VoiceItt: From Tragedy to Technology
April 12, 2017

The flowers in Battery Park are blooming, the temperature finally reached 70 degrees, and the crowd taking selfies in front of the Charging Bull statue has tripled. It looks like spring is finally here to stay. Alongside no longer being miserably cold, the Quake team is excited about the future of another one of our accelerator teams, VoiceItt, whose founders took a modern approach to the centuries-old problem of speech impairments.

Danny Weissberg and Sara Smolley grew the roots of VoiceItt in the rising tech hub of Tel Aviv, Israel but traded the “Silicon Wadi” for the concrete jungle late last year. They moved to New York City, Smolley explained, to partake in Quake’s spring accelerator cohort at a “pivotal time for [the company] as it approaches [the] official launch of its signature product, Talkitt.” A mobile app, Talkitt employs unique proprietary speech recognition technology to “enable people with severe speech impairments to communicate naturally using their own voices.”

We were curious how such a niche but potentially life-changing product came to be. The story was both personal and inspirational:

“The idea for Voiceitt began when Danny's grandmother lost her voice to stroke. We thought it was the end. Little did we know it was just the beginning. Along with a personal tragedy came the sudden realization that technology truly could improve people’s lives in a meaningful and lasting way. For millions of the speech-impaired, simple communication is a painful, daily struggle, and our idea for Talkitt is to combine the most cutting-edge technology and speech-recognition science to directly address their communication challenges.”

With two tri-lingual founders and an international perspective, Weissberg and Smolley built a world-class team of motivated technologists with expertise in algorithmics and speech science, supported by a strong medical advisory board and substantive corporate alliances.

Asked about their goals going forward with the accelerator, Smolley expressed her excitement to “work with the Quake team and its handpicked lineup of mentors to build and strengthen our strategic network,” including partners, global customers, major tech players, investors, and medical professionals. “Upon completion of the program,” she told us, “we will have achieved our current funding goals while setting a strong foundation for a smart and successful execution of our marketing and launch strategies.”

The team’s collective innovative capacity has since been recognized with several prestigious awards from IBM, Verizon, Philips, Deutsche Telekom, 43North (Buffalo), and Orange. Quake looks forward to watching that list grow.

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