Finalist of Ajujaht, Recovery Companion tells how business idea development program STARTER helped to evolve their idea and can improve yours’s as well!
☑️As the Nike motto goes: “Just do it! Hackathons provide a great opportunity to have ideas come together with developers who ultimately can turn an intangible idea into a tangible one.
☑️A relentless drive to succeed is necessary as well, because the challenges you face when coming up with highly impactful ideas are far and wide. Don’t ever give up!
☑️The STARTER program gave us the right ecosystem to refine our idea and develop a plan to actually turn it into a reality. The final presentation at Latitude 59 was a great opportunity for us to showcase our idea to a public audience.
☑️Also, the STARTER program’s awesome prizes connected to TalTech Mektory and Tehnopol were critical for our initial momentum, as both of these organizations have given us a tremendous amount of mentorship, guidance and work spaces to collaborate as a team.
Idea was born from real life need
To start with, two of our co-founders, CEO Byron Sowerby and CCO Eric Jackson, have personal experience with loved ones going through cancer. So there was a personal understanding of cancer’s negative impact and the isolation it can cause, in addition to medical literature which shows having a peer-support network can lessen anxiety and depression for individuals with cancer, ultimately leading towards better recovery outcomes.
The idea itself however, occurred to Byron when he was in the hospital for a period of time and understood how isolated individuals can feel when they’re going through injury/disease. Fast forward to April of 2019 at the LapHack Health Hackathon, which gave Recovery Companion the opportunity to come to life, and ultimately winning the competition. This really gave us momentum to proceed with the idea, and we have since been supported by EIT Digital, Prototron, Tehnopol and TalTech Mektory. The access to funding and mentors who we enjoy working with has been the key to reaching this point.
Team was formed by passion for helping people and making a difference
Byron, Anu and Olga knew eachother earlier and met Eric through the STARTERtallinn program. We quickly understood that our skill sets and experiences internationally and professionally really blended well together as a team, along with our passion for helping people and making a difference.
Steps before Ajujaht in regards of developing idea
A lot of hard work and really understanding the needs of those going through cancer! We implemented a survey of 60+ cancer sufferers from Estonia in Estonian and gained a lot of valuable insight into their problems and the need for a communication platform between them. We worked with EIT Digital to develop a minimum viable product (recovcompanion.com) and realized that their needed to be a better framework for what we were doing and so a mobile application with automated matchmaking for a prototype was proposed to the Prototron committee. We were awarded funding to further develop this concept into a product.
Our current goals are to run UI/UX testing on user populations in order to understand how our application elements are structured and what has positive and negative feedback. Looking forward, we are currently collaborating with Eesti Vähiliit and the Lublin Health Cluster out of Poland to establish the framework for an interactive pilot for those suffering from cancer.
Photo by Ajujaht, JP Hion