Oliver Wendt, Ph.D

Co-Founder & Chief Scientific Officer

Oliver is an Assistant Professor of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, and Educational Studies at Purdue University. As a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, he completed his M.A. in Special Education and finished his Ph.D. in the Transdisciplinary Augmentative and Alternative Communication Program at Purdue. He is director of the research lab on Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and Autism Spectrum Disorders. His current research investigates the efficacy of AAC strategies including graphic symbols, Picture Exchange Communication System, and speech-generating devices for individuals on the autism spectrum that present with little or no functional speech.

Michael Zentner, Ph.D., MBA

Co-Founder, President & CEO

Michael has most recently been an Entrepreneur in Residence with Purdue University’s Foundry where he coaches students and faculty as they bring ideas to market, and also a Senior Research Scientist with Information Technology at Purdue where he is co-Principal Investigator leading the measurement and assessment effort for Purdue’s Network for Computational Nanotechnology, a $15M research project. For 17 years prior to joining Purdue, Michael has been a founder, CEO, CTO, and senior team member of several technology companies in West Lafayette, Indiana and Denver, Colorado metro areas and has created novel technologies in optimization algorithms, collaboration, and knowledge management.

Diana Hancock, MBA

Co-Founder, Chief Operations Officer

Diana has over 15 years of experience in operational planning and execution as she spent the first part of her career in sales and marketing management in the automotive seating industry. At Johnson Controls she directed Advanced Marketing, Sales, Design and Business Intelligence activities to develop profitable new product opportunities with Automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers. At Purdue she served as Project Director for the HUBzero web-based platform for research, collaboration and education. Recently she has served as the Director of Commercialization for Information technology where she has nurtured key partnership opportunities, leveraging Purdue’s information technology resources in a commercial environment.


SPEAK MODalities develops evidence-based speech and language therapy apps for individuals with severe autism or developmental disabilities. 1 in 68 newborns are diagnosed with autism, a severe disorder characterized by devastating deficits in social interaction and communication. Up to 66% of these children will not have sufficient speech or language to meet their daily communication needs. Our products include capabilities to assess a child’s readiness for intervention, to increase their functional communication skills by providing an alternative voice, to engage them in early language learning, to facilitate their natural speech development, to enhance generalization skills, and to expand their social circles as they learn.


General Interest