04/22/2016 4:08PM EDT
Igor Jablokov was founder and CEO of Yap, an institutionally-funded venture that pioneered cloud-based speech recognition. Its technology was deployed by numerous customers, including Microsoft and Sprint, and received accolades for their innovations, including being named North Carolina’s Early Stage Company of the Year and as a finalist at the first ever TechCrunch Disrupt conference. The startup was subsequently acquired by Amazon and is integrated into successful products such as the Alexa Voice Service platform, the Echo speaker, and the Fire TV set top box.
To support his role as a Blackstone EIR, Igor serves on the board for the Council for Entrepreneurial Development and as a Venture Partner at Rubicon Venture Capital. Igor also advises Penn State’s College of Engineering and the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers. He was awarded Eisenhower and Truman National Security Fellowships to deepen collaboration between government and industry.
Prior to founding Yap, Igor was Program Director of IBM Software Group’s multi-modality initiatives, leading a worldwide team that created the first speech-enabled Web browser. Additionally, he was a mentor for IBM’s Extreme Blue internship program and Chairman of the VoiceXML Forum, an industry group championing a standards-based vision of speech computing. Igor previously held positions with IBM’s Pervasive Computing, PartnerWorld, Global Industries and MicroElectronics divisions.
With over a dozen patents granted and pending, he was named an industry luminary by Speech Technology magazine and an outstanding engineering alumnus of Penn State. Igor holds an undergraduate degree in computer engineering from The Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from The University of North Carolina.