DC: What are your names, majors, and graduation years?
Team ABA: Mika Panday, Studio Art 2021; Colleen Baldwin, Physics 2021; Olivia Bruno, Business Administration and Entrepreneurship 2021.
DC: In two to three sentences, how would you describe your startup?
Team ABA: Art Behavioral Analysis is an intuitive platform allowing HIPAA compliant photo sharing and the creation of medical timelines. Our mission is to help children with disabilities connect with their care teams on a personal level and to enhance the communication between their guardians and healthcare providers.
DC: At what point did you know you wanted to create your own startup?
Baldwin: When I was in 7th grade, my mother was a hospice nurse and I wanted to help the people she served, so I started writing uplifting letters. I worked with a couple of the kids that hung out in our art classroom during recess and inspired them to write letters with me. I received funding from my local church that allowed us to write over 100 letters to people on hospice care. This is when I realized I love the freedom of having my own company and the ability to help people.
Panday: I experienced a major dip in one of my bipolar swings that left me feeling with doubt about my future. Instead of letting it consume me, I drew in my sketchbook every day. I shared my illustrations that reflected how I was feeling to a community online. Overtime, the outlet to create something was the solution to combat my depression. From that experience, I feel motivated to share this tool with other people to cope with their emotions.
Bruno: My parents own an architecture firm, Bruno Architecture in Blue Hill Maine. As I grew up watching them experience the good, bad and ugly parts of entrepreneurship, I realized that it was a viable path towards financial independence, as well as an important way to contribute to my communities. Now I hope to bring my knowledge of business to help the community dearest to me: children with disabilities.
DC: What or who is your biggest influence for your startup?
Team ABA: The Maryland Autism facebook group, where mothers share triumphs and challenges involved with Autism, has been a source of inspiration to us. The number of posts surrounding breakdowns of communication between healthcare providers, special education teachers, and therapists, made us realize that this is a problem worth solving in a market ripe for innovation.
We are also inspired by the fearless women who run Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Centers. ABA therapy is a female dominated industry, which is both exciting and refreshing. We have been very lucky to connect with several innovative mentors who have already built, scaled and exited multiple companies in the space. The mentorship and guidance that these women have shared with us has transformed our MVP into a simpler and more impactful tool for families and healthcare providers.
DC: How have the effects of the pandemic changed your company’s focus or ideas?
Team ABA: As we moved from in-person experiences to zoom calls and emails, we learned the importance of communication and humanization through technology. We realized that written dialogue itself is not enough, we must change the way communication is structured, especially in the context of the disability community, so that neurotypical and neurodiverse populations can successfully understand and humanize with one another. Based on this hypothesis, we pivoted from a machine learning based diagnostic tool, to a HIPAA compliant photo and video sharing platform, which has received glowing feedback from our mentors in the ABA community.
DC: What updates or significant accomplishments can you share with us about your company from the last six months?
Team ABA: Over the last six months we have brought on Colleen our technical co-founder, completed customer interviews with over 30 potential customers, connected with four mentors and founders in the ABA community, and built our MVP.
DC: What are you hoping to achieve during Terp Startup Accelerator this summer?
Team ABA: Our most pressing goal is to get our app into the hands of ABA centers so that we can receive feedback from real users and iterate successfully. In order to do this, we need to finish developing the photo storage database and complete beta tests to ensure our platform is fully secure. Currently we have a working frontend and backend for user authentication and security. We hope to leverage insights from our upcoming beta tests to begin fundraising by the end of the Terp program in order to accommodate our growing tech costs.
DC: If you could give advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be?
Team ABA: Remember to always pivot! Always revert back to your customer and understand their needs; ultimately you are making a product that will help them with their everyday life. Follow the sales, if people are not actively trying to buy your product, pivot!
For more information about Art Behavioral Analysis, please visit the website here.