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Speeko 2.0 launches as the startup surpasses 100,000 users

Following on the heels of a successful first three years, speech coaching app Speeko released its 2.0 update this week.

Speeko uses artificial intelligence and automated speech recognition to listen to how you speak, measuring a variety of metrics including words used and pacing to see if you sound professional. The app then gives you coaching specifically tailored to how you can best improve your speaking skills.

2020 was a huge year for Speeko. Since the start of the pandemic, the company has seen a 5x increase in business and has now surpassed 100,000 users.

The new 2.0 version of the app comes with several updates including redesigned speech coaching lessons and exercises, over 30 brand new courses and 200 activities, and feedback on word choice.

“These are covering all kinds of topics like articulation, pacing, intonation, but also even bigger topics like charisma, emotion, persuasion, how to sound more confident over online presentations,” said Nico Aguilar, CEO and co-founder of Speeko. “We’ve had a ton of people reach out saying that what they’re using Speeko for right now is becoming a better speaker productive on Zoom meetings and other online settings.”

The 2.0 update also comes with increased accessibility for users with low vision or hearing loss. The company worked with the consulting firm Assistive Technologies Consulting to assess the app for features that were inaccessible to switch control users. They’ve built extensive support for VoiceOver, switch control, and other assistive technologies and have added transcripts as an alternative to audio-based content.

“It’s all going towards our mission of democratizing this skill,” said Aguilar. “We want to democratize the learning of public speaking, take the mystery out of it, make it more accessible for everyone in the world.”

The app offers a free tier for users and a paid subscription tier that provides more advanced analytics for $11.99 per month or $49.99 per year.

Previous Coverage

Speeko awarded $25,000 at Startup Pitch Day in Jefferson -Oct. 9, 2019

Speeko is using technology to create better public speakers -Jan. 22, 2019

Speeko 2.0 launches as the startup surpasses 100,000 users | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
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