A Smarter Life Alert
PROVO, Utah – Mar 02, 2018 – When Katie Strobel’s grandfather passed away, her family constantly worried about leaving their grandmother—who was at risk to suffer a life-threatening fall—by herself. Strobel, an entrepreneurship senior from Idaho Falls, Idaho, wanted to do something to help her grandmother and others at risk.
Strobel was inspired to create Allywatch, a smartwatch application for elderly adults. Teaming up with BYU engineering students through the Crocker Fellows program, Strobel and her team’s product features fall detection, heart rate sensing, location, and medication reminders all incorporated through an Apple Watch app. There’s also an accompanying companion application to enable family members to track stats and reach a third-party center that handles emergency responses if readings are abnormal.
“We didn’t come with this idea in particular,” Strobel says. “But after spending three weeks shadowing at assisted living centers and conducting many interviews, we landed on Allywatch as a low-cost solution inclusive in existing technology that would help many people and wasn’t currently on the market.”
Recently, the Allywatch team has gained funding by placing well at business competitions and will be pitching to investors in the next few weeks. While they are currently in a beta test phase, March will be the soft launch of Allywatch.
“When we first started the fellowship, we really wanted to create something that is big and transformed into a social venture purpose and mission,” Strobel says. “We call ourselves the smart Life Alert.”
Being a creative who loves numbers and knows how to handle risks well, Strobel found her perfect fit as an entrepreneur. Although her dad was a doctor, he always had entrepreneurial work on the side, so Strobel grew up learning and helping on the projects he had.
“I grew a passion for entrepreneurship and loved it!” exclaims Strobel. “So when I first came to BYU, I knew that it was an option I’d consider pursuing.”
In April, Strobel will be graduating from BYU Marriott and taking a one-way trip to Barcelona with her husband. After taking some time off, they’ll move to Silicon Valley to work full-time while also pursuing their startup and other venture ideas and applying for incubators and accelerators.
Running a startup and being the BYU student body vice president her senior year has kept Strobel busy, but she’s grateful for the structure of the entrepreneurship program that made it possible to create and run a business as a student. The work is applicable and project-based, whether it’s marketing or financial modeling.
“Every hour that I put into my education is now a business, a project I get to work on and continue,” Strobel says. “I think that’s very unique about the entrepreneurship program at BYU Marriott.”
Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Emily Colon