Some of you may be receiving this email from AutismSees for the first time – we have added you to the blog on our website in order to keep in touch with you regarding iPresentWell.
Thanks for all the support at the 2014 Autism Speaks Investment Conference. Devika Patel and I were honored to have been invited to pitch our app, and we both learned so much.
We will be putting iPresentWell up on iTunes with a private link for beta testing next week.
Looking forward to staying connected to this amazing community of caring people!
WE ARE PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THAT AutismSees IS A FINALIST OUT OF 6 FOR THE TUFTS 100 K New Ventures Competition Social Track
The competition will take place on Monday April 7th at Tufts University!
If you can come see us pitch on April 7th we would appreciate the support! Thanks to everyone who has helped us get going so far!
Danielle Feerst – Founder
AutismSees has been selected to pitch our product in the 2014 Autism Speaks Investment Conference PitchJam for tech development in the Autism community.
Devika and I look forward to attending the conference in San Francisco March 4th-7th. We also will be attending an entrepreneurial bootcamp at Google’s campus. Please wish us luck! Potential funding and team development opportunities await for our beta of iPresentWell, which will be released on the 27th.
Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!
“Success is learning how to solve a customer’s problem. Success is not delivering a feature.” ~Mark Cook
AutismSees is proud to announce that our beta of iPresentWell will be available for FREE download on Feb 27th, 2014. We will encourage all of you to please download the app on iTunes and give us feedback for redesign and testing purposes.
Our team has had a lot of help and interest from various sources. One close friend, Alix Generous, a neuroscience researcher and woman with Aspergers Syndrome, has been helping our team with market research – Please take a look at her inspiring TEDx talk on being a woman leader with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Thanks Alix for being a positive role model in today’s society !
“Is social skill considered a key leadership capability in most companies? The answer is yes … People seem to know intuitively that leaders need to manage relationships effectively; no leader is an island. [...] A leader who cannot express her empathy may as well not have it all. [...] Social skill allows leaders to put their emotional intelligence to work.”
~Goleman, Daniel. “What Makes A Leader.” Harvard Business Review. Dec. 1998.
So to build the leaders of tomorrow – we need to provide tools for strengthening social and communication skills today. Especially for those who may have high intellectual ability without the capability to express themselves.
We hope you are having a great Holiday season. Our team has grown to include another friend and Human Factors engineer at Tufts with coding experience – Chris. He will be assisting us with web and logo design as well as coding.
We now have a working mockup of our app through software called Axure, which is allowing our team to improve product design, and to receive design feedback when we present our pitch deck.
Further, we have a business plan and roadmap for iPresentWell laid out for the spring, summer, and fall 2015.
We have made a continuing effort to involve individuals on the spectrum in our design, so that when we release app, we can credit the individual users who contributed to iPresentWell.
For some related interesting and informative listening visit: NPR – Young Adults with Autism Can Thrive in High Tech Jobs.
LASTLY: We are looking for the Autism community to reach out with any design ideas for future apps and games — Please leave us your feedback and responses by commenting or emailing us back!
Happy New Year 2014!
This morning’s local (Charleston, SC) paper, The Post and Courier, announces a new study by Shawn Rocco from Duke University about Autism.
On Friday, Aug. 2nd I drove to Myrtle Beach, SC to present our app idea and our mission to a group of summer campers, teens with Aspergers (ages 13-22). This is the target market and age range for the first launch of AutismSees. I presented our ideas to the kids to see if they wanted to be a part of the development process!!
The trip was great. I made 6 new friends at SOS Health Care who love video games, Pokemon, the Marines, movies, Candy Crush, technology, and each other! My journey was so fulfilling because the boys all had fantastic ideas for ways to use the product.
Most importantly, they told me why AutismSees needs to gamify the mobile application-so they will continue to practice eye contact! No one is going to pick up an app on their phone to improve their presentation skills if its not giving them something tangible back!! Especially a teenage boy.
The idea was well received: “So when we are talking to someone, we look respectful because we are making eye contact,” said Justin (age 22) when asked why he would want to use AutismSees’ new app.
We went to San Francisco to participate in the Autism Speaks Hackathon for building mobile applications and websites to promote secondary education, social skills improvement, and relationship building for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders. We made progress on front-end design, website development, team building, and market anaylsis.
Eye Tracking technology is cutting edge. Our application design corresponds to a wave of venture capital investment in eye tracking and facial recognition software. This means that our ability to bring AutismSees to market will depend on the growth, development, and investment in this new software.
We also discovered how many people are looking to incorporate communciation skills-building into interactive video games for users on the Spectrum. We are going to build our public speaking, dialogue, and presentation application on multiple different platforms. To do this, we will continue networking with groups we met in San Francisico. Overall, the Hackathon was a worthwhile experience, a great change to network with like-minded individuals, and an opportunity to bring our future customers a better product.
So today is the last day of the Twilio Autism Speaks Hackathon. What an experience. My trip to California has been much more rewarding than just this Hackathon. I have met the most gifted students both in high school and college who are working in tech. I have found potential teammates and a partner and friend at Stanford University.
We have plans for an updated website, we have finished the Logo design for AutismSees, and we are building an interactive mockup that shows the user’s progress by reporting achievements and rewards to parents, teachers, friends and care takers.
The next big step is to incorporate eye tracking software into our app design and just keep moving. Contact me if you all have any questions and look out for the next post!