BLITAB – Bringing the Modern Social Community Closer to Blind People
The team behind the BLITAB Project: Stanislav, Kristina and Slavi
M! International: Could you share with us how does this device work? What are the main differences with the others Braille devices?
Stanislav: In general, Braille notetakers that are already developed represent a classic type of assistive product: with only one line Braille text, mechanical elements, they are often developed and designed in isolation from users. They are just like keyboards, so what you see, is what you get. In addition, it is very difficult for a blind person to make a buying decision, because Braille notetakers’ price ranges from €4,000 to more than €10,000. BLITAB is a next curve Braille device for reading and writing that displays one whole page Braille text, without mechanical elements. It is like an e-book which instead of using a screen displays small physical bubbles. They rise and fall on demand, composing a whole page in Braille code. Our innovative technology based on smart liquid materials has not been used until now in this market niche. Together with a leading Nordic R&D lab we are going to implement it in BLITAB. And this is the reason why we are already in patent procedure.
M! International: Recently you have launched a fundraising campaign in Indiegogo. Why did you decide to use crowd-funding as a source of raising finances?
Stanislav: We are an example of a hybrid start-up social venture that combines the social logic of a non-profit with the commercial logic of a for-profit business. When social entrepreneurs like us are working, they can be fantastically creative and make a positive difference to the whole world and especially to the blind and visually impaired. Due to the fact that now we are in prototyping phase we are intensively looking for financial support in form of social programs and crowd-funding. We are glad to be approached directly by INDIEGOGO Team in the USA, and be already online. We would like to motivate all people to do something special for other people and be part of the social impact we produce.
M! International: When do you expect to present the first prototype of BLITAB?
Stanislav: After successful co-financing, the first prototype of BLITAB can be expected within three months. Awesome, isn’t it? Although all this process requires additional work and long sleepless nights, as in every start-up. But seeing the smile of our blind friends is enough of motivation to further develop BLITAB.
M! International: Finally, as an experienced young entrepreneur, what would you advice to the young people who are now starting their own business?
Stanislav: Do not hesitate to start your own start-up! Just do it at the right time, be prepared with financial support, contacts and people that believe in your ideas. Be patient and active and do not stop when you fall, just stand, take breath and start again!
Written by: Arancha Redondo
Edited by: Ana Alibegova