Christopher Crooker has been appointed assistant dean for advancement at the Whitman School. With more than 21 years of experience in alumni affairs and development, Crooker has a track record of engagement and advancement success. Prior to joining the Whitman…
All Signs Point to Success: Wivi, TCLP Collaborate to Drive an ASL Interpreter App to Market
When entrepreneurs talk about “disruption,” they are typically referring to the disruptive potential of their technology. They hope, that is, that their invention might have the power to shake up a long-established market and become the next Airbnb or GoFundMe. But “disruption” for a Deaf or hard-of-hearing entrepreneur can have a much more negative connotation.
Communicating with businesspeople in the hearing community—by working with American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter services for important meetings “at the speed of business”—can be such a significant barrier for the Deaf that it disrupts workflow, hinders accessibility, hurts innovation and frustrates everyone involved.
But three Deaf entrepreneurs based in Sonoma, California—Brandon Marin, Greyson Watkins and Spencer Montan—are looking to remove this barrier to entrepreneurial success. They are attempting to disrupt the current ASL interpreter service market with an app that they hope will become as ubiquitous and easy-to-use in the Deaf community as Uber is for city passengers wishing to hail a ride.
And to help Wivi Technologies get its new application—called Wivi—to market, Technology Commercialization Law Program (TCLP) students, supervised by College of Law Adjunct Professor Dominick Danna, have spent the spring 2018 semester developing important patent, intellectual property (IP), market and regulatory landscapes. Marin, Watkins and Montan recently discussed how Wivi came about, the new app and the critical assistance TCLP students have provided their team.