Larry Guterman’s path toward cofounding the startup SonicCloud has led him through both Harvard and Hollywood. After receiving a physics degree from Harvard and an MA in film production from the University of Southern California, Guterman directed hit films including Antz (1998) and Cats & Dogs (2001). Yet, beginning in college, Guterman experienced worsening hearing loss, which eventually led him to seek out alternatives to expensive hearing aids--especially when it came to phone calls. In 2012, he and his college roommate, John Lederman, set out to create a smartphone app that could use cloud-based signal processing to improve the audibility of phone calls for those with hearing loss.
After raising $4 million in funding, the company launched SonicCloud in 2017, with its sights set on the millions of people worldwide who can’t afford hearing aids--but who already own a smartphone.