Catherine Harulow finds inspiration in Irish digital start up company, WaytoB.
Talita Holzer Saad and Robbie Fryers met while studying engineering at Trinity College, Dublin and came up with an idea for a software solution to help people with learning disabilities to get around independently.
WaytoB is a smartphone and smartwatch app that makes it easier for people to navigate outdoor environments by foot and by public transport. In doing so it provides peace of mind to loved ones.
Talita and Robbie identified the problem back in 2015, as part of an innovation module Trinity’s Engineering course. Talita explains: “We were given the challenge to develop a product and/or a service that would help people with learning disabilities integrate into society. After speaking to over 100 stakeholders, including the end users themselves, family members, teachers and social workers, we found that not being able to travel independently was one of the biggest barriers they faced to become more socially active. That’s when we started coming up with solutions, developing prototypes and testing them, always with the strong involvement of our end-users.”
What’s neat about this entrepreneurial partnership is the way they have specialised in skills that have helped them to realise their innovation quickly. Robbie decided to do a masters in software engineering and is now responsible for the software development, while Talita gained experience in management consulting and now looks after the business side. They are currently looking for pilot sites in London and the rest of the UK to trial waytoB.
Talita and Robbie are on the Dublin-based accelerator programme: EIT Health – Trinity Validator. DigitalHealth.London hosted the programme’s final leg of its European road trip on 9 August where companies learned about London’s digital health landscape. The companies visited the Imperial College London Global Data Observatory and pitched to dragons during an evening networking session.
“Great to hear from Theo Blackwell, from the Mayor of London’s Office, and get a chance to speak with him and with Sophie Ehrlich and Paula Burke from Silicon Valley Bank. We received some good feedback about our pitch and got advice on next steps to bring waytoB to London.”
Talita Holzer Saad, waytoB
Robbie Fryers and Talita Holzer Saad, waytoB