280 281 TransPerfect TRANSPERFECT HELPING TO NAVIGATE THE GLOBAL MARKETPLACE W e’re all familiar with the story about howApple Computer, Inc. was started in a garage by its two co-founders, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, and then went on to become the world’s foremost multinational technolo- gy company. But most people don’t know that TransPerfect, the world’s largest privately-held provider of language services and technology solutions, had a similar genesis -only this com- pany wasn’t founded in a garage, but rather in a NewYork University dorm room. TransPerfect began in 1992,when Liz Elting, a linguaphile who had already lived in five countries, spoke four languages, and worked for three years at Euramerica, then the best-known translation firm in the world, decided that there was a gap between what clients really need- ed and what was available in the translation industry.“I wanted to create a company which would deliver the absolute highest quality with top-of-the-line service, along the lines of a top tier investment bank or law firm; an entity that would be a one-stop-shop for language and busi- ness solutions,with an office in everymajor city around the world,” she explains.“That was what I envisioned—being the pioneer in the industry.” So, Elting went back to school for her MBA, majoring in international business and finance, and, after graduating,with $5,000 in savings and another $5,000 credit card advance, asked her then-boyfriend, Phil Shawe, if he would start a company with her.“This was really the beginning of the globalization of business,” she says,“and it seemed like the perfect time to start my own translation company.” With a faxmachine, a phone, and a rented com- puter, the couple and co-CEOs made and wrote hundreds of calls and letters daily, offering any- thing businesses needed in a foreign language,