All startups have their story of how they came about into existence. These stories are the epitome of the mission statement and why the team go to work every day. Stories resonate with people as well as inspire and create communities of people with similar experiences. Hz Innovations is no exception.

 

It all began in Rochester when Greyson moved into a house at the age of 20. He found his sense of independence continually hindered while living with a hearing roommate. He would constantly and unconsciously disturb his roommate’s sleep in middle of the night playing piano with old wood floorboards across the house. It arrived to the point where his roommate would wake up and tell him how much noise he was making. Why did his roommate have to explain that to him? Because Greyson is Deaf.

 

Another situation arose which pushed Greyson to realize something has to be done. Greyson’s girlfriend, Chrystal, has a daughter named Mckenzie.

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She is six years old. Chrystal and Mckenzie are both able to hear and communicates with Greyson through American Sign Language (ASL).

ASL sign

Chrystal left to run some errands and Greyson was responsible for babysitting Mckenzie for the next few hours. Greyson decided to prepare dinner for when Chrystal arrived back. Mckenzie wanted to play with Lucy, the new kitten they had just adopted. Mckenzie and Lucy were playing on the stairs in the room adjacent to the kitchen while Greyson threw some stuff in the oven. Five minutes later, Greyson went to check on Mckenzie. He found that she had missed a step and fell down the stairs and was crying for help.

At that point, the Deaf resident had lost confidence and the independence he once had at home. He knew there had to be a solution to make sure that essential sounds like unheard cries of an injured child would not go unheard. Click to Tweet: “I need a system that can alert me when certain sounds happen”, said the Deaf home-owner.

 

These experiences inspired him to start Hz Innovations which would do just that; allow people who are Deaf/hard of hearing to encounter sound and grant them the ability to recognize sounds in their surroundings. By creating a system to alert people of not only critical sounds like smoke detectors and children crying but also everyday sounds like appliances beeping and ringing doorbells, Greyson would be able to get back his confidence and independence, then share it with others all over the world.

 

There’s a fun paradox to this story; A Deaf founder who created a company that revolves around sound awareness. I see this as the most unique feature that allows Hz Innovations to deviate from other contenders in the sound industry. Greyson and another member of the team, Keith Delk, were born Deaf and they use hearing assistive devices. Being Deaf, they fully understand the problem. This is a huge advantage in pushing the company forward and knowing what our customers need.