ABPathfinder is on a mission to solve a common problem among therapists and teachers of children with autism: Paper.
Jeff Blackwood, founder of the Overland Park, Kan., company, said the opportunity became apparent to him when he visited a local autism therapy center in 2010 and noticed the abundance of paper stacks and three-ring binders.
“We knew we could take that paperwork and put it into software so that they can help more kids,” Blackwood said.
The software Blackwood and his team of four employees created does just that. It allows therapists and teachers of children with autism to create therapy plans and graph the results without paper.
“Ultimately since they’re working with better tools and getting more accurate information, the children gain skills faster,” Blackwood said. “These are skills they need to go to public schools, to participate in Cub Scouts, to do all the things that they want to do with their peers. Skills critical for these children to acquire quickly.”
While there are other companies that provide similar software, Blackwood (left) said they are basically “glorified Excel spreadsheets.” Blackwood said ABPathfinder is different because it uses artificial intelligence to receive data, analyze it and provide feedback and recommendations for the therapist.
“We help them plan the therapy,” he said “rather than just providing a spreadsheet.”
The software is purchased by professionals via a monthly subscription service that includes the software itself along with data storage and disaster recovery. It can be used on any web-enabled PC, tablet or smart phone, Blackwood said.
The software became commercially available for teachers and therapists in January. That was followed in May by a $130,000 investment from Watson Technology Group and Angel Capital Group. Watson invested $100,000, and ACG contributed $30,000.
Matt Watson, president of Watson Technology Group, said he chose to invest in ABPathfinder because its management team has such a great understanding of the industry.
“They’re going after a space right now where all the work is done on paper,” Watson said. “They can make the process a lot more efficient and ultimately allow for a lot more attention and care to be paid to the students who have autism.”
Blackwood said the company is seeking a total of $400,000 and is now in discussion with investors, who he declined to name, about closing out the round with an investment of $270,000.
Credits: Photo of Blackwood courtesy of Blackwood.