Monday, January 3, 2011

Adjusting to the Market

John Eder, the founder and CEO of AutismSphere, was a guest blogger at, giving his insight into this year’s competition. AutismSphere won last year’s social track competition. Here is what Eder offered as advice to aspiring competitors.


2L4E_2_mpdude Nine months after our participation in the Elevator competition finds the AutismSphere team making some dramatic shifts to adjust with the market.  The education market is starting to accelerate as schools shift toward mobile solutions like ours that cater to the individual learning styles of children.

This broader market shift mirrors the tenants we drive in our AutismSphere solution and reflects our philosophical basis driven by UNC’s TEACCH program and Social Thinking.  With this added support of our technology we now look to ensure that we can share our capabilities with the broader educational community, while providing more opportunity within the autism community at the same time.

The ensuing journey since participating in the competition brings to light a few key lessons (pretty much old adages that ring particularly true after taking this journey, the path to entrepreneurship):

  • Build a strong team and wait, if necessary, to find healthy people. (You can rebuild and rework a great many things, but the team is different, and the foundation stone for everything else.)
  • Stay true to the mission when things get tough and the next steps hard to discern.  (This sometimes feels like a light in the darkness.)
  • Keep believing in your vision, your team, and yourselves.  (Easy to say…)

We have the attitude that everyone in the competition wins by going through the experience, and a few of us were lucky enough to receive some extra recognition through the awards.

We wish this year’s ventures great success in the competition and even more momentum in the market, launching your visions for the future.

- AutismSphere Team (photo courtesy of

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