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The People Behind the Technology

We’re a team of doers, building world-class products to enable natural interactions and emotional engagement with digital characters—all through the power of voice.

 
 
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We’re on a mission...

To empower customers to connect authentically with audiences, by providing science-based, easy-to-use, voice-driven technology that brings any digital character to life.

 
 
PEOPLE

Meet our team

Gregor Hofer

Co-founder
CEO

 

Gregor is the CEO and co-founder of Speech Graphics. He holds a PhD in Informatics from the University of Edinburgh, and previously served as a research fellow at the School of Informatics. In addition, he spent time as a senior researcher at the Telecommunications Research Centre in Vienna where he successfully commercialized a text-to-speech prototype that now powers several government websites. Gregor has also co-authored grants worth £1.5MM to fund the commercialization of technology. Through his leadership, Speech Graphics has become the leading facial animation software used by 9 of the top 10 video game publishers.

Michael Berger

Co-founder
CTO

 

Michael is the CTO and co-founder of Speech Graphics. His lifelong fascination with language led to his beginnings as a theoretical linguist and speech scientist. An avid inventor working at the crossroads of language and technology, he is also a software engineer who has been a pioneering expert in the field of speech technology for over 25 years. Through this work, he helped create the first-ever automated talking head, later developing state-of-the-art techniques in realistic synthesis of facial dynamics from audio. He architects the Speech Graphics Core and leads the team to strive ever toward perfection in audio-driven animation output.

Attila Vass

VP of Engineering

Attila is the VP of Engineering at Speech Graphics. A coder at heart, Attila was Sony PlayStation’s first R&D engineer in the U.S. and focused on graphics and network technologies before shifting to platform security. He was VP, Mobile Technologies for Next Media Animation Ltd. in Hong Kong and Taipei, and served as CTO for Mine Inc. in Berlin. Attila also spent five years in Japan working on cutting edge game technologies for Microsoft, SEGA, and CSK before heading to Toronto to work on polygon manipulations in Power Animator and Maya for Alias/Wavefront. At Speech Graphics, Attila leads a team architecting the future of real-time animation platforms.

Alan Murray

CFO
 

Alan is the Finance Director at Speech Graphics with extensive experience driving results in data and technology businesses. A qualified Accountant, he spent time at Ernst & Young in London before spending 16 years in leadership roles at Wood Mackenzie, including as VP of Corporate Development and as Managing Director of the Petroleum Edge Joint Venture Company. While there, he led mergers and acquisitions, resulting in three successful closed deals, and post-merger integrations with international teams. Alan also volunteers as a board member, business mentor, and advisor for multiple Scottish enterprises.

Dr. Dimitri Palaz

Director of Machine Learning
 

Dr. Dimitri Palaz is the Director of Machine Learning at Rapport, where he leads the machine learning team. He holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the Swiss Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, obtained in 2016, where he led pioneering research applying deep learning on speech processing at Idiap Research Institute in Switzerland. He received a M.Sc. in Electronics and Electrical Engineering also from EPFL in 2011. He is the main author of 10+ peer-reviewed scientific papers with 700+ citations and has served as a reviewer for the three most important conferences in machine learning (ICML, NIPS and ICLR) since 2016. At Rapport he leads the R&D efforts to develop novel machine learning approaches to improve audio-driven facial animation.

James Scott

CXO
 

With a background in digital experience design and business transformation, James’ focus at Rapport and Speech Graphics is to continuously improve the way we guide our clients to choosing the best facial animation package for their needs. For over 25 years, James has demonstrated his flair for the creative application of technology, through a blend of CX strategy, product and service design, sales, marketing and client services. From award winning digital transformation projects (BDP, Kenwood, Metro Bank, NSPCC, PA Consulting) to omni-channel experience design solutions demonstrating outstanding performance improvements (The Landmark Trust, RICS, De'Longhi Group), James helps clients across a diverse range of sectors maximise efficiency and effectiveness through innovation.

