I am Dr Aviva Cohen, CEO and co-founder of seamlessCARE Ltd. We are proud to be supported by Enterprise Ireland and by Dr Frank Dolphin, former Chairman of the Irish National Health Service Executive (HSE) Irish national healthcare service. Many of the ideas we are bringing to life emerged as a result of lived experience and years of research into the real needs of neurodiverse people and those who provide their care.
Our story begins in 2006 when my husband, Steve, survived a stroke that stole his speech, his mobility and his cognition. At the time, our little girls were just 10 months old and 5 years of age. Steve had been my karate Sensi for 17 years. With patience and steel he had taught me how to fight on no matter how badly I was hurt. I thank him every day for that resilience.
As I fought to help Steve, I could see so many gaps in care and the potential to address these deficits. Supported by Social Entrepreneurs Ireland and the National Digital Research Centre (NDRC) I was encouraged to develop some of my ideas.
In 2011 I set up Neuro Hero Ltd. Over the years we developed 19 apps in 6 languages to support people with word finding difficulties. Ian Kennedy was the CTO; his flair for innovation and design helped us to win numerous awards. The publicity led to a Marie Curie/ASSISTID post-doctoral research Fellowship. This provided extraordinary opportunities to work within caring organisations and to collaborate with service users and their families. My research was expertly supervised in University College Dublin (UCD) and Queens University Belfast (QUB). As a consequence, I was invited to become the deputy director of a multidisciplinary PhD programme in the school of Mechanical and Materials Engineering in UCD. One of our PhD Candidates was (now Dr) Çağrı Çubukçu. His thesis revealed an exceptional technical and creative talent. On the completion of his PhD, I invited Çağrı to join the seamlessCARE founding team.
In 2019 we were awarded a prestigious Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Fund, hosted in UCD. With expert guidance, from both organisations, we engaged in two years of relentless research, development, collaboration and innovation. This resulted in further investment from Enterprise Ireland in addition to private investment and ongoing support from NovaUCD.
Of course, there is a great deal more to this story and it is far from finished. We are proud of the journey we have navigated so far. Ian, Cagri and I look forward to sharing the work that was inspired by an incredible father, partner and karate sensi, the late Steve Connor.