Apto Launches First Cultural-Linguistic Training Platform for Expats

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Tech company Apto partners with the State of Tennessee and Mitsubishi to bridge the language training gap for internationals relocating to U.S.

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More than 50% of all relocations fail and almost two-thirds cite the reason as lack of employee adjustment to a new country. Our goal is to help expats thrive in their new home and community.

Apto, a Nashville-based technology company, announces today the launch of the first scenario-based cultural-linguistic training platform to prepare internationals and their families to relocate to the U.S. In its first product release, Apto has partnered with Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to promote its online training services to Japanese multinational corporations relocating to the state. Apto completed two betas with 65 users from Japanese companies including Mitsubishi and has a letter of intent to provide training services to their relocating employees. Apto’s first product release is in Japanese due to the high concentration of companies in the region and will expand to other languages in the future.

According to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Tennessee ranks second in the nation for foreign direct investment from Japan. There are 184 Japanese companies employing 55,000 people across the state representing almost $18 billion in capital investment. Commissioner Randy Boyd says about Apto, “It’s a great service for a great target market that our state is actively working on. It’s a win-win. It’s a win for an entrepreneur in our state and it’s a win for our state.”

Apto features informal, regionalized language and cultural experiences to guide learners through authentic, first person perspective training modules in four core areas of development: work, education, social and community. The program features audio and video of real people in real life situations such as getting a driver’s license, registering a child for school and visiting a doctor’s office. Flexibility and convenience are critical factors to adult learners to ensure high adoption rates. Apto is web-based, making it available at any time and learners access the program through their phone, tablet, desktop or other mobile device. Apto is partnering with Nashville software engineering firm Dozen Software (formerly FLO Code) to design the technology platform.

“I wish there had been a tool like Apto for all Japanese expats I assisted over the years and for myself,” says expat point person Yuko Jordan of Mitsubishi Polycrystalline Silicon America Corp., in Theodore, Alabama. “Apto could have helped all of us adapt to life in the U.S. more effectively. I look forward to seeing Apto make a difference in the lives of many in the future.”

It’s estimated that 83 percent of multinational companies expect to increase global relocation assignments and training is not adequate. “Current language training is ineffective and lacks sufficient cultural experiences to simulate life in America,” says Traci Snowden, founder and CEO of Apto, an experienced language educator and software sales executive. “More than 50 percent of all relocations fail and almost two-thirds cite the reason as lack of employee adjustment to a new country. Our goal is to help expats thrive in their new home and community. Apto helps them experience life in America before they arrive.”

Apto co-founders and executive leadership team include Belmont University School of Business graduate in Entrepreneurship, Orlando Pisegna III, who is chief operating officer and client services director. Holly Howell, who serves as chief marketing officer, began her career with ESL learners and has 20 years of corporate marketing and operations leadership experience. She has a B.A. from Sewanee and an M.A. in English from Belmont University. The company plans to expand its core team 25 percent in 2017.

Apto hosts its launch party on Tuesday, November 15, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. CST at the INK Building, 613 Ewing Avenue in Nashville. The evening includes product demos, an opportunity to meet the Apto team, customer testimonials and guest speaker Commissioner Randy Boyd. RSVP to attend the launch party live stream here.

Apto is a Nashville-based technology company specializing in online cultural and linguistic training for internationals and their families relocating to the U.S. In November 2016, the company launched the first scenario-based cultural-linguistic simulator. The heart of Apto is where culture and language meet to create community. Learn more at http://www.aptoglobal.com. Connect with us https://www.facebook.com/aptoglobal/.

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Julie Lilliston
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