Deaf people face many problems in a world so connected with sounds. Although they do not see themselves as impaired but rather as a cultural and linguistic minority, they have difficulties to connect with the hearing majority. Is it a big problem? There are around 72 million deaf people worldwide but only 15000 interpreters. Migam comes to solve this with an app that provides video calls to connect a person with a sign language interpreter so a deaf person can solve an issue at the city council or in a shop. The distance between the hearing and the deaf person is cut with just one click.
Przemek Kuśmierek started Migam in 2011 with sign language courses. In 2012 Sławek Łuczywek and in 2013 Agnieszka Osytek joined the company which resulted in 2014 in a launch of a free translating video service. Today, they have 62 clients and 40.000 users in Poland. Migam’s business model is based on B2B2C, namely establishing partnerships with businesses and public institutions that pay a monthly fee. Many institutions and businesses are obliged by the law to provide an interpreter. Businesses can also treat it as a part of a CSR program but also an opportunity to attract new clients. The biggest partners are, just to name a few, Polish National Railways, T-mobile, ING, Orange, Samsung.
They are looking for investors to gather 2 mln euros to expand in 2016 to UK, Italy, Bulgaria, Germany, France and Sweden. In 30 months they want to be in 10 countries having 5000 clients and many happy customers. What is helping them with the expansion plans is having won the Virgin Mobile competition in 2013 and having Richard Branson’s support for the project. This year they have won the regional round of the The Venture competition by Chivas and will be going to the finals in New York in July.
Migam plans to introduce yet another innovation – an automatic sign language translator to let people solve easy problems with an automatic translator as we all do with any other language thanks to google translate. They want to do business to make the world a better place by eliminating communication barriers to make our society more welcoming to the deaf minority. They are definitely on the right track.