A Caerphilly-based company has secured £85,000 in funding to help it develop a speech therapy app.
Cog-Neuro Speech Therapy Limited has released the app for people following a stroke, brain injury, and other progressive neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis.
The Cog-Neuro application focuses on five areas of language including listening, speaking, reading, writing and thinking. Interactive games have been used to encourage interactivity and concentrated attention, which have been shown to be key factors in brain regeneration.
Mini-games target specific linguistic skills with visual instructions at the start of each game, with feedback given to users during the games and a report is emailed to the app users.
The company received a £60,000 grant from Innovate UK, as well as a £25,000 grant from the Development Bank of Wales to develop the app.
Sheiladen Montero Aquino, who founded Cog Neuro in 2012, said: “Throughout my international practice in speech therapy, I have wanted to develop an innovative treatment that will help people communicate again after a stroke, brain injury, Parkinson’s or Dementia.
“The Innovate UK funding helped develop the mobile software but we still needed additional finance. Business Wales introduced me to Rhiannon Brewer at the development bank – she understood our business and showed a sincere desire for our success. She guided me through the process and we received the funds promptly. We found a reliable partner for this journey.”
Ms Montero Aquino added: “I’m grateful to the Development Bank of Wales, Business Wales and Innovate UK for their excellent support throughout.”
Rhiannon Brewer, a Senior Investment Executive with the Development Bank of Wales said: “Working in partnership with other funders and business support organisations to help ambitious and passionate business owners to succeed is what we do best.
“Each company we work with is different and every deal is bespoke so I was particularly pleased to work with Business Wales and Innovate UK to offer a funding package that really is making a difference to the business whilst improving people’s lives.
“The new product from Cog-Neuro will help to benefit some of the 15,500 people in Wales who are estimated to suffer with severe speech and communication problems.
“It’s very rewarding to know that our micro loan is now helping to ensure that people will receive the care they need to support independence and quality of life.”
David ap John-Williams, Business Wales Regional Manager for South Wales, said: “As well as supporting entrepreneurs and SMEs across Wales to start and expand, collaborating with other support organisations and stakeholders to offer a holistic approach that is tailored to the individual, is paramount to us.
“I am delighted that, together with the Development Bank of Wales and Innovate UK, our advisers were able to support Sheiladen and Cog Neuro to create a robust financial plan and secure the micro loan, as the business continues to develop their life-changing projects.”