Penticton entrepreneur heads to Toronto for TEDX

Tarik Sayeed, Founder of BabyTaxi will present at TedXToronto on October 2, 2014 at Koerner Hall.
Image Credit: Tarik Sayeed

PENTICTON - Less than a year ago, Tarik Sayeed quit his stable job and invested his personal savings into a startup company that he felt would better society. Next month he will represent his company and Penticton at TedXToronto — one of Canada’s largest TED conferences.

Sayeed is scheduled to give a presentation on an advanced computer software program that translates gestures into words, making it easier for the deaf and hard-of-hearing to communicate with others.

His company, BabyTaxi, used this software to create an app that can be used on laptops, tablets and smart phones to help people communicate in everyday settings.

Sayeed got the idea after he saw a woman struggling to communicate with a store clerk at a grocery store. The woman made gestures but couldn’t get through to the clerk.

“She walked away empty handed and with teary eyes,” Sayeed said.

Gesture translation software just came out this year, and so far Microsoft is BabyTaxi’s only competition. Sayeed expects the company to be on the trading market in less than a year. But he’s not doing it for the money.

“What is more important, besides helping the community, is being able to put a mark on the map for Penticton,” he said.

There’s a good chance high profile persons in the technology industry will see Sayeed’s presentation at TedXToronto, either in person or via video, he said. He hopes the attention garnered from his presence at the event will put Penticton on the map and inspire other companies to move or start business in the Okanagan.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Meaghan Archer at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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