The Microsoft ScaleUp program is designed for Series A startups and offers access to sales, marketing and technical support. Eligible startups partake in the immersive program at one of our seven global locations followed by ongoing support from a dedicated team of success managers. One of the ScaleUp locations is Microsoft ScaleUp Berlin, where a dedicated team around Managing Director Iskender Dirik twice a year supports a batch of up to 10 startups with coaching, training and technical support. In this blog series we will introduce one of the participating startups from our third batch each Tuesday and Thursday.
Be My Eyes is a free mobile app with the goal to make the world more accessible for blind and low-vision people. The app connects blind and low-vision individuals with sighted volunteers and companies from all over the world through a live video call to help them tackle everyday tasks and to solve problems together. Be My Eyes story started in Denmark in 2012 with Hans Jørgen Wiberg, a Danish furniture craftsman, who is visually impaired himself.
One of the biggest challenges for the startup before the start of the ScaleUp program was to crack the code on how to best scale their specialized help offering and thereby enable more companies to provide a good customer support to the more than 253 Million blind and low-vision people in the world. “The incredible team and mentors atScaleUp have really helped us with a structured approach to this, and their inputs, ideas and contacts have made a big difference for us”, says Alexander Hauerslev Jensen, Chief Operations Officer at Be My Eyes.
Watch the video interview with Be My Eyes CCO Alexander Hauerslev Jensen and CEO Christian Erfurt to learn more about the startup:
Since they launched their app in January 2015, more than 1,700,000 volunteers have signed up to assist more than 100,000 blind and low-vision users. Users can request assistance in over 180 languages making the app the biggest online community for blind and low-vision people as well as one of the largest micro-volunteering platforms in the world. Microsoft was the first collaborator to join the platform and put together a video to showcase the services and profile from Be My Eyes user, David, from Seattle in the United States.
Having built up this community of 1,700,000 volunteers who have signed up to assistmore than 100,000 blind and low-vision users, does count as success, but is not enough for Alexander Hauerslev Jensen and his team: “There are 253 Million people in the world that are blind or have low vision, so we have just touched the surface.” Their mission is to make the world more accessible to everyone, which is why their focus is on continuing to grow the community of both blind and low-vision users, volunteers and companies.