J. Kelly Hoey

Innovator Insights: Patricia Scanlon, Founder of Dublin-based Startup Soapbox Labs @soapboxlabs

Name: Patricia Scanlon Title: Founder and CEO Twitter: @soapboxlabs

Dr. Patricia Scanlon is Founder and CEO of SoapBox Labs, enabling voice-based device interactions for kids (that’s right, speech recognition systems on the market today are not accurate for young children’s speech). Patricia holds a PhD in Speech Technologies from University College Dublin, has held positions with Columbia University, IBM T.J. Watson Research Centre and Bell Labs, Alcatel Lucent and served as an Adjunct Lecturer for Trinity College Dublin.

Me: Why are you an entrepreneur?

Patricia: I like doing things to do it ‘my way’!

Me: What problem would you like solved?

Patricia: High accuracy speech recognition for kids which will enable apps and web services for education, gaming, VR, IoT etc.

Me: Advice you’d wished you’d had or had followed?

Patricia: Fundraising takes twice as long as you think.

Me: What does success look like for you?

Patricia: Work life balance. Building a scalable successful business without compromising who I am.

Me: Who are your heroes?

Patricia: The distruptors.

Me: What is your best discovery?

Patricia: The funding and supports available from the Irish Givernment and the network in Dublin for startups, hugely supportive and couldn’t have come this far without it.

Me: What would the title of your biography be?

Patricia: I did it my way.

Me: What makes the Dublin entrepreneurial ecosystem unique?

Patricia: As before, people are willing to share experiences, contacts, suggestions with no agenda and just the sentiment that we are all in this together and ‘a rising tide raises all boats’.

Me: If a Shark Tank investor asked “why should I invest in Dublin?, what’s your answer?

Patricia: Dublin is going from strength to strength as evidenced in the growing number of MNEs and startups, it’s the perfect recipe for success.

Me: From meetups to co-working to networking events, what are your top recommendations for someone just stepping into the Dublin startup ecosystem?

Patricia: Get in touch with the office of the Dublin Commissioner for Startups.

Me: Anything else we should know about?

Patricia: SoapBox Labs is now raising a seed round to accelerate product enhancements and to continue to drive our go-to-market strategy.


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