Expressable3 MINUTE READ

A Letter from Expressable’s President Leanne Sherred, M.S., CCC-SLP

Today’s a big day for everyone at Expressable - for us founders, our incredible speech-language pathologists, extended team, and the thousands of families we’ve had the privilege of serving. 

We’re pleased to announce that we’ve landed a seed stage investment from Lerer Hippeau and Nextview ventures, with participation from Amplifyher ventures

We couldn’t have found better partners to help accelerate the vision we’ve been committed to since the very beginning: expanding access to the highest quality speech therapy care for everyone in need. 

This fundraise marks an exciting new chapter in our company’s history. And we’re just getting started.

Where it all began

The job of a speech-language pathologist (SLP) holds so many joys. We get to wake up every morning and set our minds to the task of enabling children and adults to convey their wants, needs, thoughts, and feelings to others - something that you might take for granted if you’ve never struggled to communicate. 

What never gets old is witnessing first words, seeing a smile break across the face of a child who stutters as they speak with ease, or the relief on a family’s face as their mother begins to regain the language that was perhaps lost after a stroke. It is what SLPs show up for and we strive to help others reach these outcomes.

With that said, the field of speech-language pathology is not without its challenges. In America, nearly half of the five million children with a speech or language disorder go untreated. That’s a travesty. It’s hard to watch these traditional barriers to care, like exorbitant costs and inaccessibility, prevent families from receiving quality services. And it’s heartbreaking to see the personal and financial sacrifices families are forced to make just to help their child.

The spark of an idea

Everyday I’d bring these struggles home to the dinner table. And my husband Nick, in his endless patience, was forced to hear me lament. Fortunately, these problems didn’t land on deaf ears. Nick comes from a digital health background, with many years in product development and health policy. 

What started off as some idealistic rambling soon hatched into a dinner napkin business idea. 

What if we could use technology to not only enhance the delivery and effectiveness of speech therapy, but also remove operational costs to make it more accessible? And what if we could simultaneously provide an unmatched working experience for our speech-language pathologists, allowing us to hire and retain the most talented W2 professionals in the industry? 

Most importantly - what if we could elevate the standard of care? Today, Expressable Academy, our parent-focused education platform, includes hundreds of home-based learning modules that help families reinforce skill-building exercises throughout the week. It contains educational content, instructional videos, and homework assignments, all designed to empower families to integrate speech therapy techniques into their child’s daily life. Best of all, parents can message their therapist via secure SMS anytime with questions or to check in on progress. 

We went all in, and haven’t looked back.

Where we’re going from here

As I’ve quickly learned as a founder, money changes nothing - and absolutely everything - at the same time. Our founding mission, and the ethos we live by as individuals and a collective, remains the same. 

However, we now have the luxury of adding more exceptional therapists to our clinical team and expanding coverage beyond the 16 states we currently operate. This money will also allow us to soon begin working with commercial and Medicaid plans so that we can reach more families and impact more lives. And finally, our attention will turn to accelerating investment and releasing the next version of Expressable Academy. 

The excitement I have for the future of Expressable is boundless. I couldn’t be more grateful to our incredible investors for sharing our vision; and thankful for the thousands of families that have entrusted Expressable to help them reach their communication goals. 

And on a final note, it goes without saying that Expressable would be nothing without the greatest clinical team in the world. The passion, conviction, and talent you bring to Expressable and our clients everyday is simply extraordinary. Many of you took a risk on Expressable in our early days, while we were still getting our footing, with nothing more than a belief in our mission. Thank you. And to each of our wonderful colleagues, please know that I’m forever indebted and always grateful. 

I can't wait for everything that we're going to accomplish, together.

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