Pooja Viswanathan is a Rhyze Ventures participant and the CEO and founder of Braze Mobility, a company that has created the world’s first patent- pending blind spot sensors that transform any wheelchair into a ‘smart’ wheelchair. The system detects obstacles and provides multi-model alerts to the users through lights, sounds and vibrations.
Viswanathan said networks are important support systems as are financial mentorship and connections to industry when scaling a business. She applied to Rhyze Ventures to access the industry expert mentorship and for the project execution. Compared to other programs, Viswanathan said Rhyze Venture’s diagnostic project aspect was unique and interesting and it provided critical resources specific to her business. Viswanathan said the accountability specific to her goals was motivating and helped her company execute specific marketing campaigns around conversions and awareness. “We understand what we need to do and how to get there,” she said. IG mentor Reda Fayek mentored the company through the process of onboarding an industry veteran who has opened doors for the company. “Reda helped us understand how to attract that level of expertise and talent; mentorship also helped us achieve a higher level of partnerships leading to growth and opportunity.”
While Braze Mobility already had a focus on digital, due to COVID, clients were more accustomed to connecting virtually which works well geographically and in expanding reach with a small team. “We adapted well to working remotely and virtually,” she said. “In fact, we’ve received feedback that we are one of the few companies that really embraced it creatively to connect with a primarily US market.”
Viswanathan said the company doubled down on their efforts, automated processes and broadened their network. “We’re trying to lead and educate,” she said. Viswanathan valued the diagnostic and the project that involved marketing, financial modeling and projections.
Viswanathan said her company is passionate about creating a more accessible world and wants people to know there’s more work to be done. She said COVID has brought attention to inequity and barriers so it’s a good time to educate others about mobility, independence and safety. She is proud that her work has created change in attitudes and policies, and residents of long-term care are now keeping mobility longer. “It’s rewarding to see dignity and quality of life as well as a general sense of wellness and to know we’re truly making a difference,” she said.