Capti Voice Reading Assistant
Capti Voice is a reading assistant personalizing learning for students of all abilities and helping them become more independent.
36M or 66% of U.S. K-12 students read below their grade level. They struggle with reading for different reasons: vision loss, ADHD, dyslexia, poor English, etc. Similar problems exist in Higher Ed. where 5% of students are international students with poor English proficiency, 10% of students are known to have a disability, and 10% have undisclosed disabilities.
Educators have to personalize learning for students with different abilities, which is very time consuming. They juggle multiple tools trying to support students with different needs, but fewer than 50% of English language learners (ELLs) and students with disabilities graduate. And because schools cannot afford to hire one teacher per student, and they do need to retain students and have them achieve, school are hungry for tools that can help educators personalize learning and help students be more independent.
Our Capti Voice Product helps students read and learn in all their classes, providing supports to ELLs and students with disabilities, giving them independence, and saving teachers’ time. It replaces 5+ types of commonly used EdTech tools with a single integrated solution.
CaptiVoice makes reading more interactive and accessible, helping institutions comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other regulations. CaptiVoice appeals to the entire institution because it solves problems for multiple student populations and helps reach students with disabilities who do not self identify! CaptiVoice makes struggling students more independent, helping them catch up and keep up with reading.
What’s unique about Capti is that it embraces diversity and enables authentic inclusion. Another unique aspect of CaptiVoice are AI-driven supports that help to personalize learning. We are working on more innovative supports such as personalized text simplification, automated reading level assessments, etc. Our vision for CaptiVoice is to become a Personal Assistant (think Siri for reading).
Or mission is to Process information more effectively, overcome print disabilities, and language barriers! So, ultimately, we would like to improve the quality of education, create an authentically inclusive learning environment, and improve literacy in the U.S. and worldwide.
Watch our elevator pitch:
Where our solution team is headquartered or located:Stony Brook, NY, USA
The dimensions of the Challenge our solution addresses:
What makes our solution innovative:
Capti enables teachers and students to assemble any reading materials into easy to use “playlists” that they can read and/or listen to. Capti provides AI-based supports to help students develop active reading strategies, improve their vocabulary, and keep up with reading. So, Capti is learning with the students and is adapting for them.
Our vision for Capti is to become a Personal Assistant for reading (think Siri for reading). We are working on innovative supports such as personalized text simplification, automated reading level assessments, natural language interfaces, human voice-over recording and analysis, etc.
How technology is integral to our solution:
Students can play a Word Challenge Game that generates questions from the texts students are reading to help them improve their vocabulary and better understand the texts. Meanwhile, Capti learns with students, adapting to their level. Capti is universal in that it works across content sources, content formats, devices, student abilities, age groups, instructional goals, and subject areas. Capti is a high-tech product that uses advanced algorithms and machine learning to create an adaptive easy-to-use solution across all platforms.
Our solution goals over the next 12 months:
- Reach $250k in annual institutional sales revenue
- Reach $50k in annual consumer sales revenue
- Scale our sales team to 5-10 people for 2019 sales season
- Negotiate a contract with the NY Education Department
- Conduct an efficacy study in school setting
- Integrate Capti with Canvas Learning Mgmt. System
- Add writing and dictation supports to Capti
- Implement assessment and analytics in Capti
- Receive federal SBIR grants to continue innovating
Our vision over the next three to five years to grow and scale our solution to affect the lives of more people:
Imagine a personal reading assistant that you could converse with to find and process information effectively. Imagine being able to read and listen to any texts, from any sources, anywhere, and on any device. Imagine texts dynamically simplified and adapted to the reader's need, level, and abilities. Imagine talking to it about what you have read to better understand it. Imagine being able to acquire new vocabulary through reading, with the assistant learning with you and helping you along the way. By adding more supports for more needs and abilities we can support more people. Education pays forward.
Our promotional video:
The key characteristics of the populations who will benefit from our solution in the next 12 months:
The regions where we will be operating in the next 12 months:
The countries where we currently operate:
Where we plan to expand in the next 12 months:
How we will reach and retain our customers or beneficiaries:
Our current focus is on the U.S. Education institutional market: both K-12 and Colleges.
