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Oct. 5, 2020

#194: Taylor Nieman, Co-Founder & CEO of Toucan, a Tool for Learning a New Language as You Browse the Web, on the Early Stages of Building an Iconic Education Company

#194: Taylor Nieman, Co-Founder & CEO of Toucan, a Tool for Learning a New Language as You Browse the Web, on the Early Stages of Building an Iconic Education Company

Taylor Nieman is the Co-Founder & CEO of , ( https://jointoucan.com/ ) the free Chrome extension that helps you learn a language without even trying. Previously, she worked on business development and strategic partnerships at Headspace, Science,...


Taylor Nieman is the Co-Founder & CEO of Toucan, ( https://jointoucan.com/ ) the free Chrome extension that helps you learn a language without even trying. Previously, she worked on business development and strategic partnerships at Headspace, Science, and Fair.

Toucan is a new, immersive way to learn while you go about your daily life.

Learning a new language is challenging, fun, and rewarding. It also takes time, practice, and dedication - finding a few extra minutes in the day can feel impossible.

At Toucan, they know creating a new habit is one of the most difficult things to do. Their Founding team has a deep understanding and appreciation for human habits, behavior, and the science of learning. Their free Chrome extension helps you learn without having to put aside time to create a new habit. Toucan works by immersing you in the language while you’re browsing the web. What’s even better is that you’ll see those words in the context of sentences - helping your brain connect the word to its useful meaning.

Taylor and her team created Toucan to help people make more use of their time, without missing out on the fun and satisfaction of learning a new language.

About Our Partners

This episode is brought to you by Hawke Media. Hawke Media is a full-service Outsourced CMO based in Santa Monica, CA, providing guidance, planning, and execution to grow brands of all sizes, industries, and business models.

Hawke Media was recognized by Inc. as the country's fastest-growing marketing consultancy and is proudly one of Glassdoor's "Best Places to Work"​, 2019 #893 on the Forbes 5000 list, UpCity Top Los Angeles Digital Marketing Agency. Hawke’s collaborative process, à la carte offering, and month-to-month fee structure give clients the flexibility they need to boost digital revenues and marketing ROI.

Hawke Media The company has serviced over 1500 brands of all sizes, ranging from startups like Tamara Mellon, SiO Beauty and Bottlekeeper to household names like Red Bull, Verizon Wireless and Alibaba.

Listen to our interview with Erik Huberman, Founder and CEO of Hawke Media, in episode 23 of the Just Go Grind Podcast.

This episode is also brought to you by Toptal. Toptal is an exclusive network of the top freelance software developers, designers, finance experts, product managers, and project managers in the world. Top companies hire Toptal freelancers for their most important projects.

Connect with Taylor Nieman and Toucan

Some of the Topics Covered by Taylor Nieman in this Episode

  • How Taylor decided to start Toucan and go with a browser extension as their first vertical
  • Founder-market fit and how Taylor chose to work in this particular space
  • How Taylor met her two Co-Founders, Brandon Dietz and Shaun Merritt
  • How Taylor has gone about scaling Toucan without paid acquisition
  • The "Own the Word" campaign Taylor and her team created at Toucan
  • The impact of being a top product on Product Hunt
  • How Taylor iterates on the Toucan product itself
  • The fundraising experience for Taylor and Toucan
  • The business model behind Toucan
  • How Taylor prioritizes strategic partnerships
  • What Taylor has looked for in people as she's grown her team
  • The challenges Taylor is working through now after raising $3M
  • How COVID impacted what Taylor is doing at Toucan
  • How Taylor recharges outside fo work
  • Where Taylor's interest in technology comes from and how she taught herself how to code
  • The conversations around equity with Taylor and her Co-Founders
  • Taylor's advice around fundraising
  • Taylor's biggest takeaway from the last year of growing Toucan
  • The grand vision of Toucan
  • The strategy behind the name of Taylor's company

Links from the Episode