Founder Profile | Brian from CPToys

Pete spoke to Brian Hoare, Founder of CPToys, this week to find out his highlights from Remarkable so far, what he aims to get out of the 16-weeks and his tips for setting yourself up for success when working from home.

Some of the key takeouts from this ‘on the couch’ session with Brian…

Tell us a bit about CPtoys

CPToys provides individualised therapy advice to therapists and families of children with cerebral palsy by matching toys to a child’s age and specific therapy goals.

Why did you decide to apply for Remarkable?

I built CPToys in 2014 to test the waters to see if it would be useful for therapists and parents. We had 5,000 in that time, so with that traction, it demonstrated the concept was well received. To take it to the next level and ensure it becomes an essential component of therapy for kids with CP, I want to harness the power of Remarkable to tap into the expertise of the team, mentors and wider network which has so far been amazing.

What are your highlights of the program so far?

The Product Sprint has been a highlight. It has allowed me to put all my focus on CPToys, not just do the work on the side. So far in the program, I have learned a lot about the business side of things, making decisions about the future of the business and user testing.

How are you finding the program being online?

It’s all been running really smoothly. The biggest barrier to tech is that we don’t have those ‘in the moment’ interactions with the other founders, and I know I would really learn a lot from those interactions.

What do you think will be the greatest challenge in the program?

I have grand plans for CPToys so the challenge for me is to bring together all the ideas and knowledge in order to set up the business for success in the future.

What are you most looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to getting a range of feedback from existing a new users.

What are your tips for working remotely?

My standing desk! As an Occupational Therapist, I’m all about design, ergonomics and being set up safely with good work habits. My biggest tip is having an environment where you can change your position and take regular breaks in the sunshine if you can.

You can check out more about CPToys on their website and connect with Brian on LinkedIn.

Meet our new Marketing & Events Coordinator, Viv Mullan

Viv has joined the Remarkable team as our new Marketing & Events Coordinator. Viv has a wealth of marketing and TV experience as well as a background in volunteering for disability services. She is passionate about championing creating creative opportunities for people with disability and a fan of Dr Seuss! So in the words of Dr Seuss we welcome Viv to the team…

Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!

Viv Mullan

Tell us a bit about you and your background experience

Since graduating from the University of Wollongong with a Bachelor of Communication and Media (Marketing & Advertising major, Visual Arts minor), I’ve held a number of creative and marketing-related roles, as well as spent some time working in film.

Immediately after graduating, I pursued a career in Public Relations for a health and wellness agency followed by Marketing for Sydney Tower Dining. In these roles, I gained experience in social and digital marketing strategy, media relations and copywriting/content creation.

With some marketing experience under my belt, I decided to spend some time following my passion for film. Working mainly onset in the Art Department, for a variety of films and TV Shows productions supported by streaming services such as Stan, Foxtel, and the ABC and Channel Nine.

More recently, I shifted my focus to pursue work that combines my passion for creativity and my belief in promoting an inclusive society focusing on creating career pathways for people with disability – something that I’ve championed since my teens when I first started volunteering with my local disability services.

I’m now committed to ensuring my career aligns with my passion for advocating and building sustainable pathways for an inclusive society, which is why I’m honoured to be part of the Remarkable team.

What attracted you to work with Remarkable?

I learnt about the fantastic work that Remarkable were doing through a dear friend of mine who I met while working in the inclusive filmmaking space. So, when I saw they had an opening, I was so excited to apply for the position! This role will allow me to combine my passion for promoting inclusive opportunities together with my experience in creating practical solutions to eliminate social barriers experienced by people living with disability.

What part of the program are you most looking forward to?

I can’t wait to see the positive impact this program will have on the wider community. I’m looking forward to seeing the products that the startup companies who are part of the #SYD20 cohort are working with the help and guidance of our mentors.

We’d love to get to know you a bit more, what do you like to do in your free time? It might be that you’ve got a special skill or interest to share with us?

