Alessio Weber and Gianluca Marinelli are the founders of the Start-Up “Sovi Solutions”. Their entrepreneurial adventure began when they participated in the Young Enterprise Project (YEP) program in 2018. We met with Gianluca, who confided and shared with us the newest developments for “Sovi Solutions”.
When they decide to participate, with other students, in the program offered by Jonk Entrepreneuren, they are far from imagining themselves winning it a few months later. This first prize enabled them to participate in a European final organized by Junior Achievement Europe in Riga where Gianluca won the Leadership Award.
One thing leading to another, they participated in the nyuko “Impuls” program in 2018, which they won hands down. Shortly afterwards, they moved to the Luxembourg City Incubator and a short time later they were among the 5 “Healthtech” winners of the “Fit for Start” program, where their project stood out among 226 applications.
“The Young Enterprise Project program and the subsequent European final gave us an enormous “Energy Boost ” that allowed us to continue to invest in our project. Without it, I am not sure that our path would have been so obvious”.
Today, Alessio and Gianluca are at the head of a Start-Up active in the health sector. They have brought to the market an improved and alternative communication software (AAC) for people suffering from the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and speech disorders, called “Talkii”. The Talkii application has been available for 3 months on Google Play Store and interested people can benefit from a free trial for a period of 7 days. Gianluca says that the most important thing is that Talkii allows users to communicate their needs and feel understood by those around them on a daily basis.
“Talkii”, covered by the National Health Fund (CNS – Long-Term Care Insurance)
“We are also very pleased that our product is now supported by CNS. Our first “Talkii Package” containing a tablet (communication tool) with its protective shell and smartphone (supervisor) was delivered and pre-configured about a month ago. The process itself is quite fast. The parents concerned can, by filling out the R20 form, submit a request to the CNS for a communication aid tool. This request must be filled out in the presence of a doctor who is in charge of the medical file of the person concerned, in order to assess whether our Talkii tool could be suitable for
its daily use.
We go on site to discuss with the parents, in the presence of their child, about their needs, knowing that Talkii is a tool that can be configured on a case-by-case basis. Our tool is then adapted to the specific needs of the child and the tools are delivered pre-programmed about three weeks later. The tablet is guaranteed for 3 years and we also provide a user guide in several languages.
It is a turnkey solution, but we listen, accompany each family throughout the process and are accessible at all times. We currently collaborate with several speech therapists, specialized schools and institutions, including the Fondation Autisme Luxembourg (FAL), the Centre for Motor Development (CDM) and the Centre for Children and Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders (CTSA).
Great news for 2021
SOVI Solutions participates in the hackathon “StartUps vs COVID19” organized by the Ministry of Economy. “We have been selected among more than 300 Start-Ups for the last phase of this competition. In about 6 months, we will have an application that will allow a hospitalized or an intubated patient, who does not speak or who speaks a foreign language, to use his tablet to transmit his needs to the nursing staff”. The “Talkii” concept will thus be remodeled and used in contexts other than that of autism and people with communication disorders,” explains Gianluca.
At the same time, we are working on the development of our Talkii application and we will expand our database from 400 pictograms to 1,000 and start producing our own pictograms. We are also collaborating with the Luxembourg language center for the translation of the pictograms into Luxembourgish and the implementation of voice recordings in Luxembourgish.