We’re excited to introduce our #RA23 Startup Story series!
Over the next few weeks we will be sharing a blog post featuring a Q&A with each of the 12 startups taking part in our 2023 Remarkable Accelerator (#RA23) program.
To kick-off we’re thrilled to be sharing the Focus Bear Startup Story!
WHAT IS YOUR STARTUP AND WHO IS THE TARGET MARKET?
Focus Bear is an anti-distraction and anti-burnout app for people with ADHD and ASD. The team behind Focus Bear is neurodivergent (ND) – we tried all the productivity and wellness apps out there and didn’t find them a good fit for our brains…so we built our own.
Rates of ADHD diagnosis are skyrocketing at the moment due to increased awareness. Our target market is ND folks (15 years and older) who need help focusing on their studies or work.
How have you engaged end-users in the development of Focus Bear?
We started by building the app for ourselves. Half of our team is ND so we experience the productivity and wellbeing challenges we’re trying to solve ourselves. Along the way, we’ve interviewed hundreds of ND folk to find out what would be most helpful and after we released the first version of our app, we’ve had 1,000+ people try it out and give us feedback. We’re constantly iterating (up to version 173 of the Mac app).
Can you share some success stories or accomplishments that you’ve achieved since launching?
We’ve got 15 paying customers using the Focus Bear app and more downloading it every day. Our users say it makes them more productive, helps them sleep better and even improves the cleanliness of their desks! We encourage healthy habits like planning the following day and doing 2 minutes of tidying up.
We were voted #1 productivity app of the week for our companion app ‘Late No More’, which is a punctuality app for ND people.
What sets your startup apart from competitors?
- We’re using our lived experience, as well as our customers’, to design the product to specifically help ND people.
- Our app is holistic – it blocks distractions across all devices (most distraction blockers are only for the computer or only for the phone) and encourages metacognitive strategies (e.g. planning the next day) and wellbeing practices (microworkouts, deep breathing) that boost focus.
- We have a cute bear mascot.
What advice would you give to aspiring disability tech entrepreneurs?
Talk to potential customers early and often. One person with disability is one person with disability so make sure you don’t over-index on the first few people because there might be bigger needs that you’re missing.
Also, go to face to face events, they’ve been the best sources of feedback.
What does it mean to you to be part of the Remarkable community?
I feel supported and inspired. All the mentors in the Remarkable community are eager to help and it’s super inspiring seeing what the other startups in the cohort and the alumni are doing.
WHERE DO YOU WANT YOUR STARTUP TO BE IN 1 MONTH, 1 YEAR, 10 YEARS?
|1 Month||1 Year||10 Years|
|To get our iOS app on the app store (Apple Developer team please approve us 😅).||To roll out the app across organisations (looking to do pilots with organisations that have a neuroinclusion strategy).||To have a productivity and wellbeing ecosystem that helps ND folks thrive in all aspects of their lives.|