AUesome: play kits for children with autism
This blog is authored by the LaunchX 2020 Team AUesome, a startup whose service aims to bridge the digital and physical world of at-home therapy for families with special needs, one kit at a time.
AUesome’s vision is to simplify the at-home therapy process for parents of children with autism by combining a physical play kit with an app that serves as an accompanying training tool for the activities in the kit.
Based on interviews with experts from medical research centers, professors, and therapists, they determined that the three main aspects to effective at-home therapy for children with autism are parent-implemented intervention, personalized training, and sensory and tactile learning. After conducting a detailed competitive analysis, they concluded that no other app or at-home training service provides all three of these aspects to children with autism.
The idea for AUesome originated from team members’ personal experiences working with children with special needs and creating cognitive training applications. One of their team members has had experience teaching children with special needs, and they observed first-hand the benefits that continuous at-home therapy can provide. They are fueled by their team’s determination and passion to positively impact the community of individuals with special needs. Their focus is on making a product that will truly benefit families with special needs.
Interviews and market research are key. They conducted 11 interviews with experts from Stanford University, Duke Autism Research Center, University of Nevada, Reno, various special education teachers, occupational therapists, and speech pathologists. Their insight was invaluable and helped make the product what it is today.
As of partway through LaunchX Virtual, this startup team completed their minimum viable product (MVP) kits to send out for user testing. They sent out 5-8 free kits (adjustable to customer interest) to parents for initial feedback plus set up a GoFundMe to help fund free kits. They also are applying for a grant, as they are a non-profit and could be eligible for certain grant based funding. They have also coded a website (auesome.co) to further promote their product, idea, and demonstrations of their kit, along with an app mockup.
A picture of their demo kit
Startup Team AUesome
Five people make up the AUesome team: Isabella He (Head of Customer Outreach), Priyanka Senthil (Head of Operations), Andrew Kim (Head of Prototyping and Design), Anshul Gupta (Head of Tech and Development), and Arnav Gurudatt (Associate Web and App Development)
One of the key aspects that’s been maintained throughout the program is their determination, which has allowed them to progress at outstanding speeds. They have stayed engaged and excited through this entire process and never lost focus of their end goal.
We have no doubt that we AUesome will continue beyond LaunchX and we’re excited to see what the future brings
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