(March 1, 2018) ISE Ph.D. student Mohammed Baaoum and his teammates won first place in the new venture competition at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Innovation and Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, held in Brisbane, Australia from February 10 to 17, 2018. He was one of 130 innovators chosen from among more than 1600 applicants worldwide to participate in the bootcamp. Baaoum’s teammates were: Patrick Albina, founder and director of Quintessential (a consulting company); Gokce Erbuga, research assistant in the business administration and management department at Dokuz Eylul University in Turkey; Rochelle Bugarin, human resources and analytics manager at Uniting Care in Queensland, Australia; and Kimmy Yuen, master’s student in social entrepreneurship at Warwick University.
Mohammed’s team came together based on their shared interest in healthcare and titled their project “Caremate – Caring for Carers.” After finding that three of the team members had personal experience with taking care of a family member who suffers from dementia, the team agreed that the health care system does not give the proper support to caregivers to empower them to provide informal care to dementia patients. They conducted their research in the Queensland market and discovered that caregivers mainly needed four types of services: 1) concierge to guide them through the health care system; 2) training and resources to provide adequate care; 3) support groups; and 4) logistical services. Once determining the caregivers’ needs, the team built a venture to provide the necessary services called Care to Empower (C2E), through a website, a mobile application, and in-person.
The bootcamp is a week-long leadership program that challenges participants to develop a sustainable new venture in a week’s time. The 130 participants formed 26 teams on the first day of bootcamp based on common research interests. Once the teams were created, each day would consist of approximately seven hours of lectures and workshops, with the remainder of the day left for each team to work on their individual projects under the supervision of a coach. Each team had to submit a deliverable by 3:00 a.m. at the end of each day.
For more information about the MIT Innovation & Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, please check out their website (http://bootcamp.mit.edu/entrepreneurship/sustainability/).