Published on Arabian Blue Ocean on October 15, 2017
Brailleye won the Pitch at the Palace Abu Dhabi competition with a project aiming to provide more independence to visually impaired people to read in braille or to get audio version of the scanned text.
The startup targets 23.5 million of visually impaired people living in the Middle East and it is estimated that 285 million of people around the world live with this handicap. “We are focusing in countries that know English and Arabic,” specifies Abdelrahman Ghazal, COO of Brailleye.
The Brailleye idea was originally a science project born at the university laboratory. The team made of Abdalrahman Ghazal, Saifeldeen Hatim, Mahmoud Abdulmalek, Faraj Alfaraj, Jingru MA, and Mohamed Al Hammadi is the steady group who took the challenge of developing the idea and designed a device as user friendly as possible for people with complete blindness. Dr. Nihel Chabrak, the programs director of the Science and Innovation Park and Mr. Iskren Krusteff, a visionary and a high impact entrepreneur, helped this international team (their members are two Emiratis, two Palestinians, one Jordanian and one Chinese) to evolve into the winning startup that Brailleye is today.
“Emirati entrepreneurs can change the world,” says Abdalrahman regarding the opportunity of pitching their project before Queen Elizabeth next December 6th in London.
The first money made by Brailleye was a humble amount of three thousand dirhams at Emirates Foundation. The Science and Innovation Park granted them later one hundred thousand dirhams and their own families offered some finance help, which motivated the m to continue with the startup. “When we thought in dedicating our lives to it, we were afraid that we will not get it, but here we are doing,” says Abdelrahman. The team continued to develop their research to build their prototype in 3D printing at the university laboratories. Research is only one part of entrepreneurship; the other part is getting a professionalized pitch to convince investors. “We are getting coached at the university incubator,” explains Abdelrahman.
The startup team won several awards in China (Huawei), UAE (Challenge Innovation, Pitch at the Palace AE) and on December 6th they will try their best before Queen Elizabeth.
Brailleye team has a thought for their colleagues at the laboratories: “There are awesome changing world startups in the Science and Innovation Park as well”.