*Charmtech Labs is reinventing reading with Capti Voice, its inclusive and personalized literacy support tool. The app can convert any content into a playlist using text to speech technology and is backed by a significant set of reading assistance features.
What traction do you have so far?
We won $3.4M in non-dilutive SBIR grants enabling us to innovate and create Capti. We raised $500k+ from friends and family to commercialize Capti and build sales. Today, Capti has 100k+ registered users around the World, and it is used in 100+ schools and colleges in the U.S. EdTech Digest named Capti the best special-needs solution of 2017. Capti for iOS is featured among the top accessibility app in the AppStore. Capti has recently been awarded an Instructional Technology Consortium Contract allowing most NY Public districts to purchase Capti with financial assistance from NY State and also receive training from BOCES (collaborative).
Why did you found Capti?
We were Ph.D. students and professors who had been doing research on Computer Accessibility but were frustrated by not having any real impact outside of academia. We started Capti to help blind people browse the Web more effectively, continued when we realized that Capti can help people with and without disabilities listen to everything they needed to read, and now we are helping K-12 teachers personalize reading for and improve literacy of a diverse student population.
Story or moment of inspiration to start Capti?
We started Capti when we realized the extreme struggles experienced by blind people while accessing digital information. The first version of Capti was a screen reader for blind people. But the real epiphany was when we realized that to fix the accessibility problem for blind people, we needed to take Capti mainstream. So, we asked ourselves the question “how do we make a technology developed for blind people accessible for everyone else?” And so the modern Capti was born.
What’s a memorable moment in your entrepreneurial journey?
The life of an entrepreneur is so fast and so rich in events that most memories become a blur. However, you always remember your firsts and your pivots, such as the first SBIR grant you were awarded to realize your vision into a product, the time you realize that most of your users are not general consumers but educators, the first check from a school, a note from a student saying how much Capti meant in his or her life, and, of course, the time you realize your company is going to work!
What is the biggest challenge you anticipate facing over the next 6-12 months?
The path of growing any company is fraught with many roadblocks and challenges. However, considering how few investors are interested in early stage EdTech companies, we anticipate that our biggest challenge will be to cross the proverbial “desert” and raise a Seed round to scale our business.
Why did you choose LearnLaunch?
We have seen LearnLaunch companies getting ahead in all EdTech competitions, land lucrative partnership deals, raise capital, and become successful businesses. Our advisors kept saying that LearnLaunch is the best EdTech accelerator there is. So, we thought if we wanted to be the best we needed to be with the best. We joined LearnLaunch to prove the product-market fit and prepare for scaling.