Maryland Small Business Development Center

Communication Apptitude

Serving Anne Arundel, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George's Counties in Maryland

Communication Apptitude

Communication Apptitude


Communication Apptitude’s owners first came to the SBTDC in April 2013 for business plan training. Additional needs including some special business needs surfaced and were addressed in subsequent business counseling sessions.


Communication Apptitude owners Beth Lawrence and Deena Siefert are practicing speech pathologists who developed an interest in the related fields of language acquisition and language acquisition for special needs youth. In the course of their work they identified learning techniques that could be accelerated and enhanced by using and presenting them on technology platforms. Their trials and observations indicated that presenting their learning methods on technology platforms would have advantages over traditional classroom delivery methods in areas such as: being accessible during all hours of the day; fostering learning by using the interest of youth in using technology devices; consistent presentations that can be easily changed as learners make progress.

Business Needs

Together with SBTDC owners Beth Lawrence and Deena Siefert identified immediate business needs in several traditional business areas and in special technology areas:

  • Business organization and formation;
  • IP protection during business promotion;
  • Development of technology to support the learning methods;
  • Business development; and
  • Funding for development of the technology platform.

SBTDC Assistance – Business Formation and Organization

The SBTDC provided business plan development training and general business counseling in the start-up phase of the business. Owners Lawrence and Siefert have years of experience as sole practitioners which served as a business foundation. The SBTDC provided assistance in planning for a larger, multi-member organization to support the business plan.

SBTDC Assistance – Intellectual Property Issues:

The SBTDC Regional Technology Liaison and Technology Industry Manager provided general information and guidance in the area of IP protection by raising areas of concern and suggesting experienced legal resources in the area of IP law. The company has some unique issues concerning the development of derivative works. The owners followed the SBTDC’s advice and pursued legal council on the matter.

SBTDC Assistance – Business Finance

Owners Lawrence and Siefert used planning tools supplied by the SBTDC to estimate technology development and business start-up costs to pursue financing for development of the technology platform. The owners and the SBTDC were able to avoid using over-priced development resources and identify significantly more economical alternatives to develop the technology platform.

SBTDC Assistance – Outcomes

In October 2013 owner Beth Lawrence reported that the business has had significant success in some important business and technology areas. Through its initial and ongoing assistance from the SBTDC Business Counseling and Technology units the business has been formed and has begun operations. The intellectual property concerns in the areas of presentation of the technology in the public domain and derivative works creation have been addressed. Development of the technology application has been completed and is ready for testing and release. As a result, Communication Apptitude is presenting its beta version software at prominent trade exhibitions that is generating significant interest from the education field. The company has organized its crowd funding campaign to raise its initial $250,000 round of funding that will enable its product launch.

Communication APPtitude, LLC Today

Communication Apptitude is now poised to make very significant contributions in learning for developmentally disabled individuals, particularly youth. Its breakthrough developments in language acquisition method delivery are gaining interest from large public school systems and other significant organizations in the learning field. With no other existing systems of technology based on advanced classroom techniques, the next 12-24 months should present strong opportunities for the business, its customers and clients who can derive important benefits from Communication Apptitude’s technology-based pedagogic approach.

Posted: 04/15/2013