A dad who was inspired to create an app to make life easier for those with learning disabilities or organisational difficulties after his own daughter was diagnosed with Aspergers, could be in line for a major prize.
Trevor Nicholls is the brains behind EaseeDo, an app which allows users to create digital schedules, checklists and guides to help them in day-to-day life.
The smartphone app lets the user access all the resources on the go in a simplified ‘now’, ‘next’ and ‘later’ view of activities, with visual cues for transitioning from one activity to the next.
And because of the ingenuity behind the idea, EaseeDo has been chosen as one of four finalists for the Bailiwick Express Business Academy, where they have the chance to win a huge bonus for their business, or even get a major investor onboard. The Academy is supported by Carey Olsen, NatWest International, Sancus, Savils, Start-up Guernsey, Envestors and Jersey Business.
The man behind the app, Trevor Nicholls, started off as a mechanical engineer student. He shared his journey towards becoming the creator of EaseeDo with Express...
Pictured: Trevor's idea comes in the form of a downloadable app.
"After finishing full-time education studying Mechanical Engineering, I ended up with a contract job in a data capture office – more by accident than by design. It was in this office that I first experienced the entrepreneurial spirit.
"The IT system in place was inefficient and hard to work with, so I taught myself the programming language and wrote a prototype in my evenings, before presenting the idea to my manager. After that meeting, I was given six months to turn my prototype into a working system. That’s how I became a developer. Seven years later, I left that career and fulfilled a passion for flying.
"It was soon after this career change into aviation that, with my wife and young children, we moved to the Bailiwick of Guernsey to fly for one of the local airlines. 10 years later we are still in the Channel Islands, and I still fly for a local airline.
"Personal experience. About a year after moving to the Channel Islands, our eldest daughter was diagnosed with Aspergers. We put a lot of time and effort into supporting her on a daily basis. One of the ways we did this was by creating a visual plan of the day’s activities, and by keeping to a routine as much as possible so that her anxiety was reduced.
Pictured: Trevor's decision to create a system to make organisation easier for those with difficulties was inspired by his daughter, who was diagnosed with Aspergers.
"The problem was that our system of laminated cards, fridge magnets and whiteboards was not time efficient for us (as parents), and was great in the home but not portable.
"This was how the idea for EaseeDo – something we believe can benefit anyone with difficulties organising and prioritising tasks – was born.
"We’ve included some great features. One enables the user to record feelings and emotions via the app then review these against the schedule on the website, which helps create better understanding of their emotions and help identify triggers of anxiety. Another lets users manage a reward system, a bit like a digital sticker chart.
"Above all, EaseeDo has the potential to benefit many people. Although it was inspired by our children’s challenges, it’s not just for those with autism. It addresses poor ‘executive functioning’ – something associated with many other conditions. As such, it has the potential to help a wide variety of people, including those with ADHD, dyslexia, traumatic brain injury and even dementia."
In the next stage of the competition, Trevor will have to present his idea to a panel of some of the Channel Islands' top entrepreneurs and investors. Before that, however, Express wants YOU to have a say on which is the best business idea in a poll at the end of the week.
Tomorrow: Meet the creator of a unique way to teach people how to manage money...
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