Names: Selina Gabriele and Jonathan Binder
Company Name: Edulux
- Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Our names are Selina Gabriele and Jonathan Binder. We both studied Computer Science at the University of Windsor and funny enough, we both switched from the business program into computer science in our second year. We’ve always had the desire and drive to be entrepreneurs. We met in 2014 when we were both employed by Dr. Kent to be on his research team. For the next 3 years, we wrote web applications for clients in the health industry: from working with researchers in hospitals to building innovation networks in health. This work involved long hours, and minimal pay, but we always felt like the work was rewarding and it fostered an effective work ethic. The idea came from complaining about the lack of innovative tools available in universities. During our time as researchers, we spent many a night burning the midnight oil with other researchers and we would often ponder different issues that were mostly present at the institutional level. Being problem solvers, the theories of what and how we could fix these problems were often where our discussions led. Selina, with another researcher on Dr. Kent’s team attempted to implement the solution at Hack the North last year but found that 3 days was not enough time to fledge out a prototype. They dropped the idea and went with another education-centric application, however the idea never left John’s mind. When we read about the EPIC Founders program, we knew it would be a great opportunity to build this idea in a realistic amount of time with great resources available.
2. Tell us about your company
Edulux is an education-centric application that will distribute real-time lecture information in a consumable format that is accessible to all students. The vision is to push this at an institutional level to increase uptake by professors and usage by students. University professors will wear mics connected to our system where registered students will be linked to the session to receive live closed-captioning of the lecture. On the productivity side, the closed-captioning will be stored as a transcription where students can highlight and write notes. Once we have the lecture in a text format, the possibilities are endless. That text can be transformed into alternate languages and/or formats that optimize ease of consumption for a given individual.
3. Why do you feel the EPICentre Founders program will be beneficial to growing your company?
We are both well versed in the tech world. Exploring libraries and evaluating this idea’s feasibility on a Computer Science level is where our strengths lie. We are here in search of mentorship and guidance in the world of business. Further, our hope that working with mentors will allow us to network with key partners in order to promote the adoption of our platform. The legitimacy of the program will allow us to reach out to respectable institutions which can aid in expanding our user base for testing of feasibility and usability.
4. Why do you feel it’s important to have a company like yours in our community?
Today, with the internet and ubiquity of information, education is evolving at an incredible pace. We feel it is our duty to innovate and make that education accessible to everyone. Right now, on a technological level, we feel universities don’t have much to offer to students. As the cost of tuition increases, students will undoubtedly begin to demand more from their institutions. We believe that if we are able to promote the adoption of this platform at the University of Windsor, we could help promote innovation for accessible education and offer greater tools through the university’s Student Accessibility Services.
5. Where do you hope to see yourself and your company by the end of this program?
By the end of the summer, we are hoping to have a prototype that would be presentable to different communities in order to begin testing, focusing on students with disabilities first and foremost. We are aware of the shortcomings of other speech-to-text technologies and are hoping that our testing stages, accompanied by the adoption of new, more capable technologies, will give us an edge in developing a highly accurate and intuitive platform. Involving diverse people who consume information in various ways at the early stages in the development process will be a key factor in the success of this application. We don’t want this app to exclude any group, especially since it will be focused on education.