Greyson Watkins set out to help enhance the life of the deaf and hard-of-hearing. As a deaf person himself, Greyson realized that there isn’t a great deal of technology to help someone who is hard-of-hearing. One day while Greyson was home, a 6-year-old girl fell inside the house and called for help. Greyson couldn’t hear her so he knew he needed to make a change. He founded Hz Innovations and developed the world’s first intelligent sound recognition hardware called Wavio.
There are many simple sounds that occur around the house that deaf or hard-of-hearing people may miss, such as a knock on the door or a smoke alarm beeping. Hz Innovations’ product, Wavio, works by placing sound sensors around the house that pick up noise and notifies the homeowner via their smartphone. Wavio can even record and memorize the sounds that the user thinks are important and would like to be notified in the future. The Wavio is an all-in-one product that will replace multiple devices that already exist. Greyson says instead of having a handful of devices to notify users of individual sounds that an all-in-one device will make deaf people’s lives easier. Hz Innovations is going to retail the Wavio for around $150 dollars.
Launch NY recently started working with Hz Innovations on both their short and long term goals. Brad Gouldthrope is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) from Launch NY who has been working closely with Greyson. Launch NY EIRs provide client companies like Hz Innovations with assistance developing their business plan leveraging a proven method known as the Business Model Canvas. “Brad Gouldthrope has been a great asset to us on maintaining our focus and refining our business model for a more strategic path forward,” says Greyson. Entrepreneurs can look towards the Launch NY EIRs for advice when faced with a difficult decision. Launch NY’s goal is provide the guidance and resources to assist startups in accelerating their path forward to the market and business growth.
The team at Hz Innovations is going to be busy in the upcoming months. They are still continuing to beta test their Wavio product and are preparing to launch an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign as well. The campaign funds will be used to continue improving the beta testing process and prepare their pitch for fundraising from investors along the path to launching Wavio in 2016. Greyson envisions the day when his product can make an impact in the deaf/hard-of-hearing community. You can show your support for Greyson and Hz Innovations by following them on Facebook.
Launch NY is a nonprofit organization who has provided pro bono support for over 450 businesses across Upstate New York. The mission of Launch NY is to identify high-impact companies and invest time, money, and expert resources to help these companies grow into successful businesses who transform the regional economy.