Eyra Abraham is a Founder/CEO of Lisnen, a Toronto-based startup that develops technology for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Initially, she started her career in tech then pivoted into marketing and communications within the public sector. Her love for technology and innovation drew her back to founding her company. As someone who is hard of hearing and knows the problems the hearing loss communities face too well, Eyra’s mission is to make the world safer and inclusive by applying advanced technologies. Eyra shares how Lisnen is navigating the current landscape, including what has surprised her most and her advice to fellow entrepreneurs.
What area of your business is getting your most energy and focus?
Lisnen focuses on supporting the needs of people living with hearing loss through creative solutions that can make a difference in their lives.
What is the most important problem you are trying to solve?
My company is solving an issue impacting millions of people with hearing loss, those who often have the desire to integrate into the “hearing world” but are challenged by the fact that we live in a society that mainly communicates through sounds. We are building an inclusive solution to remove the barriers to allow them to participate in society fully.
What has been your most successful solution so far?
Lisnen is developing a mobile application to help people with hearing challenges gain situational awareness by utilizing artificial intelligence. Our app will help users detect specific sounds like fire alarms and sirens, giving visual and vibrational alerts using their smart devices.
How have you been staying connected with your customers and employees?
Our customers, especially during COVID, need the support of closed captioning and sign language interpreters when engaging in video conferencing meetings. For the most part, we’ve been corresponding with them by email and video conferencing.
Be continuously learning. Use this time as a learning opportunity to better understand the people you serve.
What has surprised you?
I’m surprised that more companies, especially during the COVID pandemic, are starting to have a stronger desire for inclusive technologies to support their stakeholders living with a disability, especially as specific demographics are getting older. They are beginning to realize that the needs have evolved, and the technologies of the past can’t continue to work the same way. We are heading in the right direction, and many people will have an inclusive future ahead of us.
How far ahead are you planning?
We have a short term plan where we are taking things day by day to ensure that we are serving our communities’ needs and wants. Our long term plan is to fulfill our mission.
What keeps you positive?
What keeps me positive is being surrounded by people who contribute to make our society a better place. Of course, my friends and family’s company and enjoying the simple everyday pleasure keeps me positive.
What message do you want to share with entrepreneurs right now?
Be continuously learning. Use this time as a learning opportunity to better understand the people you serve. The information you gather will create opportunities and allow you to continue to support your customers throughout their lives.