iDyslexic goes live ahead of crowdfunding
Tech investor Brendan Morrissey has gone live with a new social media network for children with dyslexia and ADHD and is planning a crowdfunding round for the app early in the New Year.
In its first week, iDyslexic - available in Ireland and globally via app stores - signed up thousands of users as far afield as Australia, Canada and South America. The Kilkenny-based investor has agreements to bring 13,000 schools in the UK and 6,000 in Australia on to the platform.
"I'm hoping to have a couple of hundred thousand users by the end of next year and the reaction so far from dyslexic associations around the world has been fantastic," said Morrissey, who has a €300m venture capital fund with a range of tech investments. The former My Little Funhouse lead guitarist - himself dyslexic - originally built the network to help with his own son's education.
"He was diagnosed when he was five and his case workers did an amazing job, but meetings every six months weren't enough. With the secure classroom that we have built as part of iDyslexic, I can manage his homework and calender."
The smartphone-based app allows a child, as well as their parents, teachers and case workers, access to a secure online classroom.
"We are working hard to build a community that supports children across the globe and to show them they are not alone in their struggles, moving away from the negative aspects of the condition. As many as one in 10 children suffer with dyslexia and we want to show them their creativity and different way of thinking will be a huge benefit throughout their life."
Morrissey has invested half-a-million euro in the platform and is planning to raise a similar amount through Spark Crowdfunding in January.
"We want to get the community involved," he said. "With so many children suffering from a learning disorder, everyone is affected."