We are Rockmelon — why we’re building a global business to help kids on the autism spectrum

Education, health and government are some of the last sectors to truly embrace the transformative capabilities of the internet. But in areas such as disability, uncertainty in adopting new technology continues to hamper innovation, which ultimately disadvantages those who would benefit most.

Image for post
Image for post
Alex’s son Beau

As a parent with a child on the autism spectrum, Alex André de la Porte knew something had to change. He’d become increasingly frustrated at the lack of information, insight and visibility across his son’s program. Due to the current nature of early intervention services, he found there was very little effective communication happening between therapists and parents. He was tired of not knowing how his son was going, whether or not the therapy was helping him and of having to carry around a suitcase of lesson plans and flashcards to every session.

By parents, for parents

Alex knew technology was the key, but that any solution had to be designed by parents, for parents. He also knew he needed a team of experts to help. So he reached out to Nicole Rogerson and Stuart Waite.

Nicole is one of Australia’s leading advocates for the awareness and understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder having worked in the space for more than 16 years. She is the CEO of Autism Awareness Australia and until 2016 was a director of one of Australia’s largest and most respected providers of early intervention programs for children with autism. Having a now grown son on the spectrum, Nicole has experienced firsthand the impact good early intervention services can have on a child’s development.

Stuart is an experienced leader in the development of digital products and software platforms. He founded his first software company at age 30, successfully exiting 7 years later. Now on his fourth startup, and with 25 years working in digital media, he has developed a finely tuned sense of how best to build teams and products while scaling innovative businesses that successfully leverage available technology.

Image for post
Image for post

As the team came together, they challenged themselves to think bigger than anyone else. To identify a problem truly worth solving and to put parents at the centre of everything they do. To address the fact that globally 150 children are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder every hour. That the economic impact of ASD is predicted to surpass ADHD and Diabetes combined by 2025. And that children and adults with autism are being held back through a lack of investment in the technology needed to positively change their lives.

Enter Rockmelon…

Image for post
Image for post
Alex, Nicole and Stuart

Named after Alex’s son’s favourite food, Rockmelon is a new company with global ambitions. The founding team bring expertise in autism, technology and finance, plus decades of experience in starting and building businesses around the world. Their plans will positively impact the lives of millions of children and their families by delivering new innovative products at the intersection of learning, community and technology.

Rockmelon isn’t just a software platform. It is a global community of parents all working towards the same goal: access to quality early intervention products and services that will allow our children to reach their best outcomes.

We’ve brought together an extensive team of parents, clinicians, animators, product designers and software engineers who are focused on completely reimagining the way technology is utilised to deliver innovative products and services to an underserved market.

Creating an IMPACT

We believe that ALL children can and should have access to the life changing early intervention services they need. Rockmelon was created for children with a developmental delay and their parents, by parents who were frustrated with the current system. For too long, early intervention services have been limited, restricted and insufficient. Rockmelon is going to change that…

You can read more about our Founders and their stories here: https://rockmelon.co/about/

Image for post
Image for post

The Rockmelon team is excited to be launching our first product shortly.

Originally published at rockmelon.co.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store