Founder Oleg Rogynskyy discusses how he used his work experiences to launch tech startup Semantria

Oleg Rogynskyy is the CEO and founder of Semantia, a technology that applies Text and Sentiment Analysis to tweets, Facebook posts, surveys, reviews and enterprise content.

Today, Oleg discusses how he used his work experience to launch his company.

Q: Please tell us a little bit about your company – what is Semantria all about?

Semantria is a company that specializes in text analytics and sentiment analysis technology that runs in the cloud. The goal is to democratize this technology through eliminating factors like high costs and difficult technical integration; allowing small and medium sized businesses’ to use this technology as well. Semantria has the ability to understand contextual relationships in 6 different languages, providing insight like: who’s talking, what they’re saying and how they feel about it. All of this info is obtained in a matter of minutes, for under $1000 and can be projected right inside a Microsoft Excel worksheet. The RESTful API is also ready for integration into existing software or applications.

Q: Please tell us a little bit about your background and how you started your company?

I have several years of experience in the field of text analytics and sentiment analysis. I started my career in sales with Nstein Technologies, who was one of the pioneers of the text mining market, specializing in editorial content analysis. Shortly after Nstein was sold for 36M, I joined Lexalytics, the pioneers of sentiment analysis, to run their demand generation initiatives. While working for Lexalytics I was turning away tons of small to medium sized businesses who simply couldn’t afford a Lexalytics license. I realized that there was a huge untapped market for organizations looking to use text analytics and decided to start Semantria.

Q: What are some of the projects you are working on right now?

Due to the rapid growth of Semantria, nearly all of my time is invested into Semantria. I still do some demand generation work for Lexalytics but the lions share goes to Semantria.

Q: What are your plans for the future, how do you plan to grow this company?

We are looking at bringing voice to text technology into Semantria platform, amongst other initiatives. There is already tons of text data out there, but there is a whole other dimension of information that has yet to be minedthe human voice. From call centers, to customer service lines, to 911 agencies, to corporate compliance departments; when speech data is transcribed as text, it can then be analyzed by Semantria’s API, allowing companies to expand on their analytical insight in real time. This is not even taking into account opportunities with TV and the radio.

Another technology that we are working on is emotion analysis. Sentiment analysis has the ability to tell you whether a document is positive, negative or neutral. Emotion analysis can tell you so much more about what the person feels. For example, sentiment analysis could tell you that a piece of text is negative Emotion analysis can tell you that the piece of text is angry or disappointed. That is the next level.

Oleg Rogynskyy Founder of Semantria

Q: What were the top 3 mistakes you made starting your business and what did you learn from it?

(1) – Not raising money. Bootstrapping seems to be in fashion right now. Guess what, if you raise money, and spend it properly, you can build a healthier business faster and avoid making the next 2 mistakes.
(2) – Saving on people. Early on hiring newbies or interns might seem like a good idea. Yes – if you chose your people right, after enough training it will pay off. In many cases (and I had 3 this year), you will end up wasting tons of your time, your team’s time, and money on someone, who you will get rid of in the end.
(3) – Not trusting your gut. If your gut tells you this guy is not your top choice – don’t hire him. You are better off waiting for someone perfect to come by.

Q: Please share some advice for new tech entrepreneurs, someone who’s just starting out.

Don’t be afraid to start things. Don’t be afraid to risk. Start your company as soon as you can. The further you wait the more baggage, debt, kids, wifes, whatever you will have holding you down. The faster you fail, the faster you will learn, get up on your feet, and succeed eventually. And invest in a good coffee machine. I love FrancisFrancis.

Q: What was the best business advice you have ever received and who gave you this advice?

Do not save on lawyers! Ever! (by an unknown investment banker). Once the time comes to sell your company, $1000 saved on lawyers at the start will turn into $100,000 in tax you will end up paying. Or a nice 5M dollar patent infringement case. Whatever you prefer.

Q: What are the top 3 online tools and resources you’re currently using to grow your company?

Ducksboard or any other Business Intelligence suite

Eloqua for marketing automation

Freshbooks for Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable

Q: What’s your definition of success?

A lucrative exit, after which, your whole team wants to stay with you for your next venture.

Q: What are three books you recommend entrepreneurs to read?

Made to stick – Chip Heath 

Let’s get real or let’s not play – Mahan Khalsa

Beyond the Cloud – Marc Benioff

Q: What is your favorite entrepreneurship quote?

Big data is like teenage sex: everyone talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it…

Q: How can our community get in touch with you?

Feel free to reach me at oleg@semantria.com Twitter @semantria