The Voice in Smart Data


Globalization finds disparate countries with distinct cultures and languages doing business together, but struggling to understand one another. The world is becoming increasingly more connected through technology, yet the cultural and language communication gap continues to widen. With the current lack of focused tools to help people engage in an empathetic and sensitive manner, the instances of fostering healthy cross-cultural interactions are few and far between. The commonplace misunderstandings, friction, and tension that result from frequent cross-cultural communication stems from one critical source, the inability to accurately pronounce a person’s name.



Commonplace misunderstandings that result from cross-cultural communication stems from the inability to pronounce a person’s name. 


Our company formed around the imperative to build applications that help people forge stronger business relationships through the power of proper name pronunciation. Our guiding principle is to enable exceptional communication experiences. We strive to be the industry standard resource for name pronunciation.

Our solution is Canary, the first of its kind, intelligent database of vocalized name pronunciations. Canary is comprised of a platform and database that will allow users to capture, store and share their proper name pronunciation in their own spoken voice in order to promote positive and streamlined global marketplace communication. Canary has the opportunity to be a transformative and paradigm shifting solution for businesses that interface with their customers, elevating the overall customer engagement experience and creating unparalleled competitive advantage. The need for businesses to possess cultural intelligence today, especially in a constantly evolving environment and cluttered marketplace, is mission critical in terms of how companies achieve high customer satisfaction and optimize revenue opportunities.

What Gracenote is to the music industry as the largest database of video and music metadata that powers the most popular entertainment products, apps and services, we aim to be the most robust platform for name pronunciation data that will help enterprises build trust and meaningful relationships with their customers.

Additionally, what LinkedIn is to the global workforce as a social networking service that connects professionals with the purpose of creating economic opportunities, we aim to connect working professionals across the globe by providing access to a platform and communication tool that makes building connections simpler through name pronunciation, resulting in shared economic value.

How the system works







At its core, Canary is entering the very established “data-driven” market. The sphere of capturing, curating, managing, and sharing user data. Canary’s unique value proposition is that we a re creating a valuable experience with previously unused data, the digital audible pronunciation of names. The primary method for capturing this data point will be directly through our partner’s and customer’s platform. A seamless applet or widget will be integrated into the user profile build or edit section of their platform. Additionally, direct access will be provided to the Canary web portal.

About Canary

Canary is designed as a third party application that will live in the management systems marketplace, such as CRM, providing support to a multitude of industry sectors.

Your name is important and the solution is simple.




Our vision is a world in which communicating across cultures becomes simple and intuitive, empowering people to forge more meaningful connections.



Our mission is to capture and share the proper pronunciations of names for a universal understanding.


About the Team

Canary originated from the Venture studio of the graduate DMBA Design Strategy program at California College of the Arts. Canary started with four co-founders; Eric Ellis, Nick Lawrence, Noreen Santini and Andrew Young. Canary is focused enabling exceptional communication experiences and analytics of “smart data.” We are determined to remove the biases and factors of avoidance that stifle productivity and business development opportunities, promoting more fruitful engagement.

Eric Ellis

Eric is a successful people strategist having significant experience in the areas of training and development, organizational change, recruiting, and employment practice development. He has worked for noted software companies such as HubSpot, JumpTap, Tea Leaf Technologies, and WorldCare Inc. Eric has an innate ability to bring people together. He is a charismatic motivator and passionate advocate for a new way of assessing, motivating and managing talent.. He is able to see into the heart of business problems while bringing relevant solutions.

Nick Lawrence

Nick has six years of experience working at Christie’s, the international fine arts auction house. For the majority of his time at Christie’s, he worked in the Interiors sale venue where he had cross-functional responsibilities ranging from overseeing the daily logistical operations of consigned property and catalogue production for the furniture and decorative arts teams to being the content development lead for the department’s marketing and branding initiatives. He most recently interned with Gensler in their consulting group, working in a research capacity on projects around workplace strategy and innovation. As a student in the MBA in Design Strategy program at California College of the Arts he is committed to learning how to harness the power of interdisciplinary collaboration to unlock innovative potential and strategies for growth for organizations.

Noreen Santini

Noreen is a seasoned designer focusing on user experience for companies such as PayPal, Arup Engineering, and Embarcadero Technologies. She spent the last decade working on software products, which included design strategy for the avionics firm, Avidyne. She is a detailed oriented systems thinker with an inherent ability for connecting the dots.

Andrew Young

Andrew has a background in design and mathematical patterns. He has served as a visual designer, UX / UI lead and analyst of digital design operations. He has spent many years in; children’s publishing, the toy industry, photography to support large corporations, web development, and eCommerce. He is not afraid of challenging norms and assumptions while keeping the end users as the primary focus.


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