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Tag: remarkable-accelerator

Social innovation, enabled by tech, is remarkable

Tech4Good

Posted on July 31, 2019

4 min read

This July, Australia’s first disability-focused impact accelerator, Remarkable, showcased its latest cohort of graduating start-ups at the Remarkable Demo Day.  As part of the celebrations, Telstra announced the winner of the Telstra People’s Choice Award – a $5000 cash prize awarded to the Remarkable start-up pitch receiving the most votes from Telstra employees. This year, sameview, a start-up looking to better coordinate disability care, won the golden ticket.

sameview is a trusted online platform that streamlines care coordination, and gives families the confidence to build their own team, set their own goals, and walk their own path.

We chatted with Danny and Jess Hui to discover more about their motivation to create this platform, and to hear about their Remarkable experience.

Tell us about your startup. What’s the problem you’re solving for people with disability?

sameview is a trusted online platform that takes the stress and workload out of care coordination. We help families who care for a child with a disability to get everyone from their team (doctors, therapists, support workers, teachers, family, and friends) onto the same page, and working together to effectively achieve their goals.

What inspired you to start this?

Our youngest son Monty, was born with a complex disability, and coordinating our team of over 30 different professionals was something we struggled with. We met many other families struggling with this same issue and sameview was born from our desire to solve this issue. What we now also know, is just how important coordination and collaboration in disability support and intervention is to achieve each family’s goals.

What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing with building your start-up, and how do you think Remarkable can help you overcome this challenge?

The biggest challenge for us coming into Remarkable was fully articulating our value proposition, where we fit in the market, and how we can become sustainable. Since starting Remarkable, we’ve already made great progress towards solving these challenges.

What have been the highlights of your Remarkable experience so far?

We are so lucky to have been surrounded by a wealth of talented and generous individuals from all areas of business. These incredible people have given us the insight and confidence to tackle our weaknesses, and build the best sameview going forward.

Do you have any tips for startups who are trying to get on an accelerator program?

The Remarkable team’s hearts are in advancing the disability ecosystem, I think anyone looking to apply for Remarkable Accelerator Program should approach their application with openness and not being afraid to talk about their weaknesses. I would also suggest speaking to past participants to gain insight into the program.

What is your top tool, blog, book or podcast that you’d recommend others look at?

Obviously sameview’s weekly video diaries people can see on LinkedIn or Facebook. Apart from that one of our mentors recently recommended the podcast “How I Built This”, which has been so relevant to what we’re doing in Remarkable.

About the Telstra Foundation & Remarkable partnership

As Founding Funder of Cerebral Palsy Alliance’s Remarkable accelerator the Telstra Foundation’s support has helped connect inclusive startups with the tools, skills and networks they need to succeed.  The 16-week accelerator program has been tailored to early stage startups looking to build sustainable enterprises that have a big social impact. 

Remarkable also hosts events like Enabled by Design-athon and Meet-Ups to engage the broader community, from university students to corporate employees in the inclusive design process. Importantly, people with a disability are front and centre of Remarkable.

How gaming is bringing new sounds to new ears

Tech4Good

Posted on January 23, 2018

5 min read

There’s a reason why the Remarkable Accelerator has such a bold name. In part it’s the Remarkable ideas behind each of the program’s tech4good startups. But mostly, it’s the Remarkable people making these ideas a reality. With applications closing soon for the 2018 program, we want to share these Remarkable Stories. This is Elliot’s.

“I’ve never seen being deaf as a bad thing.”

Elliot Miller explains: “It really taught me to view, articulate and interact with the world in a different, open-minded and often unique way.” He’s right. The 30-year-old Brisbanite has unique view of the world. Growing up deaf in a hearing world, also meant he’s had a unique experience of it. It was one particular unique experience in 2013 that inspired an idea which would set his life in a new direction.
“I’ll always remember the day I first went running after I received a cochlear implant,” Elliot said. “I could hear a jingling noise. When I stopped running to focus on this unfamiliar sound, the jingling also stopped. I wasn’t sure what it was and kept wondering what it could be. It wasn’t until I got home that I realised the noise was coming from the coins in my pocket.”

At two, Elliot was diagnosed with severe hearing loss in his right ear and profound loss in his left. Twenty-four years later he received a life-changing cochlear implant. However this ‘fix’ wasn’t as simple as ‘switching on the sound’. In fact, learning to understand new sounds has been one of the biggest challenges Elliot has ever faced. But this experience led him to combine his skills in graphic design and game design to create Games 4 Hearoes, which uses gamification to help people with hearing impairments transform the way they hear.

“Games 4 Hearoes is a digital auditory training platform to help track, adapt and empower those with hearing loss, specifically those with a cochlear implant, learn new sounds,” Elliot said.

“When someone receives a cochlear implant it’s a common misconception that they will automatically gain normal hearing. However it’s quite a different experience for everyone who goes through the journey.”

After someone receives a cochlear implant, what they mostly hear is almost like vibration feedback while the brain tries to identify the pitch and tone of the sound. Over time it steadies to ‘white noise’ until their brain is able to identify what the auditory feedback is and understand it. Recipients often need to relearn or learn how to hear – from environmental sounds through to understanding vocabulary.

“I hadn’t been prepared for how much work was needed in the rehabilitation process,” Elliot explained. “In theory, the cochlear speech processor is a more powerful, sharper device compared to the hearing aid that I was used to. Although I am able to hear more of the world around me, especially the soft or high pitched sounds which I had never heard before, it took a lot of practice and stamina to make sense of it all.”

So he set himself on a new path to use technology to make this process quicker, easier – and even fun. And it’s through serious games – computer games with a purpose to train, rather than simply entertain us. But as Elliot explains, serious games can do both.

“Games 4 Hearoes has a range of modules, starting with environmental sounds progressing to understanding sentences and dialogue,” Elliot said. “In each module, there is a library of gamified activities, which have been designed for everyone, from children to adults, to create an entertaining and immersive experience, rewarding participants as they progress.”

In developing Games 4 Hearoes, Elliot has drawn on his own experiences, as well as others.

“Even the small things in life, from the fridge alarm beeping to taps dripping – which had never been noticeable before a cochlear implant – can be easy to misunderstand in our noisy world,” Elliot said. “Using real life experiences and scenarios has helped the development of Games 4 Hearoes. Everyone we speak to brings new insights and ideas.”

Games 4 Hearoes was one of eight social change businesses using technology to change the lives people with disabilities, that took part in the 2017 Remarkable Accelerator. A partnership between the Telstra Foundation and Cerebral Palsy Alliance, the 16-week program has been tailored for early stage startups looking to build sustainable enterprises that have a big social impact. It does so by connecting them with the tools, skills and networks they need to succeed.

Elliot credits the program with helping him take the next step in making his niggling, ‘jiggling’ idea, a reality.

“We’re continuing to develop Games 4 Hearoes and to date we’ve had incredible feedback, not only from those with hearing impairments, but also audiologists who have validated what we’re trying to do,” Elliot said.

“We’re currently looking for people who have had cochlear implants, as well as audiologists to join us on our journey. Through the Remarkable program, I’ve gained the skills to now take the next step in launching this as a business.”

Elliot is passionate about the potential of technology to break down barriers for people with a whole range of disabilities – but especially for the hearing impaired.

“As hearing aid hardware has moved from analogue to digital – the possibilities of new technology are almost endless,” he said. “Addressing an issue that is so close to my heart with something I experience every day, is essentially how this all started.”