17thJun 2011

Eyegaze looks at new ways of using technology to address equal access to communication and information issues faced by the deaf sign language community. It does this by helping public and private organisations make sure their products and services are accessible. Staff at Eyegaze have experience of finding technology solutions that improve deaf telephony, interpreting, linguistics, translation and communication between hearing parents and their deaf children.

Technical director Neil Finlay says that without SETsquared's support the firm would have struggled. "There is no affordable office space for a company like ours when we were starting out, coming straight out of other jobs and with no large reserves of capital behind us," he says. "Without SETsquared, we would have spent a long time working in our own homes before getting anywhere."

The firm has also found having a mentor makes a big difference. "We started out with really bright ideas, but were understandably naïve on the business side," says Neil. "Our mentor is very good - he's given us all sorts of advice on how to proceed as a business." As well as teaming up with a mentor, there has also been a partial tie up with another venture at the centre, Enable Interactive, to exploit areas of business overlap.

Neil believes the staff at the SETsquared centre staff have been invaluable. "Paul Harrod is a great guy, has given us lots of advice and is always there for us when we need him," he says. "He's proactive in making sure we're going down the right path - he certainly doesn't just wait for us to come to him - which is really good because you can sometimes get bogged down in things and can't see the help that's available because you don't know what help you actually need." Eyegaze have graduated from the Centre and continue to thrive in their own premises.

SETsquared has been absolutely essential in getting us where we are and is still continuing to help us," says Neil. "If anybody is considering taking the plunge into business and has real faith in their ideas - even if they are apprehensive about the business world - then I would not hesitate to recommend SETsquared as an excellent opportunity for a start-up to get off the ground."