I’m originally from the South Coast of NSW so I’m naturally a nature enthusiast (pardon the pun)! So, when I have a free day to myself, I like to start by finding a new spot to watch the sunrise from – be it at the beach or up a mountain. I’m also a serial hobby starter – at the moment I’m trying to learn the ukulele, master chess, play golf and learn to speak Italian … and, much to George’s excitement, I signed up for my first (mini) triathlon… this was before I knew I was going to be working with George who is a professional triathlete, wish me luck!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given in your work life that you would like to pass on to the startups?

  1. Never compromise your values
  2. Beyond the practical tasks, measure the success of each day by how many people you make smile.

Do you have an inspiring book / podcast / tv show you would like to share with the startups and the Remarkable community?

Having three nieces under the age of three means most of my inspiration comes from Dr Seuss. My favourite poem to read to them is ‘Oh the places you will go’, and I encourage people of all ages to pick up this poem as often as possible.

Any tips for remote working now that we’re an online program?

Even though so much can be done from the comfort of the couch in your comfy pants, it’s important to cherish the moments you can outside by taking breaks to breathe in the fresh air and feel the warm sun on your face.

Thanks Viv. It’s been great to get to know you. Feel free to reach out to connect with Viv on LinkedIn.

Why Neurodiversity Needs Visual Storytelling

Visual scribe by Neurodiversity Media

Isabelle Quigley from Neurodiversity Media, has been creating some incredible visual scribes for Remarkable as part of her Remarkable accelerator journey and we thought you may be as curious as we are about how visual scribing works. Here are some examples of her work and a blog that she prepared for Neurodiversity Media last month. Thanks for letting us share this, Issy!

They say ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, but rarely on sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and even Instagram have I seen an image unaccompanied by text. Rarer still are images that are designed solely to explain a point, that contain an entire idea within them. But for me, and many neurodivergent people like me, visual storytelling is an essential part of understanding the world.

Since I was young, I have gravitated towards drawing mind-maps, mazes and anything that takes a story and translates it into a visual experience. It is only since my diagnosis with ADHD last year that I have begun to realise how much visual storytelling means to me, despite years of struggling to concentrate through long strings of text.

Visual Scribe by Neurodiversity Media

A diagnosis has a way of re-framing so many experiences. I used to think of myself as a failure for not processing information as others did, for not ‘succeeding’ in places I now know I wasn’t meant to be. I used to think of my love of drawing as a distraction from ‘real work’ I often failed to complete. But with a better understanding of myself and my condition came a stronger appreciation of all that visual storytelling can do, especially for neurodivergent people.

Visual scribing (also known as a graphic recording) is the art of translating a written or spoken story into a visual language. It connects concepts in a way that appeals instantly to the eye and the memory, increasing retention. For neurodivergent people like me, that have trouble processing large amounts of text, visual scribing has become an inadvertent accessibility tool. Learning how to visually scribe myself has greatly improved my ability to understand complex concepts.

Visual scribe by Neurodiversity Media

Another advantage of the visual scribe format is that it aims to condense the story into the space of a page. This forces both the artist and the viewer to focus on the core ideas being expressed. For people with dyslexia, this form of information presentation can also be an accessible alternative to reading a long article that may not be possible to read otherwise (for example, it is not in a Dyslexia-accessible font or it has black text on a bright white background).

None of this is to say that you have to be neurodivergent or a ‘visual learner’ to appreciate visual storytelling. The beauty of the medium is that it is easily accessible, understood in a short amount of time and much easier to remember than a wall of text. Also, for those with vision impairments, images can still have an impact, especially in a digital space. With the advent of alt text, screen readers and image descriptions, the essence of these images are translated for everyone to share.

Visual scriby by Neurodiversity Media

Visual storytelling has always been an essential form of expression, but many people, including myself, are only now beginning to understand the applications it has in the neurodivergent community. From my experience, neurodiversity and visual storytelling go hand in hand. My ADHD makes me a better visual scribe, and without it my experience of the world would be very different.

For me and so many neurodiverse people, a picture really is worth a thousand words.

Thanks again to Issy for your fantastic blog. To find out more, visit Neurodiversity Media and follow Remarkable on social to see more of her visual scribes throughout the accelerator program.