July 2018 Amber Grant Awarded to Lisnen
View Eyra’s video for the Voting Page and read her interview below to learn more about her mission.
WN: Share some background on yourself and how Lisnen was born.
EA: My name is Eyra Abraham and I’m the founder of Lisnen. Lisnen Inc. was formed due to a problem that I was experiencing in my own life. I was born with a severe-profound hearing loss since I was a child. When I went to live on my own, I slept through a fire alarm in my condo building at the time. While I was safe and nothing happened, I knew that I needed an assistive alerting device to help me with hearing things when I do not have my hearing aids on. What I found was a number of impractical solutions for an active and mobile individual like myself. So, I decided that I was going to take on the challenge and bring a better solution to market.
WN: How will the Lisnen app function?
EA: Lisnen is a mobile app that is paired with a smartwatch to help the deaf and hard of hearing users know that there’s a fire alarm, doorbell or siren sound, to name a few, in the nearby environment. It uses the microphone from the mobile phone to listen for these specific sounds and using advance methods in AI/ machine learning, the app looks for a match with the available alerts. When a match is found, the user sees and feels a flashing and vibrating alert to inform them of the alert in real-time.
WN: What are your plans for marketing the app?
EA: The company will reach our customers both online and offline. There are many social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter and online forums that are great sources for connecting with the deaf and hard of hearing community. For offline strategies, we believe that our customers can be reached at events that tailor to our niche market. Also, we are leveraging partnerships with other brands to reach customers.
Our marketing goal is to build a community of like-minded deaf and hard of hearing individuals who want to be empowered to live their lives fully – the core mission of the company. Through this community we will be able to market our app as an added benefit.
WN: Do you have competition in this space? If so, how do you differentiate?
EA: Yes, we have seen other similar apps in the space over the last 4 years. All apps saw the potential of using AI and machine learning to help the deaf and hard of hearing community. With the right intention they each have their own take. However, some features are not intuitive for the deaf and hard of hearing community and could improve using the latest advancement in technology.
Lisnen is differentiating by improving the quality of our app using the latest research, branding, user experience, design and marketing. The hearing devices and alert devices market often are operated as medical devices, and companies don’t have the habit of connecting and building relationships directly with the customers. Our app is a lifestyle/security product. Lisnen can gain advantage by investing in marketing and branding to reach the deaf and hard of hearing communities around the world.
WN: What piece of advice would you give to an aspiring female entrepreneur?
EA: Get started, show up, build a team of supporters, and persevere. In the entrepreneurship world, there aren’t a lot of people who look like us that we can relate to. It can make us feel uncomfortable when we don’t have anyone to lean on. Show up anyways. Comfort only comes after repetition and what becomes unfamiliar will become our new normal. Your team of supporters will help you along the way to help you fulfill areas where you need help.
We all have a tremendous opportunity to build our businesses around our strengths. Your strengths will add value to someone’s life and makes the world a better place. So that is why you need to show up and stay for the long haul. You’re needed!