1. Find Your Ditto: Michigan Business Challenge – Impact Track Finalist Team

    February 3, 2017

    Who are the team members?

    Parisa Soraya, @parisasoraya
    Brianna Wolin, @breezygfreezy
    Team: @findyourditto

    How did you decide your team name?

    We actually named our business with a thesaurus! We wanted to find a word to describe the feeling of “me too” and “I get it”, which led us to “ditto”.

    Tell us briefly about your business idea.

    Find Your Ditto connects individuals living with the same chronic illness locally for on-demand, in-person peer support. It started when I met my now-co-founder, Brianna, who really highlighted what it meant to live with an “invisible” illness. We went on to find that hundreds of other patients and caregivers across the nation also felt these pervasive feelings of isolation and loneliness associated with their chronic illness.

    We are securing contracts with universities this year to pilot with their students. We hope to eventually grow to be a resource for all chronic illness patients across the nation so that they are able to find peer support wherever and whenever they need it and begin to feel like “it’s not just me.”

    How has the MBC experience helped transform your approach to business strategy?

    MBC has really pushed us to consider how to sustainably grow and scale our business. What’s unique about MBC is that it’s not just a one time pitch competition — it is separated into rounds with deliverables and workshops along the way. This really helped us build out different parts under the guidance of experienced mentors.

    What do you think will be the long-term impact of the implementation of this idea?

    Find Your Ditto helps establish a peer support foundation among individuals living with chronic illness and increase the awareness and usage of community health resources. Through this, we can improve psychosocial functioning among patients and ultimately improve health outcomes.

    What been your biggest takeaway from this experience?

    We’ve really been able to refine our business model. While I don’t have an academic background in business, I’ve gained so much structured support from MBC through mentors at the Zell Lurie Institute and Center for Social Impact, as well as the ZLI workshops. This has all helped me become more comfortable approaching our product through a business-focused lens.

    If you win, what will you do immediately following the competition?

    Sleep! And then get back up and work. Although it’s difficult to launch a business, it’s also really exciting and rewarding, and every minute you can spend growing the venture is invaluable.

    Is there anything else you would like to tell us?

    I am so grateful for the continued support of MBC and especially for specifically supporting social enterprises through the Social Impact Track. We know we will stay connected with the mentors we have engaged with throughout our time in MBC and plan to utilize the skills and resources we have gained as we grow our venture.

     


    Join us on Feb. 17 to watch this team compete for the $15K grand prize in the Impact Track Finals!

    Read more about the other finalist teams: AIM Tech | Kladder | Sage & Grace