We've had an exciting and very busy beginning to 2015 at Brili, Inc. Here's a quick rundown of it all.
Brili World Headquarters
Early last month, we moved into some really nice office space at BrightLane, a community working environment for entrepreneurs in downtown Toronto. This has been a great change for us, as Kyle and I now get to throw questions, answers and witty barbs at each other over a cubicle wall instead of trying to raise each other on Skype, setting up screen sharing and the like. We also have great meeting spaces available to us for meeting with our advisors and other contributors.
We're also getting to know some really smart, capable and nice people at BrightLane, extending our support network and generally making easier to run a startup. Plus, this space is way more stylin' than my home office, believe me.
Great Interest and Feedback
Last month, I was very fortunate to be able to share our story on ADDitude Magazine's blog. We've been really flattered by the positive response the article elicited from parents and caregivers who've been experiencing the same challenges that prompted us to create Brili in the first place. The thousands of shares, sign-ups and kind comments have helped us validate that we are on the right track with Brili. Also, we've now got this persistent warm and fuzzy feeling happening as we work to finish Brili. Which is nice.
Speaking of Brili's release, we're getting really close. We've been putting in extra time to re-work some of Brili's timer functionality to make its behaviour a bit more predictable and intuitive based on on our early testing.
All of the really important features are done. Brili is guiding kids through their routines. Parents can sign up, add their kids, then set up and manage routines. We have a categorized task library, photo uploads for tasks and kids, task re-ordering, and more. Anyone who's developed software before can tell you that the "devil is in the details" and these are what we're focused on now.
You're probably wondering what it's looking like now, right? Well, here are a few screen shots of the app working in iOS. You'll see a few improvements by the time we go live, but this is pretty close.
Our first release will be for iPad (including both kid and parent features) and iPhone (parent features only). We expect to release this publicly in March, although some users will receive early access to the beta release later this month. Our current plan is to make the same features available for Android devices by May before returning to developing new features for both platforms.
Continuing Feedback from Test Families
We're continuing to receive wonderful feedback from parents of kids using the test version of Brili at home. My son Leo is also using Brili regularly and the difference it's made for him has been transformative. He's actually starting to anticipate and plan for steps in his routine. For example, he makes sure to ask us to set out his vitamins and medication in advance so he doesn't lose any precious seconds of Minecraft time. Parents need to support this planning: we found out the hard way after forgetting to plug in the iPad that it's pretty disappointing when Brili's not available to help because of a dead battery. That said, Leo has a pretty good grasp of his routine now, from his weeks of consistency, so he was able to get through it with minimal disruption.
GTA Parents of Kids with Attention and Organizational Challenges Meetup
Brili is a proud sponsor of a new Meetup group in Toronto to help parents connect to expert information and peer support. The GTA Parents of Kids with Attention and Organizational Challenges Meetup group has an extra long name in large part because these issues don't necessarily equate to the more concise ADHD acronym. The group's purpose is to help, free of charge, all families experiencing these challenges, regardless of cause or diagnosis. Our inaugural event was headlined by Brili team members Dr. Jack Muskat and Andrea Del Vecchio. Dr. Muskat, a practicing child psychologist, presented an overview of Executive Function & Working Memory. Andrea then shared many useful parenting tips tailored to help attention- and organization-challenged kids thrive. BrightLane kindly provided the venue, and our co-working space colleagues Pizzeria Libretto fed us with amazing Neapolitan pizza.
Our next event, scheduled for February 24th, 2015 at BrightLane, will feature educational consultant Nancy Lerner, who will help parents understand and navigate the paths available to them within the school system for getting help for their kids. We'll announce our other speakers as they're confirmed.
It's going to be a great event, so I hope you're able to join us!
And that, folks, should bring you up to speed on the happenings at Brili. We'll do our best to keep you posted. In the meantime, please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions!