founder and CEO of a new app called Time2Talk, which aims to make learning and retaining Spanish easier.
“It’s just a great feeling to be able to offer something that people need and that solves a real problem," Jackman said.
Jackman is from Buenos Aries, Argentina.
“My parents always thought that it was important for us to speak English, my brother and me. So we went to bilingual schools from a very young age,” she said.
About four years ago, she moved to Ohio with her husband, Chris, because of his job.
“It’s a very special place,” she said.
The couple met in Barcelona, Spain in 2015, and initially, they thought his work would take them to France.
So, they started to learn French, but then they ended up in Cleveland.
“Class, applying it to real-life conversations dynamic, and then moving to a place where we couldn’t apply it to real-life conversations dynamic and guess what? I don’t speak French,” Jackman said.
The desire to change that is how Time2Talk was born.
"I have the time now and also after learning all of this robust information about this language, now it’s time to talk,” Jackman said.
The app launched in July 2020.
Perfecting a new language takes constant practice and time zones make learning from a native-speaker a challenge.
“It’s hard to accomplish in a classroom. You have to speak to different people, real people, have real conversations,” she said.
Time2Talk helps fix that barrier.
“You can see that we have people from all over Latin America, Columbia, Argentina, Venezuela,” Jackman said.
So far, over 400 coaches have applied.
“We are creating jobs in Latin America and our goal of course is to grow and expand globally and expand to other languages. We’ve had people ask for French, Portuguese, Italian, German,” she said.
The Hispanic population continues to grow in the U.S.
The latest U.S. Census data from 2019 said it’s up 20% since 2010.
More than 300 students have signed up for Time2Talk.
“The most popular reason is being fluent in Spanish, which is really cool,” Jackman said.
Jackman feels embraced by the Cleveland startup community and hopes to form partnerships with educational institutions in the future.
"It's time to talk. Let's talk," she said.