Synote directors

Venturefest South Innovator: Synote

We found out more about Synote's interactive transcript product, which makes audio and video recordings more accessible, ahead of them showcasing their innovation at Venturefest South next month.

Describe your business in no more than 100 words

Synote is an award winning online software platform which automatically makes recordings interactive and universally accessible using speech recognition, image processing and crowdsourcing technologies. Synote helps universities address DSA (Disabled Students' Allowance) note-taking cuts and comply with disability legislation. Synote can also improve students’ learning experience and help to recruit more international students. Although Synote was originally developed for universities, we are now looking to also enter new markets where interactivity to videos could add value.


What prompted you to enter the Innovation Zone? Describe the innovation that you’ve entered with. 

The opportunity to meet potential customers, investors or collaborators. 

Synote benefits from over 20 years of speech recognition and captioning research in collaboration with some of the world’s leading companies to make videos easier to interact with and learn from. Recorded lectures are a valuable resource for students, but finding specific information within videos can be a frustrating and inefficient task. Unlike textbooks, videos are not created with a contents page, page numbers or sections, so it can be difficult for viewers to find the relevant part to watch.

Students’ notes can miss 80% of information delivered at lectures, so Synote’s low cost and accurate captioning system makes university courses more accessible and helps boost academic performance. Synote uses automatic speech recognition to generate captions for lecture videos, with errors corrected by students using a collaborative editor. Corrections are compared for verification and scores given for rewards and motivation. Students know the subject better than captioning companies and engaging with their lectures in this way improves their learning.

Legislation requires captions to make lecture videos accessible but few universities currently comply because of the high cost of professional captioning. To make things worse for universities the UK Government has cut the Disabled Students Allowance resulting in universities losing hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Synote’s low-cost efficient service produces captions for lecture videos to benefit all students, and especially disabled students and international students. Synote’s interactive transcript allows viewers to search videos for any word or phrase and replay the video from that point onwards. Screenshots with the corresponding transcript and notes can be printed out with QR codes to replay any part of the recording on any mobile device. Synote can also add interactive quizzes and polls to videos and produce playlists of clips as well as many other features.


How would you describe that to a novice?

Synote makes audio and video recordings more accessible by creating an interactive transcript.


What are the biggest challenges you face?

Identifying the purchasing decision maker


What are your biggest professional achievements to date?

Being awarded a Royal Academy Enterprise Fellowship


How do you feel about showcasing to potentially hundreds of people at Venturefest South?

Looking forward to the opportunity


What are you hoping to get out of attending Venturefest South?

Meeting potential customers, investors or collaborators.


Where do you see your company in five years time?

The leading educational caption and transcription provider.

Synote will be part of the Innovation Zone at the inaugural Venturefest South event taking place at Winchester Guildhall on 9th March – for more information and to book your tickets, visit