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BeneTalk was formed to help people who stutter to communicate more comfortably. EIT Health’s Bridgehead programme was set up to support start-ups such as BeneTalk, who are working to improve healthcare in areas of high unmet need. Of the 24 start-ups selected in November 2021 to join the programme, BeneTalk is the only UK company. To achieve the funding and support provided through the Bridgehead programme, BeneTalk went through a competitive assessment process. The company was judged on the ingenuity of its solution, business model and traction already achieved in the UK.
EIT’s Health’s Bridgehead programme will provide BeneTalk with vital support to expand its presence to new European and global markets and to build a global community.
Jordi Fernandez, Co-Founder and CEO of BeneTalk, said: “We are delighted to receive this funding and support from a like-minded organisation which realises that stuttering is an area of unmet need in healthcare. This funding will enable us to achieve success in markets across Europe and the world, enabling us to build our global community and connect those who stutter with regional support networks.”
CEO Jordi, CTO Koen Vos and 50% of the BeneTalk team stutter and understand first-hand the life challenges that stuttering can create. From his own experience of visiting therapists and trying to manage stuttering in everyday life, Jordi realised that a solution is needed every day and not just in the controlled surroundings of a therapist’s office. The BeneTalk solution provides a workout for stutterers which is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, rather like a fitness app. It monitors and slows down speech, via visual and audio ‘in ear’ feedback, encouraging users to enunciate every word and minimise word avoidance.
Jordi continues: “We have launched BeneTalk as a practical solution for stutterers but more than that we are building a community and a support network. We are people facing similar challenges who can support each other to accept ourselves as we are and lead our best lives. There are 200 million people globally who stutter. People think of stuttering as a physical problem which needs a practical solution but its more than that. Stuttering creates low self-esteem and enforced isolation. Even in the UK, effective help can be too expensive for many and in other parts of the world there is no help and potential maximum isolation. It is no surprise that stuttering can lead to mental health problems. In recent times, Covid and the associated enforced isolation, has been especially hard for anyone who stutters. At BeneTalk, we are building an important community support network, offering practical solutions and emotional support via role models.”
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