Client: Jenna Gorlewicz, PhD, Co-founder, and Corrine Mueller, MBA, Vice President of Business, ViTAL
While advances in classroom technology have benefited both mainstream and special needs students, Dr. Jenna Gorlewicz, now a faculty member at Saint Louis University, noted that students with visual impairments often do not have equal access to learning content especially in STEM subjects where graphics are highly prevalent. Dr. Gorlewicz is the Co-founder and President of ViTAL. The company is developing software applications that create and present truly accessible, digital learning content to students with visual impairments through haptic, visual and audible cues on tablets.
With TREAT business development assistance, Dr. Gorlewicz and ViTAL’s Co-founder and Vice President of Business, Ms. Corrine Mueller, worked through a Need and Opportunity Analysis to more accurately identify the buyers and the purchase decision process that will result in a sale. The team continued customer discovery interviews to refine and iterate on the business model throughout the TREAT award period, while TREAT helped the team develop insight from all angles (teacher, student, classroom, school, and school district) relevant to the development of their core software.
With the provided TREAT funds, ViTAL accelerated their product commercialization, delivering on technical milestones and expanding their focus toward market readiness and product release.
In Fall 2016, in the midst of their TREAT assistance period, ViTAL completed classroom beta testing with the software and garnered feedback from teachers and students alike. This customer discovery influenced the content of their SBIR Phase II submission to the National Science Foundation. Before submission, TREAT team members provided feedback on the commercialization and technical plans. In March 2017, ViTAL was awarded the Phase II. For more information, visit https://www.vital.education/.
“The insight from the customer discovery interviews and the guidance and feedback from TREAT has provided the team with the opportunity to dive deep into the company’s business model and to outline processes and documentation for continuous agile development.”
- Date January 31, 2018