Zhi Chen 

Technical Art Director
 

Zhi is the Technical Art Director at Rapport. An avid gamer and industry veteran, he has spent the last two decades developing games across all major platforms. His passion for character development and drive for the highest quality is on full display from small games to big AAA franchises. Before joining Rapport, he spent seven years at Microsoft releasing multiple titles in the Halo series He has also dipped his toes into VR, designing Linden Lab's avatar creation and customization systems for their virtual world. At Rapport, Zhi leads a team of creatives bringing Rapport's technology to life.

Colin Macdonald

Advisor
 

Colin entered the games industry in 1990 producing dozens of games including licenses of Lemmings and Prince of Persia, and the early games of the multi-billion dollar Grand Theft Auto franchise. He was a Co-Founder and Studio Manager of Realtime Worlds, where he helped raise >$100m in investment and oversaw the BAFTA-winning game Crackdown. In his role as Channel 4 Television’s Games Commissioner, he commissioned dozens of games, which amassed millions of downloads, and won BAFTA, Digital Emmy, Broadcast Digital, and BIMA awards. He now runs online games recruitment events Games Jobs Live, as well as indie publisher Indie Champions, is Commercial Director of Rivet Games, is on the advisory board of UK Games Fund, and advisor to facial animation specialists Speech Graphics.

Fiona Proudler

Advisor
 

Fiona is a veteran agency marketer with over three decades of experience in marketing and digital advertising for an array of UK and international brands, and most recently served as CEO of AmazeRealise (now Kin + Carta Connect), which reached £35MM ARR under her leadership, with over 350 team members in five cities, including the U.S. Fiona understands the crucial building blocks needed for a business to grow and succeed. Her experience covers every sector from tech to retail, e-commerce to beverages, and media to sport. In early 2021, she launched her own consulting practice and also served as a Virtual Brand Marketing Director™ for leading brand agency Tayburn.

Jeremy Bailenson

Advisor
 

Jeremy is the founding Director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, a Faculty leader at Stanford’s Center for Longevity, and is a Professor in their Dept. of Communication. He also holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Northwestern and his research has been funded by the National Science Foundation for 20+ years. Jeremy’s many studies often focus on how virtual experiences lead to changes in perceptions of self and others. Most recently, he’s been featured in every prominent media publication in the U.S. and abroad around his research about the Zoom fatigue we’ve all been feeling during COVID, and how to combat it.

Doug Montgomery

Board Director
 

Doug serves as Director on the Board at Rapport. A highly experienced commercial leader, Doug spent over 15 years as the Global Head of Sales + Marketing for Wood Mackenzie, delivering sustained double-digit revenue growth. During his tenure, Wood Mackenzie was also acquired by Verisk of the U.S. for £1.8billion in 2015. He also spent four years as a Non-Executive Director at Westwood Global Energy Group. In addition to his role at Rapport, Doug also serves as an active Non-Exec for Libertine FPE Ltd.

 

Our Guiding Principles

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Make it Easy

Our products are built to reduce complexity, friction, and time-to-market.

 
 
 
 
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Go Deep

We solve hard problems and hold ourselves and our tech to a higher standard.

 
 
 
 
 
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Stay Human

Our team understands, embraces, and addresses the human experience.

  
 
 
 
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Build Trust

We seek to create products and experiences that foster deeper connections.

 
 
 
 
 

Join our curious and creative culture.

We believe in the power of diverse teams, and our world-class scientists, technologists, marketers, and artists come from many countries and backgrounds. Want to be part of building the future of human-machine communication?

 
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Join our curious and creative culture.

We believe in the power of diverse teams, and our world-class scientists, technologists, marketers, and artists come from many countries and backgrounds. Want to be part of building the future of human-machine communication?

 

Edinburgh

61 Dublin Street
Edinburgh EH3 6NL
United Kingdom

Budapest

Kapás u. 6-12. A. ép. IV. em.
Budapest 1027
Hungary

San Fransisco

2121 Webster St
San Francisco, CA 94115
United States of America

Our Partners

 
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Our Investors

 
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Join the waitlist and get early access to our platform.

We’re giving early access to people who are building something innovative and future-proof. People like us, basically. Sign up to be one of the first to build the future with our technology.

Be one of the first developers to test out the Rapport platform and help build the future of Audio Animation.