1.Scale inside sales team to increase the operational capacity;
2.Establish partnerships to enable high volume channels;
3.Progress from institutional to county/state-level deals;
4.Expand to international, consumer, and corporate markets.
The communities can access our product as consumers or through their education institution online, by installing Capti on a computer or phone.
How many people we are currently serving with our solution:
Our customers are educators and parents who use CaptiVoice to accommodate students with disabilities, e.g., dyslexia, ADHD, vision loss, concussions, quadriplegia, motor impairments, etc.
We sold to 100+ institutional clients in 25+ states, and accumulated 100k+ users in 150 countries. Our most notable clients include Cornell University and NYC Education Department. Hundreds of colleges and schools are piloting CaptiVoice now.
Received 50+ features in media
EdTech Digest named Capti the Best Special Needs Solution of 2017
Apple AppStore featured Capti among its top accessibility apps
Slant.com community named Capti the best text-to-speech software
How many people we will be serving with our solution in the 12 months and the next 3 years:
In 12 months: 500k and in 3 years: 5M
Our main population are students with poor English proficiency and print disabilities affecting their ability process written information. However, our product also helps mainstream students improve their reading productivity.
By overcoming barriers, students will get better access to education. Some of the effects will be immediate with increased student engagement, some of the effects will take years to develop when students manage achieve more.
Those effects will take place because by processing information effectively, we can empower students to learn faster and develop interest in learning. From then on, education has a compounding effect.
How our solution team is organized:For-Profit
How many people work on our solution team:5
How many years we have been working on our solution:5-10 years
The skills our solution team has that will enable us to attract the different resources needed to succeed and make an impact:
Yevgen: Ph.D., Research Professor in Comp.Sci. at SUNY Stony Brook, 50+ publications, SUNY Chancellor award, MIT Innovator Under 35, business and research management experience. Taught English to speakers of other languages in school and in private lessons.
Yury, COO: PhD in Comp.Sci., 28 publications, 2nd place in ACM research competition, product management experience.
Andrii, CTO: PhD in Comp.Sci., 13 publications, participated in 20+ and managed 5 commercial R&D projects.
Kristina: MA in Childhood Education, magna cum laude, teaching and sales experience.
Lisa: AA in Journalism, BA in English Literature, magna cum laude, customer service experience
Our revenue model:
We have a SaaS model with 50%+ profitability at scale. We have a hybrid model with revenue from both consumers and institutions. $1B total addressable market in the U.S., and at least $10B globally.
Our buyers are education administrators, and our users are educators and students. Different budgets are used, usually those for disability support, e.g., Title 1. We sell annual subscriptions to institutions at group ($20/student), school ($5k), district ($4K/school), and college (price scale) levels. We have a freemium model for consumers: $20/year for the premium plan and more for in-app purchases.
We built critical partnerships that will give us the thrust in the new school year. We built a solid product and developed a lot of innovations, many still in the R&D pipeline. Continuous innovations will enable us to stay ahead of the competition.
Selling to education institutions has its challenges, but once you are in, schools almost automatically renew for the following school year. With a subscription model, expected life-time of a customer is 10+ years.
Why we are applying to Solve:
We hope Solve can help us establish strategic partnerships with organizations such as ETS (testing), MacGraw Hill (publisher), Canvas (LMS), etc.
We could use help to crystalize our value proposition and optimize our sales and business models around it. We believe Solve could introduce us to the kind of advisors who can help us accelerate our innovations, and give us the exposure we need to attract venture capital and scale the business.
The key barriers for our solution:
We are sitting on innovations resulting from several millions of grant funding and no funds to commercialize the innovations. Helping with funding and helping us find funding would help us succeed.
In the meanwhile, we are selling the current product. However, we do not have funds to scale the sales team, and we are just started to establish external sales channels. Helping us find new channels would help.
The types of connections and partnerships we would be most interested in if we became Solvers: