The Rise of York Butter Factory Residents 121Cast
January 18, 2013

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From The Verge to TechChrunch, CNet, Lifehacker, The Next Web, and Gizmodo, York Butter Factory residents 121 Cast are making waves in the tech scene for their text-to-speech transcription service, named SoundGecko.

Essentially, SoundGecko is a service that allows you to transform articles and text from websites, RSS feeds, and PDF files into speech over the cloud – this means less battery consumption on your mobile devices, and transcriptions speeds that aren’t limited to the hardware on your device.

Since their launch, Soundgecko has released a Chrome Extension, iOS, Windows 8, and Android apps, and have received both Microsoft Skydive and Dropbox integration; an impressive feat for the startup. It comes as no surprise then, that the 121Cast team have recently released a WordPress plugin for the popular blogging site. Dubbed the ‘Listen Button’, the plugin allows users to easily listen to the post on their device through the SoundGecko text-to-speech process. Since the soft-launch of the plugin, it has now been installed in over 90 prolific blogs and websites.

We’ve also just installed the SoundGecko plugin for the York Butter Factory website – you can find it at the start of each post, and we invite you to try out the fantastic service.

We here at the York Butter Factory are avid SoundGecko users, and have been using it quite extensively to help us consume content while multi-tasking.

It also looks like we’re not the only fans of the 121 Cast team – the team has recently raised $250,000 from the Optus Singtel Innov8 seed fund, with co-investment from Adventure Capital, also residents of the York Butter Factory.

At the York Butter Factory, 121 Cast have been active in embedding themselves in the community and bringing value to the co-working ecosystem that surrounds our co-working space. They’re regular participants at our YBF Show and Tell sessions, and have been invaluable in helping out their fellow residents where possible.

The 121 Cast team embodies the culture that is persistent at the York Butter Factory; active participation, a willingness to share both knowledge and skills, and the drive to ultimately get things done.

We’re proud to be hosting the 121Cast team at the York Butter Factory, and the many other resident startups, businesses, and residents that are positioned for big wins in 2013.


Note: 121Cast Co-Founder Long Zheng recently shared in a YBF Show and Tell session that a post on his blog, IStartedSomething, achieved over 35,000 views in a day, and received over 1,000 upvotes on Hacker News (with a personal reply from Paul Graham). Check out his post here.