We talked to Johanna Joch of Speechagain about empowering people who stutter.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Johanna Joch: Personally left the states and decided to move back to Germany after almost 3 years living in New York! This, of course, was a big change in my daily life, but luckily my family and friends have all been safe and healthy.
We all made the adjustment to get creative and set-up fun activities at home, and I learned how to stay connected while social distancing. This shows more than ever how technology can support in challenging times! And of course, the passion for my job and working with a wonderful team is motivating to me as well!
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Speechagain.
Johanna Joch: I’m a German licensed Speech-Language Pathologist with a degree in Health Management and core competency in digital health and product development. With the help of the German Accelerator program, I brought Speechagain to the U.S. and founded our subsidiary company. As the CEO of Speechagain, I head the operations in the United States. I’m also an ambassador of the German Accelerator Tech program and gained extensive experience in the healthcare startup sector from my experience with them. Fascinated by the combination of technology and evidence-based medicine, I always wanted to empower people toward better healthcare options.
How does Speechagain innovate?
Johanna Joch: Speechagain is a patented digital therapy tool that empowers people who stutter to live their best lives!
Best practice therapy tool based on the highest scientific standard. Patented AI technology, speech recognition analysis of over 900 parameters of speech.
Our team consists of professionals in the area of product development, therapeutic, medical, and business experts, all continuously working together to optimize our product and our processes.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Johanna Joch: With our headquarters in New York City, Covid-19 affected us a lot. We had to close the office, and our employees are continuing to work remotely.
Nevertheless, as a tech company, we are used to working virtually and have managed to keep up our incredible energy as a team while being remote.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Johanna Joch: Closing the New York office was not a difficult choice, as it was obvious what was best for our employees and the community.
This quick transition was a challenge, but as a team, we are even stronger and more focused on our goals than ever before.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Speechagain in the future?
Johanna Joch: Work-life balance is important. When I’m not working, I love contemporary dance, singing chansons, and spending time with my family and friends. Stress: just doing things step-by-step.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Johanna Joch: There are other hard and software devices in the field of stuttering, but with our patented technology, we have a unique selling point!
We stay in the game because we are building not only a great therapy tool; we are also building a stuttering community.
We are working together with SLPs all over the United States and constantly implementing new features for people who stutter and speech therapists alike.
Your final thoughts?
Johanna Joch: Cheesy but true: Teamwork makes the dream work.
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