Business Spotlight: New Ways of Communicating
Venture Company Advocates to Listen to Life Every Day
By Paige Russo
Wearing masks and social distancing challenges communication for those who need to read lips, said Saïda Florexil, founder of Imanyco, a FAU Tech Runway venture class 8 company that aims to improve communication accessibility for people with hearing loss.
“For years, I have been searching for resources and assistive technology to assist me with communication,” said Florexil, who was born with hearing loss.
Florexil started Imanyco while attending in college, adding she found it challenging with the lack of support and resources she needed for the company to prosper. She began committing more time to Imanyco by working with several engineers to help her develop the app she envisioned but was unsuccessful. Florexil then applied to FAU Tech Runway to help launch her business and fully develop her app. She was rejected the first year she applied to the program. “I remember telling myself no matter what happens, I need to get into Tech Runway,” Florexil said. “So, I contacted FAU Tech Runway and received feedback on my application. Some people encouraged me to reapply, and here I am.”
Through the startup, created in March 2019, Florexil developed Comunify, an app that displays conversation visibly by separately transcribing each speaker’s words and color-coding them to make it easier to identify who is talking.
More than 200 people registered for the beta version of Comunify in less than one week, she said.
With guidance from FAU Tech Runway and the entrepreneurial community, Imanyco created an advisory board, raised capital, was awarded a second patent and prepares to launch the public version of Comunify. “Many people told me that Imanyco hits home for them because of the company’s efforts to connect people through communication,” Florexil said. “Some of our deaf users have shared their personal stories or stories about a deaf family member with me and how the app helps them have an everyday conversation.”
Even the company name, Imanyco, is about communication, according to Florexil, who said she named the company after the Swahili word imani, meaning faith. “Imanyco has always been about me believing that there is an alternative way to listen to life every day.”
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2021 FAU Tech Runway Launch Competition are Accepting Applications
Are You Ready to Launch Your Startup?
FAU Tech Runway's annual Launch Competition is now open through March 12. Winners of the Launch Competition, like Imanyco, of the competition earn the opportunity to launch their game-changing business ideas as a part of the next Tech Runway venture class.
For more information visit fau.edu/techrunway/2021-launch-competition today.