Strathclyde student develops dyslexia support app

Strathclyde student develops dyslexia support app

A company founded by a University of Strathclyde student is developing an app designed to revolutionise learning support for people with dyslexia.

Estendio, established by Strathclyde Business School student Chris Hughes, has created the Present Pal app, a presentation support app which aims to increase the confidence and grades of students with dyslexia and similar conditions.

Chris, who started the company in response to his own experience of dyslexia, said: “There’s a very broad spectrum of ways in which people with dyslexia can be affected, not only in spelling but also in the processing of information within the working memory, and this is one of the areas we are trying to focus on.

“This can make giving presentations to a tutorial group – or, after graduation, in the workplace – extremely difficult.

“Present Pal looks to become the first ever presentation support app which aims to reduce the load on the user’s working memory.

“Our aim is to increase the confidence of students with dyslexia, and with presentations being such a critical component of many degree courses, an improvement in their grades.”

After receiving strong interest from universities across the UK, the company is one of three to have been selected as winners of the WildCard Awards, run by entrepreneurship fund company Scottish EDGE, where the innovative companies are awarded funding worth up to £10,000.

A public vote is currently being held to choose which company will have the chance to pitch for the overall Scottish EDGE award, which carries a prize of up to £100,000.

Chris said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won the WildCard Award; it will help us to develop further, following the £50,000 of private equity funding we raised from Gabriel Investment Syndicate and Scottish Investment Bank last October.

“We’re hoping we’ll be able to get through to the overall Scottish EDGE final.

“We are also extremely grateful for the support we’ve received from Strathclyde Enterprise Hub when starting the company up.”

In 2015, Chris was the winner in the Student category of the Herald Digital Business Awards and received runner up prize in the KickStart category of the Converge Challenge company creation competition.