Being a father of a child with disability motivated Danny Hui to create sameview, an app that enables easier and better disability care coordination.
Tell us a bit about sameview and how this project came to life.
In our family we have 3 children and our youngest son Monty lives with disability. In the early days, we struggled with coordinating his care. Monty’s team involves more than 20 people but none of these amazing people were talking to each other: the coordination was on us, the family. We discovered that many families were in the same situation. Every family has goals they want to achieve, but sometimes the stress of getting everybody to be on the page is a bit too much.
That’s what led us to create sameview, a software platform that allows families to track their most complicated and stressful parts of their daily lives when they care for someone with disability. We believed that this was something where technology could help. With the app, families can track appointments, outcomes, exercises against the goals they have, but most importantly, the entire support team can use the platform to collaborate and communicate with each other.
When did sameview start?
We’ve had this idea for about 2 or 3 years. Last year was heavy medically because Monty had a few brain surgeries and it was around that time that we decided to give it a go. From November 2016, I started to work full-time on the project. At the moment I am the only one, but I hope that over time I will be able to build a team, especially in terms of development, design or social media.
What were you doing before starting sameview?
I am an engineer, and most of the work I’ve done was in utilities. When I was working in emergency management – coordinating disasters or major events – I had to get different people from different organisations to work together towards the same goal.
What is your vision for sameview? What potential impact do you want sameview to have?
Our vision is around confidence. We want to give families the confidence to set whatever goals they want and achieve them. It could be anything from learning how to walk to smaller things such as going on a family holiday or even taking a break from all the weekly therapy sessions.
You’ve recently been accepted in the Optus Future Makers funding and mentoring program, could you tell us more about it?
It’s been a really exciting development for us. The Future Makers program is an accelerator program for social enterprises. They broadly focus on innovative tech solutions that help disadvantaged youth. At this stage, we have received a small grant to build a prototype, test it and receive feedback. Now we are leading up to the final workshop where we’ll pitch for a larger amount of funding.
So what’s next for sameview?
The accelerator program has really propelled our business forward and there are a lot of things happening at once right now. What I am most excited about is that our prototype should be ready in the next couple of weeks. We will initially launch it to a select number of families, as well as some amazing service providers who are also on board and ready to share the app with their own families.
Meanwhile, we have also launched a crowdfunding campaign. The aim of the campaign is to reach out to more families and get support so we can accelerate the completion of the full version of our post-feedback prototype.
There are so many reasons. Being an entrepreneur, especially when you are working on your own, can feel lonely. You don’t have anyone to share the ups or downs. Being in a co-working environment, especially in one that is so values-aligned, makes me feel supported and motivated.
What do you enjoy the most about co-working?
I love that sense of community – almost being a team even though we are all working on different projects. The best way to describe this feeling is that I actually started calling it my Hub family. Since I’ve come to the Social Impact Hub I’ve been able to draw a little from each co-worker just by being around the amazing people in the community.
What is one quality every social entrepreneur should have?
Thinking about the lessons I’ve learnt so far, I would say being flexible and adaptable is probably one of the most useful qualities to have. To not be too tied into one idea or just having the humility to accept that thing aren’t perfect and you have to get things wrong to learn how to get things right.
Most useful lesson you’ve learnt so far?
Start small. It took me some time to understand that it is better to try something small and get feedback early on instead of jumping ahead too quickly. Not everything needs to happen at once and you progress much faster if you go step by step.
As I come from the corporate environment I thought things would work the same way: you do a big investment, you build something and then the customers would come all at once. But when you are creating something it’s a very different process. You need to go for one person at a time, build momentum bit by bit. Patience is definitely a big part of it and you have to set the right expectations. I learnt how to enjoy each milestone and each new connection I’ve made with someone.
How did you find the transition from a corporate world to the social enterprise and disability sectors?
Coming to the Social Impact Hub was really my first entrance into the social enterprise sector. Before walking through those doors, I had no ideas who the players were, who was connected how, or even the principles and fundamental ideas. For a long time I felt like an outsider, trying to find my way through this new world, new language, new people. It was like jumping onto another planet.
Entering the disability sector has also been a big lesson. It is a very exciting time for the sector, with the NDIS coming in, and it is moving very quickly. I’m meeting more and more families like myself who have taken upon themselves to come up with solutions and do something about what they see as inadequacies in the system.
Have you considered collaborating?
When I first started sameview, the thing I was most worried about was that someone would have the same idea, at a more advanced stage or with more money – that would keep me awake at night.
This changed when I was about to go on a trip to meet with my developers. The night before, I came across a website of someone that seemed to have had the exact same idea. But what I discovered was that in a few hours, I was able to shape my idea much more clearly that I would have done in months of thinking and this resulted in a greater confidence in what I wanted to build.
You can’t do things in isolation. Collaboration with the right businesses and entrepreneurs is really the key to success.
Lastly, how has the Social Impact Hub community helped you in your journey as a social enterprise?
I have received so much practical advice from the Hub community. Every entrepreneur goes through the same fundamental issues, whether it be pitching or applying for grants, and the Hub community has helped me overcome all of these challenges.
Above that, the Social Impact Hub’s network is extremely valuable for additional feedback and for all the connections you wouldn’t have had otherwise. The other great thing is that because there are so many community members, everybody is at a different stage of their enterprise, and even just watching what other people are doing can help you prepare for the next stages.
Located in Edgecliff, the Social Impact Hub offers co-working opportunities to Sydney’s changemakers. If you’re in the business of creating social impact check out our start-up friendly rates and consider joining our vibrant community. Contact us to arrange a tour.