In case you missed our announcement in late March, Our Care Journal is in the very fortunate position of being part of Cohort 4 of the Remarkable Disability Tech Accelerator.  Remarkable is run by the Cerebral Palsy Alliance with support from Telstra, Macquarie Bank, iCare Foundation and Microsoft. It is the only disability focused tech accelerator in the country. Yes, we are excited!!

This week, we are officially one quarter of the way into the program. It is an intense and exciting journey. As a person brand new to the world of tech startups, it’s exhilarating learning new things. It is also scary realising how much there is to learn. Accelerators are definitely not for the faint-hearted. Or those not prepared to grab opportunities with both hands and work your butt off to make a change (and yes, we are doing all those things). So here’s a bit about what we’re learning and how we’ve found the first four weeks.

Our Community

Having ideas and executing them is one thing. Taking a product to market, getting it out there above the ‘noise’ and making sure it’s solving a problem requires a huge amount of determination. And yes, some help. The Remarkable community is amazing in this respect. Everyone is indeed remarkable. From the program coordinators to the entrepreneurs-in-residence to the mentors – all well-respected, experienced people with integrity and a desire for change. And last but not least, our colleagues also on the program with us – Spokle, BookBotKids, PolySpine, NomadVR, SameView, and JobMatcher. The support and encouragement are second to none. Which is not to say that we’re being mollycoddled. Definitely not. This is support and encouragement that is honest and open and challenging. Because this is how we will improve and grow stronger.

Learning and growing

But did I also mention the Masterclasses? Nearly every year, I go through a period where I consider going back to Uni for more study, or spend hours sifting through MOOCs to find something new to learn. It’s a bit of an obsession that is now fulfilled by 16 weeks of Masterclasses. They not only scratch my learning itch, I get to apply the learnings almost instantly to improve Our Care Journal. Hurrah! Practical and applied learning! I love it.

Cartoon by Simon Kneebone

Our amazing network

For Simon and me, the past month has also been punctuated by our continuing work with The Ageing Revolution (co-facilitating workshops on age-friendliness with Council on the Ageing Queensland and the Queensland Government) as well as family commitments (we have a 14.5 year old, parents who live far away and also a cat – not to be dismissed easily!), my work with Health Consumers Queensland and juggling the travel to Sydney from Brisbane each week for the Accelerator program. Similarly, our co-founder Tara is commuting from Newcastle to take part in the program as well as continuing to raise her family and run her successful app business The Diary Apps. It is not always an easy juggle and I am incredibly thankful for the patience and help of everyone around us. Our friends have offered up their homes, their time and their support and our families are ever-so-patient!

Our Care Journal Values

So one quarter of the way through and 12 more weeks to go. Our Care Journal was designed with carers, for carers.  Our co-design work with QUT has built a strong foundation for us to continue to improve and develop the app. This week, we’ve focused on our users, our business model and our carer dashboard. We’ve challenged our assumptions, developed new ideas and worked up prototypes ready for testing. We’re aiming to understand our app community better. We want to truly understand the needs of carers beyond our earlier co-design work and to make Our Care Journal the best it can be for them. Really, that’s what drives us on this journey. Through all the frantic days and nights, making a difference in the lives of carers and their families is what spurs us on.

Help us improve

Are you a carer (or know anyone who cares) ?  Could you help with our testing? We’d love to hear from you (, or hit us up on social media). We’re documenting our journey as much as possible on our facebook, instagram and twitter feeds and sharing on our blog too. We are all focused on making Our Care Journal a great tool for carers to have in their toolbox – we’d love you to be part of our community.

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