Plan to help Alzheimer's patients wins RE Business Challenge
Jordan Gonzalez ’24 and Bryce Sadler ’24 unveiled a plan to combine virtual reality and artificial intelligence to improve the cognitive ability of those with Alzheimer’s during the 10th annual Ransom Everglades Business Plan Challenge on March 7. Their business plan – Remembered Reality – earned first place from the RE alumni judging panel, topping proposals from four other finalist teams to advance to the Innovate South Florida 2023 High School Business Competition April 19.
After observing the cognitive decline shown by a grandfather who suffered from Alzheimer’s, Gonzalez was inspired to create a tool that would slow the devastating effects of the disease. His and Sadler’s proposed device will create personalized virtual reality experiences out of photos, videos and stories supplied by family members.
The pair cited research showing a link between cognitive stimulating therapy and delayed memory loss. The plan they discussed and shared on a large screen considered costs, financing, marketing, competitors, FDA approval and other business considerations.
“We’re offering customized and unique experiences for each patient,” Sadler said. “We want to help patients, we want to help caregivers, we want to help doctors – and we want to help our investors make a lot of money.”
Four other finalist teams in the annual competition among students in RE’s Global Studies Entrepreneurship and AP Macro/Microeconomics classes presented their plans. Jackson McAlilley ’23 made a pitch for Blueview, a tool designed to simplify and speed up the permitting process for architects, builders and contractors. Nico Imery ’24, Ryan Weisburd ’24 and Alexander Defortuna ’24 presented a plan for HireHero, an app designed to connect college and high school students with job opportunities. Jack Pollock ’24 and Paul Gould ’24 shared their plan for Lumin, a reflective and eco-friendly clothing line for runners, workers and cyclists. Ian Fox ’24, Victoria Paralouki de Miranda ’24, Elliot Gross ’24 and Mike Zoi ’24 shared their idea for Threturn, a company designed to take the return process out of the hands of businesses, reducing waste and increasing donations to those in need.
The judging panel: John Humphreys ‘88, a University of Chicago graduate who has worked in the international investment banking sector; Trae Williamson ‘90, a Princeton and Columbia Law School grad who now teaches at the University of Miami business school; Michael Newman ‘98, a Princeton graduate who worked at Microsoft before founding Big Duck Games; and Jamila Stephens ‘12, a University of Miami and FIU business school graduate who is now a junior data analyst for the Miami Heat.
The judges asked questions of each team, then selected the winner. The business plan challenge at RE is organized and administered by Humanities Department Chair Jen Nero; she had assistance from humanities faculty members Brandon King and Benjamin Yeo. The event is sponsored by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE).
“The students were amazing,” said Richard Jackson, NFTE advisory board chair. They demonstrated that “in the thoroughness of their presentations and in the ability to stand up to some really tough questions.”
Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades School is a coeducational, college preparatory day school for grades 6 - 12 located on two campuses in Coconut Grove, Florida. Ransom Everglades School produces graduates who "believe that they are in the world not so much for what they can get out of it as for what they can put into it." The school provides rigorous college preparation that promotes the student's sense of identity, community, personal integrity and values for a productive and satisfying life, and prepares the student to lead and to contribute to society.