April 7, 2017

Cory Thompson Takes on The Hatch

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Senior Cory Thompson becomes third generation of graphic design student to take on The Hatch. He received $5,000 funding for incubation and won the coveted People’s Choice Eggy Award. Read full BG News recap.

What is your product and what is the project about?

It is a smart phone application that assists adults with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) to become independent. It specifically targets the problem of executive functioning. When someone with ASD is growing up, they are given tools and support to help them succeed. However, after they graduate, these tools and support starts to fade away. This is when someone is learning to become independent and make their own decisions. When faced with these issues, life becomes almost paralyzing for anyone. This app will allow someone with ASD, or other disabilities, to have assistance with their problems in an instant.

What sparked this idea?

I was researching different types of communication disorders. As I considered different types of disorders, I noticed the number of tools given to children with ASD. As I looked deeper, I noticed that tools for adults are almost non-existent. When conducting interviews, I meet with Dr. Lynne Hewitt. Being an expert on ASD, she was able to identify where the major stress points for adults with ASD.

How does this project reflect you as a person? As a designer?

My original idea was in communication disorders. Growing up I always have had tools that helped me with my disorder. When I was researching different areas, ASD came up. The research was done, I found that a lot of the tools used are for children and their growth. This is great, but what about after high school? What about after the person turns 18 years old? This is a time where people learn to become independent and become adults. This was a problem that needed to be fixed.

What are you most excited about for this project?

This is a tool that can help a big group of people. This is one of the biggest growing populations in the United States. Having tools for this group can create a meaningful impact that can last for years to come.

Where do you hope it goes?

The hope is on April 6th, during The Hatch, that the idea will be funded by a Falcon Investor. After this, the idea will be brought into the world and will improve situations for thousands of people. Through this, it will hopefully lead to the creation of more tools.

What do you hope to get out of this experience?

This experience has shown me how making something worthwhile is hard work. I have learned how to make an idea into reality takes time, planning, and a lot of work. Condensed into a 10-week period makes it hard. Having no business background made it harder. In the end, I will have made a business to help other people. What I get out of this program is how to make a startup happen and make a difference.