Startup Snapshot: GogyUp Inc.
GogyUp Inc. co-founder Ned Zimmerman-Bence

Startup Snapshot: GogyUp Inc.

This Minneapolis-based startup aims to increase literacy skills in the workplace and beyond.

With labor still in short supply, businesses are likely to hire workers who aren’t fully fluent in English. And it’s important that those workers understand safety instructions, especially if they’re operating complex and potentially dangerous factory equipment. Enter Minneapolis-based GogyUp Inc. Founded in 2017, the company sells software that makes employer training materials more accessible for adults who find them difficult to understand. That could be English language learners, people with dyslexia or limited literacy skills, and even those with impaired vision. Businesses send their training manuals to GogyUp, which then reformats them for its platform on desktop and mobile devices. The GogyUp Reader platform includes a speech-to-text option, as well as a built-in dictionary to look up words. Employers can also add special definitions as needed for their specific industries. Co-founder Ned Zimmerman-Bence says the software is designed to “remove barriers for understanding.” As part of an NIH-funded trial with the University of Minnesota, GogyUp will also test the platform for use in health care settings. The goal of the pilot, Zimmerman-Bence says, is to determine if the software can be used to better educate patients about their conditions. Working with the University of Minnesota, GogyUp will provide its platform to 200 adult patients who recently received a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. Then, researchers will gather anonymized user data to see if participants used GogyUp’s translation feature and to what extent. GogyUp also offers a consumer version of its app for use by the general public, but Zimmerman-Bence sees the workplace version as the primary revenue generator for the company.

Founded: 2017 Founders: David Radcliffe, Brian Lukis, Chris Koranda, Ned Zimmerman-Bence The name? Pronounced “GO-jie Up,” the company’s name is designed to evoke the unease an ELL speaker might feel encountering an unusual word. Raised to date: Most of GogyUp’s $327,000 in funding has come through the federal government’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant program.

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