By Stephanie Palmer-Derrien – SmartCompany
Learning-platform startup Rockmelon has secured $3 million in funding from an angel investor as it continues to develop its tech to help children with autism and their parents.
The startup offers digital tools to help parents of children with autism, providing visual tools, team management capabilities for therapy, and a library of resources for specialised skill-building.
Rockmelon is designed to address the needs of families who “do not have access to the basics of helping their child, other than in the form of quite thorough literature, or costly therapy”, founder Alex Andre de la Porte tells StartupSmart.
“There’s not enough supply, in terms of therapy hours, being met, globally,” he adds
Andre de la Porte founded Rockmelon after his son was diagnosed with autism when he was seven. With a background in finance and investment, Andre de la Porte brings money-sense and personal experience to the table.
But he had to get people with specialist skills and expertise on board “if we were going to try and have a real crack at solving a real challenge”, he says.
Co-founder Stuart Waite is a serial founder Andre de la Porte met through his startup networks, and was also a friend of a friend, who the founder trusted to bring technical skills to the team.
The third co-founder, Nicole Rogerson, is the founder of Autism Awareness Australia, but also someone Andre de la Porte knows through parenting networks.
“She’s a dynamic person who gets things done and is very respected in the community, globally.”
The team started “serious work” on the Rockmelon app last year, Andre de la Porte says, and since then they’ve been working on product development.
The Parent Edition app is already available in the iOS App Store, and the Learning Edition is in progress.