Chung beat out three other startups as she presented in front of a panel that included Warren Buffet and AT&T global marketing officer Cathy Coughlin. Buffet, who casually referred to himself as “the papa bear” to Hannah’s “mama bear,” called Chung’s pitch “extremely good” before the two had time to meet up for a photo op.
Sproutel’s approach to treating illness through play appeared to really strike a chord with the judges, some of whom could see applications to their own children’s health situations. Though Sproutel’s only product, Jerry the Bear, currently targets children with diabetes, they have plans to expand into autism and asthma as they validate and improve their approach to children’s healthcare education.
After participating in the Betaspring Spring 2012 session, Sproutel has worked tirelessly to make Jerry the Bear as kid-friendly and educational as possible. 28 some-odd iterations and countless maimed bears later, Jerry is finally ready for production! Sproutel has 250 bears that are already deployed in private homes, hospital waiting rooms and doctors’ offices, with many more on the way.
A group of Founders League members, current Betaspringers and supporters convened at Betaspring to watch Hannah’s pitch live. As soon as voting--done by text message--went live, everyone whipped out their smartphones to support Hannah. And it seems to have worked--well done Hannah and Sproutel! Now, if you could do something about all those bear parts floating around the office...
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