There is a lack of virtual culturally responsive pediatric speech-language therapy services available to children and families unable to receive in-person therapy sessions
Provide culturally responsive pediatric speech-language therapy services via teletherapy, which provides children access to services and allows caregivers flexibility
Service-oriented business to consumer (B2C) model providing both client-centered and family-centered services
75% children and caregivers: children ages 3-18 and caregivers ages 25+
25% schools: daycares and preschools/private schools/public schools
Large speech-language teletherapy companies; speech-language therapy clinics that offer a hybrid model of in-person and virtual speech-language therapy; in-home private speech-language therapy providers
USE OF FUNDS
30% Digital Therapy Tools, Materials & Protocols
25% Technology & Equipment
15% Insurance & Legal Services
15% Branding, Marketing, and Advertising
10% Continuing Education
5% Website Development
Why did you launch your company?
Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, I was operating my business as a sole proprietor and providing in-person pediatric speech-language therapy services to children in their home environment or daycare centers. However, the pandemic impacted my ability to continue to service clients in person and forced me to pivot my service delivery model. As a result, I launched HomeTele SLP during the summer of 2020 and began providing pediatric speech-language therapy services to children via teletherapy.
How has your formal education/experiences at Georgia State played a role in your becoming an entrepreneur?
My formal education and experiences at Georgia State University as a doctoral student and Georgia Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (GaLEND) Program fellow have further confirmed to me that I am on the right path in becoming an entrepreneur. Both are aligned with my business and current research interest, which is related to minority caregivers’ ability to effectively advocate for their child/children who receive public school special education services.
Have you always been entrepreneurial?
I have been around entrepreneurship my entire life due to the influences of my parents. My father owned a tile and stone installation, maintenance, and restoration business, and my mother has founded several for profit and non-profit businesses over the past 25 years. I began my entrepreneurial journey nearly 15 years ago after earning my master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology in Audiology from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida in 2007 and obtaining my Certificate of Clinical Competency from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association in 2008.
What advice can you offer to entrepreneurs?
I would advise entrepreneurs to start where you are and build from there. I love the following quote by American tennis player Arthur Ashe, “Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.”
What is your long-term goal(s)? For you? For the company?
My long-term goal is to eventually hire staff to increase the number of children and families that HomeTele SLP is able to serve. An additional goal that I have is to start a 501c3 for the advocacy component of the business. I personally look forward to writing books and speaking at engagements for professionals and caregivers on topics related to speech-language pathology, special education, and advocacy.
Is there anything about you, your business, and/or your team you would like to share?
I was inspired to become a speech-language pathologist over 20 years ago, following my youngest brother’s diagnosis with an autism spectrum disorder, a neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts communication. My passion to help my brother and other children with communication and neurodevelopmental disorders has shaped my professional career and entrepreneurial path. Additionally, my personal experiences in advocating for my brother have benefitted me professionally as I continue to serve as an ally for parents and caregivers of children with communication disorders.
Share a fun fact about yourself that most people don’t know.
I enjoy making bath and body products with essential oils, as I believe that self-care is the best care!