Harry Herzberg, an undergraduate computer science student at Oregon State University, was recently recognized as an Inno Under 25 entrepreneur by Portland Inno.
Herzberg is a co-founder of Transcribbit (formerly known as Alerty), a mobile app to help students, particularly those with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, perform better in class by transcribing lectures in real time. The inspiration behind the app came from Herzberg’s personal experience of struggling to maintain focus during lectures due to his ADHD.
“I’ve had many classes where I’ve missed the teacher talking about the homework assignment, or a key point,” Herzberg said in a recent interview. “Then I’m spending the entire day or even weeks trying to catch up, just because I missed that one important point.”
Shortly after earning the honor, Transcribbit secured CodeLaunch, a business accelerator, as its first customer.
“I got to meet Harry at our pitch competition in North Texas,” said Jason Taylor, president of CodeLaunch. “He and his partner Ian were exceptionally impressive in presenting their startup ChangeFinder, so naturally I wanted to learn about his other venture, Transcribbit. We are using his innovative tool to transcribe the videos we post produce after our event.”
Herzberg has been working with Oregon State’s InnovationX program, which helps students develop their entrepreneurial skills, throughout the app development and business-building process. Matt Booher (B.S. speech and communications ’90), director of strategic partnerships at Alma and an InnovationX mentor, was matched with Herzberg and Transcribbit.
Booher saw the value of the application, not only for people with ADHD but for a broader audience as well. With his access to the education technology market, Transcribbit is currently being piloted in a few K-12 schools. Booher believes the three critical factors that will make Transcribbit a success are the company’s team, purpose, and timing in the market.
“The team, including the advisory board, is passionate about their mission to serve people with disabilities and the general population,” Booher said. “And there is no other comparable product on the market, especially in the K-12 space.”
Herzberg is grateful for the Inno Under 25 award, which he believes will help him further develop Transcribbit.
“I believe in this with all my heart, and it’s nice to receive external validation,” he said. “The most useful part about something like this, though, is that it’s something that can be used as an entry point to conversations to help potential customers understand how the app works.”
Herzberg also noted that seeing his parents’ pride over the award was a great experience.