Senior care training startup CareAcademy wins MIT honor

December 03, 2018 12:24
Helen Adeosun (middle), co-founder of CareAcademy, has won recognition for her startup that aims to provide opportunities for workers to prepare for future of healthcare. Photos: MIT, CareAcademy

CareAcademy, a US startup that provides online classes for non-medical professional and family caregivers, has won the championship award in “skills development and opportunity matching” category in MIT's Inclusive Innovation Competition this year.

The company, headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was founded in October 2013 by two women -- Helen Adeosun and Madhuri Reddy -- with an aim to provide opportunities for workers to prepare for future of healthcare.

Five years after launch, it has won a big honor at the annual Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Inclusive Innovation Competition, winning accolades for its business that offers caregivers online professional development courses through video-based classes with real-world scenarios.

The MIT Inclusive Innovation Competition, which entered its third year in 2018, recognizes entrepreneurs worldwide who are using technology to reinvent the future of work.

This year, 1,500 firms and institutions from around the world participated in the competition, including participants from mainland China and Hong Kong. African entrepreneurs won awards in two groups in the competition.

Adeosun noted that entrepreneurial journey is difficult, but said she is glad that her company has gradually entered a good position, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

According to her, CareAcademy has raised a total of US$3.2 million since founding.

"The entrepreneurial journey allows me to understand the operation of capital in businesses”, she said. "Entrepreneurship requires enthusiasm, and I do my best for the business.”

Moving forward, Adeosun said her firm plans to produce multi-language course materials, with an aim to enter markets outside the US and Canada.

The MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE), part of the MIT Sloan School of Management, has awarded US$1 million in prize money in the MIT Inclusive Innovation Competition.

Apart from CareAcademy, the winners this year include Solar Freeze, which provides mobile cold-storage units powered by renewable energy for rural smallholder farmers; Wefarm, an SMS communication system for rural farmers; and ftcash, an Indian financial inclusion venture which aims to empower micro-merchants and small-businesses through loans using digital payments.

Andrew McAfee, co-director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, who is also an MIT Sloan principal research scientist, noted that there's a fretful mood in relation to technological progress as workers worry about being left behind. But these winning organizations embody inclusivity and opportunity, he said.

"We’re here to celebrate astonishing things that people... have done with technology to provide inclusion and uplift to people — not just parochially — but around the world," he said.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Dec 3

Translation by Ben Ng with additional reporting

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Hong Kong Economic Journal