Dr Patricia Scanlon, founder and CEO of Soapbox Labs, shares her entrepreneurial journey and the opportunity she spotted in speech technology for children.

It was appropriate to have Dr Patricia Scanlon telling her story at Inspirefest 2017 as her company, Soapbox Labs, credits the Astia Showcase at Inspirefest 2016 as key to its €1.2m seed investment from Astia, Elkstone and Enterprise Ireland as well as private investors.

Soapbox Labs is a Dublin-based start-up that uses deep neural net-based speech-recognition technology to assess children’s speech in real-world noise environments.

As speech rapidly becomes a common interface for new technology, Scanlon wanted to ensure children’s voices could be heard and understood. The speech technology her company is developing can be used to help with learning, literacy and much more.


Words by Elaine Burke