2022 AIC Winner Prismatext Continues to Write New Chapters By Morrow Duszynski

In a discussion with Zak Erving, CEO of Prismatext, he mentioned that as a life-long Alaskan, he always thought of innovation as industrial, catering towards the fishing or drilling sectors. Despite the stereotypes, Erving submitted his idea to the 2022 Arctic Innovation Competition and took first place. Since then, Erving has been keeping pace with multiple new updates for Prismatext.

Zak Erving (center) stands with 2022 AIC winners and supporters.

Prismatext is an app that teaches languages through books, blending new vocabulary words through each page. Currently, the app offers sixteen different languages in genres from fantasy to thrillers. While reading A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, Erving noticed a street-slang created in the story was derived from various anglicized Russian words. Throughout the book, he began to recognize and retain the new vocabulary, the inspiration for his novel idea.

Prior to entering AIC, Erving was a part of the gBETA accelerator, a free, nationally ranked program for start-up companies and businesses. His gBETA mentor, Linda James, encouraged him to submit his idea to AIC. Though he wasn’t sure how it would compare to other submissions that may be more “arctic”, his experience through the accelerator and practice pitching gave him the confidence to apply.

“At the finals, when they announced fourth place, it wasn't Prismatext. Adjusting to a new reality with each increment up was pretty wild. I'm very thankful, the award was actually the first funding we got that wasn't from me and my co-founder.” -Zak Erving

Since his success at AIC, Erving has been making big moves for his company. Recently, Erving competed in the Alaska Angel Conference and won a prize of $100k. This investment has been helping Erving and his co-founder take the app to the next level by upgrading their software, furthering research and development, and adding more titles to their current collection of over 300 books. Additional features Prismatext is working to achieve include adding different learning levels, bridging the gap between textbook and natural vocabulary and grammar, and making the process behind the scenes more efficient.

Prismatext has helped many people in their journey to learn a language, while inspiring future innovators. Erving has remained a familiar face at AIC, by joining the Expert Panel, a group of innovators, engineers, and business owners who evaluate submissions. Through his pitching experience, perseverance and creative spirit, Erving has been making a difference with each new step.

“I have probably pitched Prismatext 100-200 times in over a dozen different iterations. It’s a lot, but it’s important to get this stuff under your belt. Always be working on other things for your product or your business, and take any and all feedback. Along the way you'll learn how to distill and extract meaning from it.” - Zak Erving

To learn more about Prismatext, visit their website: https://prismatext.com/.