They say two minds are better than one and we couldn’t agree more at InnoCaption. It’s not common where you see a company with more than one Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to oversee the growth and success of the business, however, we found that two CEOs just works. Joseph Lee and Joe Duarte (no, we didn’t appoint two Joe’s on purpose) both play a vital role in making sure InnoCaption is offering the best technology and the best solution for its users. We’re here to tell you a little about the leadership team who brought our captioning technology to life.
Joseph Lee, Founder and Co-CEO of InnoCaption
Joseph grew up in South Korea as part of the post-war (Korean War) generation. His childhood was spent in a country that was rebuilding itself after a devastating war and one where a culture of hard work and sacrificing for the greater good were valued highly. In his formative years, Joseph learned leadership skills during his time serving in the Korean military as a First Lieutenant leading a platoon. He immigrated to the US in 1989 while working for Samsung and gained extensive knowledge in the mobile phone and telecommunications industry working for companies such as Qualcomm and Pantech.
In early 2007, Joseph first came up with the idea for InnoCaption and founded the company after reading that approximately 10% of the U.S. population had some form of hearing loss. However, like many great inventions, Joseph could never have guessed what InnoCaption would eventually become when he and his team of engineers first developed the underlying technology for the application. When InnoCaption was founded, most people were still using flip phones and few mobile phones had internet connections. It wasn’t until later that summer that Steve Jobs would unveil the iPhone and introduce the first app-based smartphone to the world. A few years later, InnoCaption also pivoted its business to focus on a mobile app captioning service to bring a truly modern accessibility solution to the market.
Now, Joseph finds a sense of purpose in his career by serving the deaf and hard of hearing community. He’s seen first-hand the kind of impact InnoCaption has on others and says there is no more rewarding a career as one where growing a business successfully means improving the quality of life for others.
A few years later, Joseph and Joe crossed paths. Joseph could see that Joe was an absolute believer in InnoCaption, and better yet, that he was a technologically savvy user who was always looking for better and better accessibility solutions in his daily life. As someone who was both a user and a tester of the application, and an advocate within the deaf and hard of hearing community, Joe was brought on to marry InnoCaption’s technology with the needs of those using it.
Joe Duarte, Co-CEO of InnoCaption
Joe Duarte was born in Portugal, where his hearing loss was repeatedly misdiagnosed until receiving his first hearing aid at age 4. He later moved to the U.S. during high school, eventually earning a degree in biomedical electrical engineering. Joe first discovered InnoCaption at a conference while it was still under testing and development. As soon as he tested the technology personally, he was blown away by its potential to completely change the lives of many other deaf and hard of hearing individuals. He was so inspired by the innovation that he got directly involved with the budding startup to help launch the app and share the technology with the world.
Joe believes that hearing loss is a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be a deterrent from the hard of hearing community living their lives. His direct experiences with InnoCaption provide a unique, first-hand perspective on the impacts that the technology can make, ensuring that the benefits to the user are always placed first and foremost. Joe’s philosophy is to refuse the idea that things are not technologically feasible, but rather, he is committed to finding a solution.
Both Joseph’s and Joe’s dedication to supporting the deaf and hard of hearing community has improved the lives of users all over the United States, and will continue to do so as they work alongside each other to make accessibility a reality.