Enterprise Europe Network

A Dutch company has developed an innovative speech technology for heavy stutterers and other patients with speech and voice disorders is looking for financial partners.

Country of origin:
Country: 
NETHERLANDS
Opportunity:
External Id: 
BONL20200505001
Published
18/05/2020
Last update
08/06/2020
Expiration date
09/06/2021

Keywords

Partner keyword: 
Applications for Health
Audiovisual Equipment and Communication
Mobile Communications
Description to Sound and Music Computing
VoIP telephony, remote access
Telephone interconnect and other equipment
Other communications (not elsewhere classified)
Electromedical and medical equipment
Cognitive aid
Patient rehabilitation & training
Wireless telecommunications activities
Other research and experimental development on natural sciences and engineering
Other human health activities
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Summary

Summary: 
A Dutch IT-company is specialized in the design and development of speech technology for heavy stutterers and other patients with speech and voice disorders. The technology is based on artificial intelligence and converts whisper speech in such a way that a person’s natural voice comes forward without any noticeable delay. The company seeks additional funding in order to scale up its activities and is looking for a financial partner. A financial agreement is foreseen.

Description

Description: 

A Dutch IT-company developed an innovative technology which enables people who severely stutter and other patients with speech and voice disorders to speak freely and make their lives easier. The technology has been developed on the fact that when stuttering people whisper, they stutter up to 85% less. On the basis of this principle, the company developed an advanced speech technology which is based on artificial intelligence (AI). The technology converts whisper speech in such a way that a person’s natural voice comes forward without any noticeable delay.
The unique technology is by far superior compared to the commonly used technologies in terms of natural voices and speed.
On the basis of this technology as well as on de compiled data a first application has been developed for a mobile phone. Making phone calls is in the top-3 most feared speaking situations for 88% of stuttering people. Other applications are about to be further developed and designed.

About 1% of the global population is stuttering, of which 5% of them are heavy stutterers. This group (370.000 in Europe and 165.000 in the US) is the initial target group of the company.
Extensive research on this group of heavy stutterers has shown that severe stuttering directly impacts on:
• Social isolation
• Reduced self-esteem
• Unemployment and/or reduced self-development
• Psychological problems and depression
• Substantial higher suicide rates

It is therefore without any doubt that an intelligent, rapid and easy speech solution would be of immense help to these severe stutterers. This has been confirmed by a first encounter of the technology and its application with the target group. As a first result a huge amount of positive reactions emerged on social media and have been collected since. It is for that reason that the company feels the urge to scale up its design and commercials activities.

Today, the company is involved in a large range of grants & social funds. The applications are rather easily granted since its innovative and superior technology, its business resonates very well and because of its high appeal and societal impact.
Nevertheless, the company seeks additional funding in order to scale up its activities and is looking for a financial partner. A financial agreement is foreseen.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
The unique technology is based upon a defined algorithm in combination with a specific databank of voices. This approach resulted in a whisper-to-speech (W2S) model, which is a complete new concept and far superior compared to the commonly used technologies in terms of natural voices and speed. The following advantages of the W2S-model can be recognized: • Silent communication because of whispered speech • The technology converts whisper speech in such a way that a person’s natural voice comes forward without any noticeable delay • The outcome is a clear and above all the natural voice On the basis of the W2S-model and a growing database of voices, a variety of applications can be realised, of which a mobile phone application is the first to be launched commercially. Furthermore, it should be mentioned that due to the corona crisis other forms of meetings are coming up and the use of various one-line meeting applications such as Facetime, Skype, ZOOM and MS-Teams are emerging. When applied here, the offered W2S-model is very suitable to support the large global group of heavy stutterers better in their proffesional and social life.

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Available for demonstration

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
The company is looking for SME’s involved in financing, business angels or larger investment agencies. It should be mentioned that partners, SME's and large corporates involved in HealthCare, IT and speech technology are sought as well provided that they are also able and willing to co-fund the initiative. It is expected from the partner to partly invest and take part in the business. The funding can be regarded to match with obtained (EU) grants & social funds.

Type and size

Cooperation task: 
SME 11-50,SME <10,251-500,SME 51-250