Enabling Understanding

Travis Foundation is a global community of change-makers, linguists and community builders. We are passionate about bridging language barriers for the most vulnerable people in the most difficult circumstances. We believe that change starts with understanding.


Travis Foundation digitises lesser resourced languages to reduce inequality and facilitate inclusivity.

As language is the core of communication, understanding and culture, Travis Foundation digitises these lesser-resourced languages to close the language inequality gap.



Everyone has the right to be understood - whether we speak a common or minority language, whether we are in our country of origin or on the other side of the world.

Our vision is to create a world in which language holds no barriers. A world where we can create understanding by enabling direct communication between everyone. A world wherein not only everyone has the be right to be understood, but everyone also can be understood.


About Travis Foundation

Stichting Travis Foundation (Travis Foundation) was established on 20th November 2017. Travis Foundation challenges language inequality by digitising lesser-resourced languages.

By compiling digital corpora of the languages and applying machine learning technology, we create the resources needed to bring the languages into the digital age. These resources will then be used to translate, preserve and create digital educational tools for these languages and cultures.

Lesser resourced languages include minority languages, indigenous languages, endangered languages and also languages that are none of the above but are not interesting for commercially driven organisations to develop. For example Tigrinya, the majority language of Eritrea, is neither minority, indigenous nor endangered, but has poorly developed digital resources because its multi million population, mostly in poverty and refugee, gets little or no attention from commercial organisations in technology development of the language.

Travis Foundation Details

Stichting Travis Foundation is an Algemeen Nut Beogende Instelling (ANBI) non-profit organisation

Chamber of Commerce / Kamer van Koophandel: 70110840

RSIN: 858146307

Stationsplein 45, 3013 AK Rotterdam

Our Board


Brend Kouwenhoven

Chair of the Board

Founder and CEO - Travis BV


Lennart van der Ziel

Secretary of the Board

Founder and CEO - The Product Garage


Frederick Rustler

Member of the Board

Co-Founder and Head of Admissions - Restart Network


Our Team


Cornelis Jansen

Managing Director


Elissa Glorie



Our commitment

We're committed to digitising languages where they're needed most.

Policy PlanOur Policy Plan is being updated and will be available again shortly. Please check back in soon
Policy Highlights

Travis Foundation is a non-profit foundation (a ‘Stichting’ under Dutch law). As stated in Article 2 (1) of the Articles of Association the organisation has the goal to bridge language barriers where that is needed most.

In order to be able to achieve this goal, and all the necessary steps that need to be taken to get there, Travis Foundation creates a global community around any new language to be digitised. That is what the added value of Travis Foundation is about: ‘It takes a family to digitise a language, and Travis Foundation is bringing that family together’.

For digitising a language (as with Tigrinya, the first one being digitised by us), we amongst others, hire native speakers, collect digital corpora, engage people worldwide for translating texts, hire Machine Translation experts and engage various other experts to implement (technical) solutions.

Travis Foundation raises funds through gifts, donations, philanthropy and subsidies. Travis B.V. has donated an initial sum of €250.000, and has agreed to donate a fixed amount for every translation device sold. The SIDN Fund (Stichting Internet Domeinregistratie Nederland) has donated €75.000 for project Tigrinya.

As stated in Article 2 (2), Travis Foundation does not aim to make a profit and is set up to function as a ‘public benefit organisation’ (Algemeen Nut Beogende Instelling). The proceeds resulting from activities are used solely to accomplish the statutory goals.

The employees of Travis Foundation are hired to professionally manage and grow the organisation to its meet and exceed its goals. Their salary is derived from the salary levels appropriate for equivalent job positions in the non-profit industry in The Netherlands.

The members of the board receive an expense allowance and can be granted a minimum attendance fee, according to Article 2 (4 and 5) of the Articles of Association, however they currently only receive an expense allowance. The main responsibility of the board is governing Travis Foundation, amongst others by making sure an up-to-date policy plan is in place and guarding the expenses.

For an overview of all our activities please refer to our program-specific website about Project Tigrinya or our Policy Plan. Our annual report as well as financial report will be published in the first half of 2019.