Natasha Ducali, co-founder of B & D Social LLC, is that classic entrepreneur who conceived of a better way to do something and launched a startup around it despite their lack of business experience.
“I am visually impaired and I had this idea to start a dating app for those with visual loss disabilities,” she said. “I am a mom of two and thought I didn’t have the time or expertise. However, my co-founder Kyle Blanchard, who does have business experience, loved the idea and pointed out much more that I could do with the concept. The more we told people about it, the more they encouraged us. We want to change the way that tech helps people with disabilities.”
The mission of B & D Social is to change the way people communicate. The first effort is to provide customizable communication apps to individuals with disabilities.
“Our first app is ParaSocial, which is geared for people with multiple disabilities,” Ducali explained. “We’re starting with vision and hearing and we’ll follow with autism, Down ’s syndrome, ADHD and we’ll launch our MVP as a resource and educational app. Our competition has not made an app yet that does what our app will. We want to take tech like audio reader and ZoomText and make it an app that’s fully customizable. If you want to know what agencies and/or services exist for your disability, we’ll connect you.”
The end goal is to make one app that is for people with disabilities to meet their communication needs. “For example, if you want the Target app and have a disability, then maybe that red is too bright,” Ducali said. “We want to be able to give you that power and put that power in your pocket so whatever your disability is there’s nothing you can’t do with this app. Most tech for those with disabilities is 20 years old.”
Ducali’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to move forward despite your fear. “I wish I had been told this years ago,” she said. “My fear of ‘I can’t do this’ and ‘I’m not tech savvy’ kept me in a holding pattern for two years. Don’t be crippled by the fear. Take the chance; take the leap. It’s better to fail and know you tried than to never have given it a second thought.”