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DyslexiType: 2014 High School Winner Update

Posted by Michelle Harden & Deborah Drake

Teenagers today have many choices about how to spend their time. Sports, gaming, social media, academics as well as some less savory activities. And what an inspiration it is when you discover a teenager who chooses to spend their time to developing a product to help young dyslexics learn to touch type rather than write. Typing results in a more expressive, enthusiastic and confident student because they don’t need to struggle with the mechanics of physical writing.

Founder of DyslexiType, Eli Weed observed the challenges his cousin Emily experienced and felt he could improve upon the existing products available.  His application is targeted specifically to aid the younger student. Furthermore, he will distribute the application free of charge.

Eli was a winner in Social Venture Partners’ Fast Pitch competition. He used his winnings to hire a development company to help him put together a more professional version of his product.  He also hired one of the SVP mentors who developed a great website for the product.

Surprisingly, one of his greatest challenges is to get testers to engage so that he gains the quality and quantity feedback he needs to continually improve the product. He is focused on finding organizations, schools and the exposure to tackle this next level in his product lifecycle.

Anyone who is interested, or knows of someone who would be appropriate to participate can visit his website here at http://dyslexitype.org. Please share this post with teachers and educator you know.

It is exciting to imagine what Eli’s future holds for him. A teenager who makes a choice to spend his time alleviating a pain point for a lifelong affliction of so many may well go on to solve even greater challenges.

We asked Eli’s mom how she felt about his project and progress:

“Eli is going through both the joys and the frustrations of social entrepreneurship and both are wonderful experiences. I would definitely recommend the SVP Fast Pitch process to any teenager with a great idea for helping people. Win or lose, the mentoring and lessons learned will help their future endeavors.”

This time last year, Eli was getting ready to prepare his Expo presentation materials  We look forward to keeping track of Dyslexi-Type for years to come.

We wish – and expect – continued success for Eli Weed.

P.S. We have it on good authority that Eli and his mom will be again at the Final Showdown, so if you are there, be on the look out for them.


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