Texthelp – using technology to develop literacy skills


9 Aug 2011

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Antrim-based Texthelp Systems has evolved from a single-product company focused on the UK market to one with software solutions for the education sector in several English-speaking markets.

It’s now moving into non-English speaking markets, specifically targeting the technology-assisted language learning market in South America and the Far East.

Texthelp specialises in the development of software to assist, support and develop the literacy skills of individuals who have difficulty reading and writing.

Led by CEO Mark McCusker, Texthelp’s software is targeted at education, education publishing and corporate sectors and within those communities it specifically helps dyslexic, English-language learners, mildly visually impaired and functionally illiterate users. 

Transformation of a company

McCusker became CEO of Texthelp Systems in September 1998, at a time when the company had just six employees. He immediately realised the market potential for the product, which coupled with a young enthusiastic team who, as McCusker puts it, “didn’t know what they didn’t know”, made for an irresistible challenge, he said.

The year McCusker took over, Texthelp started to target the US market, followed by Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

From a speculative attendance at a trade event in Boston in 1998, the company has built a fully operational North American business that now employs 40 staff.

It has been recognised in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 for 11 consecutive years and has won many local and international accolades. McCusker’s mantra is “fear is the most destructive emotion in business”.

There are currently 108 people employed in the company’s in three divisions: Education and Workplace, Speech Services and Education Publishing.

Texthelp is a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Photo: Texthelp Systems CEO Mark McCusker

Article courtesy of Bizstartup.ie