Yobe Is

an intelligent approach to a more human voice experience. We unlock the potential of voice for modern brands. Voice technology today is held back by its inability to understand the deep meaning and emotion of human interactions. Yobe elevates voice technology to capture the nuances of everyday communication.

Yobe is designed for the real world, not in a lab. Our platform is purpose-built for live crowds and noisy environments to identify and decode human voice. Modeled on human hearing, Yobe’s signal processing techniques can decipher emotion, intent, mood, and other biological markers for an added layer of meaning. 

Yobe helps leading brands capture and retain the commercial value in their voice data from end-to-end. Hardware configuration agnostic and computationally light, our platform does not require an internet connection or hundreds of thousands of hours of speech and modeling training data. 

Yobe was founded in 2014 by Army veteran and serial entrepreneur Ken Sutton and Dr. Hamid Nawab, foremost PhD in signal processing and machine perception. Yobe is proudly based in Boston, Massachusetts.

Yobe. Voice that simply works.


The Yobe Team is lead by an Army Veteran turned serial entrepreneur in the finance and technology arenas, and a world-renowned AI & DSP Scientist (MIT Ph.D.), with support from Board members and Advisors who have served in senior roles for companies like TripAdvisor, Spotify, Echo Nest, Onshape, Acacia, Sonos, Oracle, and Snips

Ken Sutton

President & CEO (Co-Founder)

Ken is a serial entrepreneur who leveraged his nearly 20 years of Strategy, Product Development, and Business management experience to found Yobe.  Leveraging Voice Biometric and Frequency Enhancement IP he Co-authored, Ken built Yobe on the belief he had in the future of Voice technologies and human-machine interfaces. In addition to leadership roles in the areas of Finance and Marketing, prior to his tenure in technology Ken also served as a member of the US Armed Forces (Army).  Ken credits this diverse background as the key factor that has shaped his unique perspective on leadership and business as a whole.

S. Hamid Nawab PhD

Chief Scientist/Technology Advisor (Co-Founder)

Dr. Nawab is a renowned researcher, engineer (PhD, MIT ’82) and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Boston University. As an elected fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering for contributions to the analysis of complex biosignals from speech, auditory, and neuromuscular systems, Hamid has spent his career exploring the intersection of Signal Processing and Artificial Intelligence. Hamid pioneered the aging analysis of sounds, a key scientific breakthrough behind Yobe‘s sound shielding and voice tracking technology. He is also the main architect of the low-latency, power-efficient, on-edge Yobe algorithms that combine the power of aging analysis with the power of Yobe’s IP for the perceptual repair of audio signals.

Board and Advisors

Elliot Katzman

Elliot Katzman (Board Member), has more than 35 years of experience as a board member, founder, and senior executive, having built some of New England’s most successful technology companies. His investments include Acacia Communications (#1 technology IPO in 2016),  Echo Nest (acquired by Spotify), Seniorlink (acquired by TH Lee), and Cloudswitch (acquired by Verizon) to name a few.

James F Kenefick

James F. Kenefick (Board Member), is the co-founder and Managing Partner at Azafran Capital Partners. With a proven track record starting with EMC (acquired by Dell) James has played instrumental roles in the launching of multiple start-up companies and serves on the board of directors for several organizations.

Marlon Nichols

Marlon Nichols (Board Member), is the founding managing partner at MaC Venture Capital. Marlon has an extensive background in technology, private equity, media, and entertainment. Prior to MaC, Marlon was the founder of Cross Culture Ventures and served as Investment Director at Intel Capital. Some of his current and previous portfolio companies include Blavity, Gimlet Media, LISNR, Mayvenn, MongoDB, PlayVS, and Pipe.

Dave Rodger

Dave Rodger (Advisor) is a Product development executive with over twenty years of experience building mobile, data, and commercial software in a variety of markets and for a variety of customers. Dave has had Senior product roles for companies like Spotify, Echo Nest, and Trip Advisor.

Stephen Bauer

Stephen Bauer (Advisor) has 20+ of experience helping startups build their go-to-market strategy, teams, and revenue from scratch. This includes working closely with product marketing and customer acquisition teams, helping draft commercial agreement frameworks and templates, and negotiating complex contracts. Stephen has had senior business development roles for companies like, Sonos, Snips,Mailjet, and Oracle.

Duane McKnight

Duane McKnight (Advisor), is Managing Partner at Marathon. His investment career has been dedicated to supporting entrepreneurship, especially within underrepresented business communities. Duane joined Syncom as a senior analyst and has served in a variety of portfolio board positions and internal leadership capacities, most notably roles involving deal origination and due diligence / financial analysis.

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