Veebar Tech is a startup company focused on building smart solutions for seniors with hearing loss and dementia. Our innovations are add-ons that could ‘smarten’ up the current kitchen appliances, thereby bringing peace of mind for family caregivers and independence for elderly individuals living independently.
Tell us about yourself?
I graduated from Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University) with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering. During that time, I discovered my passion for technology development and completed a minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. This passion, combined with my personal experience of caring for my grandmother, who had hearing loss and lived alone, motivated me to co-found Veebar Tech with the goal of creating solutions for individuals with limited capabilities.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
It’s okay to fail! And it’s necessary to know that these failures can teach you a more valuable lesson compared to any other experience. Be patient and focus on doing better.
What problem does your business solve?
According to recent statistics, a significant proportion of older adults, approximately 90 per cent, prefer to maintain their independence and reside in their own homes for an extended period. However, it is also noted that a significant portion of this demographic, approximately 80 per cent, experience hearing loss and an estimated 13.5 per cent have been diagnosed with dementia. Thus living independently could put them in a very dangerous position due to their limited capabilities. Having said that, we have developed an add-on device that could smarten up the current stove and smoke detector, so you can monitor their safety at all times, no matter where you are.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
My beloved grandmother has always been a source of inspiration for me. Despite her hearing impairment, she chooses to live alone and does not use hearing aids. On multiple occasions, when visiting her, we found her stove left on and became worried about potential fire hazards. As a family caregiver, having someone who lives alone and far from you is always concerning. Her safety was the main reason for me to work on solutions that could provide peace of mind for us caregivers and independence for our beloved senior relatives.
What is your magic sauce?
Many people are hesitant to replace their existing home appliances with modern technology. Thus, we decided to develop our system as an add-on. This way, unlike other solutions in the market, our solution is adaptable to all stoves with knobs and smoke detectors. We want our clients to be comfortable with adding new assistive technologies to their homes, so we made sure to make the design wireless, expandable, and universal.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
Being a woman in the industry can sometimes feel lonely, but it’s also very interesting. I want to inspire all women who want to be in tech, even if they don’t have a degree in tech-related majors. I see myself being an experienced consultant and investor in women-led companies and encourage them to make achievements by sharing my story. My goal is to empower women in the tech industry and help them to achieve their goals and reach their full potential. I want to be a role model for women in the industry and show that with hard work and determination, anything is possible.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
The biggest challenge I’ve faced so far as a co-founder of a hardware company is the complexity and difficulties in the hardware industry. Developing and designing each hardware component is hard to get accurate results, and the iterative process of development in hardware is very time-consuming. Despite these challenges, it has taught us to become experts in optimization and selecting the most fitted components to build our functional system. Overall, the industry is more challenging than I expected it to be, but it has helped us to grow and improve as a company.
How can people get involved?
We would love to connect with others who may be experiencing similar struggles. If you have any questions about our project or software/hardware development, email us at [email protected] or visit our website at www.veebartech.ca – and feel free to email me at [email protected].