The communications network, connecting families via video calls
Founders: Ewan Marshall, Adi Kasliwal and Matt Simmonds
Launched: November 2013
Unlike most businesses, SpeakSet was started not with an idea, but with the coming together of its three founders, all of whom were selected for the prestigious Entrepreneur First accelerator. Determined to run their own business, founders Ewan Marshall, Adi Kasliwal and Matt Simmonds were also keen to contribute to something meaningful.
Designed for, and by, older people, SpeakSet is basically ‘Skype for grandparents’. Created to help connect families, the device enables video calling via the one technology older people tend to understand – their televisions.
Careful to ensure the product would be suitable for its target demographic, the founders have taken great care to involve older people in every stage of product development, including running a ‘hackathon’ in a care home where older people designed their perfect communication device.
The result is the epitome of simplicity, a product that even the biggest technophobe can understand and its use is twofold. As well as allowing older people to keep in touch with their loved ones, it also enables them to contact with health professionals, improving the efficiency of care delivery.
After securing a £50,000 grant from the Nominet Trust, (a fund supporting social innovations that use digital technologies), the young start-up is currently running trials with the NHS, councils and one of the largest care home groups in the UK and that’s just the beginning – next year they have ambitious plans to scale the business and improve their revenue streams.