The ESG Initiative at the Wharton School
WIVA Students Explore Ed-Tech Startup mytaptrack
The student team at Wharton Impact Venture Associates (WIVA) researched education technology startup mytaptrack and connected them to the crowdfunding platform Netcapital.
Over seven million students in the US have an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) to suit their special needs. IEPs provide a blueprint for a student’s education, but these plans — and their implementation — are only as good as the information used to create them. Instructors and behavior analysts collect observations and behavioral data, which is then used in conjunction with techniques like Applied Behavioral Analysis to better address the student’s special need, leading to enhanced learning outcomes and social development.
Today, behavioral data is typically collected with pen and paper and manually entered into a system later in the day. Not only does this approach take a significant amount of time for teachers and behavior analysts, but it also results in data which is sometimes too high-level to be actionable.
Enter mytaptrack. Mytaptrack is an Internet of Things (IoT) device and online platform for children with special needs. It tracks behaviors and symptoms on a real-time basis throughout the day, creating better, more accurate data than traditional pen-and-paper methods. It aims to save countless hours of teachers’ time — time that can be reinvested in face-to-face classroom interactions. Additionally, the platform enables real-time data sharing with parents, educators, and medical providers in a way that is compliant with both HIPAA and FERPA.
Founder Nikody Keating had the idea for mytaptrack based on the educational journey of his own son who has autism, coupled with his background in software platforms. “This company started with a simple mission, to help kids break through those things which block them from engaging in their own education,” Keating said in a statement. “We’re working to change the world by empowering teachers, administrators, parents and doctors through the simple click of a button.” People are starting to notice: FastCompany named the company an “Honorable Mention” for its World Changing Ideas program in 2020 in the category of Artificial Intelligence & Data.
Wharton MBA student TJ Radigan, WG’22 connected with Keating late last year and was immediately impressed by the company’s potential for positive impact. “My wife is an educator who has worked with special needs students, so I knew right away that this product would be game-changing for the challenges she faced in the classroom,” Radigan said.
Over the course of several months of conversations, research, and analysis, Radigan and the rest of the WIVA team believed in the company’s potential and eventually connected them to a crowdfunding platform. “We are so excited to be a part of mytaptrack’s journey to scale this innovative solution and ultimately make a positive impact for students and teachers around the country,” Radigan said.
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