Product developer for Blackberry, iPhone to kick off speaker series

Igor Jablokov, CEO of Yap, Inc., a company specializing in audio-to-text conversions, will be the first speaker for the Norbert and Audrey Gaelen Entrepreneur Speaker Series for the fall 2009 semester. His presentation will be on “The Origins of Yap Inc.: How do You Start a Company in an Industry Filled With Loud Mouths?"

The event, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 24, in 112 Walker Building. There will be a brief reception with refreshments at 4:15 p.m. followed by the presentation at 4:30 p.m.

Founded in 2006, Yap, Inc. pioneered the world's first speech-to-text platform that did not rely upon humans for conversions. The company's technologies provide the foundation for innovative analytics, messaging, search, translation and voicemail services for commercial or government applications.

Yap’s technologies have been used in such applications as IM+ for Blackberry and iPhone, which uses Yap's platform to convert speech into instant messages, and YouMail, which converts incoming voicemails into text. The company has helped create leading products such as Apple's iPod, IBM's ViaVoice and Nuance's Dragon.

The company has reached wide acclaim for its work in curbing texting while driving, allowing it to be selected as a finalist in Silicon Valley’s TechCrunch event, often referred to as the "American Idol" of the technology industry. It also was named North Carolina's Early Stage Company of the Year in 2007.

The company is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., and is venture financed by SunBridge Partners and Harbert Venture Partners.

Jablokov, who has served as Yap’s CEO since its inception, is a 1997 computer engineering graduate of Penn State.

Established in fall 2008, the Norbert and Audrey Gaelen Entrepreneur Speaker Series is made possible through an endowment by Norbert and Audrey Gaelen. Each semester, the series brings successful entrepreneurs to the University for entrepreneurship-focused events to foster Penn State’s innovation culture.

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Last Updated September 22, 2009