Rochester Startup Sign-Speak Joins AWS Impact Accelerator in Latino Founders Cohort

Amazon Web Services Impact Accelerator’s Latino founders cohort in Seattle
(Photos courtesy of AWS)

Sign-Speak, a real-time ASL translator, has become the first Rochester startup to join the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Impact Accelerator in its Latino founders cohort. The $30 million program provides mentorship and support to underrepresented tech founders, including funding of $225,000 per qualifying startup. Sign-Speak utilizes artificial intelligence to facilitate effective communication with deaf and hard of hearing individuals. The company’s language software translates sign language into spoken words and vice versa, making communication accessible and seamless. Sign-Speak offers services such as Sign-Speak Basic, which enables chatbots and virtual agents to recognize ASL and respond in sign language. The startup was founded by Nikolas Kelly, a deaf person who experienced communication challenges in a hearing-dominated world. The company aims to expand accessibility, improve compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and enhance customer loyalty. As part of the AWS Impact Accelerator, Sign-Speak has received business and technical mentoring, access to resources, and the opportunity to network with other founders. The company plans to continue its growth and empower deaf and hard of hearing individuals through AI-driven sign language recognition.

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