Stitch Hub - taking command of type 1 diabetes
Stitch Hub founders Eliza (B Public Communications & BCII), Polina (B Communications & BCII) and Lucy (B Visual Communications & BCII) are providing the tools to promote effective medical, financial, emotional and social management for those living with type 1 diabetes.
Give us your elevator pitch – what is your startup?
Stitch Hub is a one stop shop where, by simply creating an account, people living with type 1 diabetes (t1d), their carers and their clinicians are exposed to all the resources available to them, in one tidy package.
What's the problem your startup is solving? How long have you been working on it?
For people living with type 1 diabetes, their carers, and their clinicians, the journey to finding relevant and accessible resources that can help them better understand and manage their illness was complex, time consuming and difficult. The Stitch Hub team started working on this idea as part of a BCII capstone subject in 2017, and launched our MVP in August 2018.
Why is solving this problem important? Why does it matter to you?
Our co-founder Lucy was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 9. Her and her family took it in their stride, supported by the comprehensive care provided to children with this illness. As she transitioned from pediatric care to being a young adult, Lucy watched the support around her simply fall away. You can hear more about her journey here.
It matters to us because Lucy matters to us. Once you witness the effects of type 1 diabetes not just medically, but emotionally and socially, you can’t help but care. We’re just lucky we got the opportunity to do something about it.
Who's your target audience and why do they need it? Why should it matter to your audience?
Our target audience is any Australian living with t1d, any carers of people with the illness, and clinicians, specifically diabetes educators and endocrinologists. Put simply, Stitch Hub provides quick and easy access to resources you may otherwise have never come across. We have everything from new products to federal government financial assistance information. For carers, we have resources that can help you to better understand what it is like to live with t1d, and to help your loved one thrive. For clinicians we have NDIS information, but also a plethora of content you can feel safe recommending your patients as a trusted source.
What was your tipping point that prompted you to actually pursue your idea? What would your advice be to anyone at that tipping point?
We had the idea in a university subject and were kind of toying with the idea of spending some time on it in the real world. The tipping point for us was basically ‘why not’. We’re young, we have no commitments, we’re passionate - it’s the right time. Placing at UTS’s Project Pitch gave us a little bit of cash and the push we needed to establish the company, and we went on from there!
What key challenges and successes have you faced so far, or do you anticipate facing? How have you handled these challenges?
The biggest challenge we’ve faced so far has been our lack of experience in the space. We’ve been navigating the world of running and owning a business as three young women from communications backgrounds, and as a result we’re often not taken seriously. Proving ourselves as quick and capable learners in areas we’re not familiar with has been our biggest challenge, but also our biggest success. We’ve surrounded ourselves with new skills, amazing mentors, and a newfound believe in ourselves.
What's the biggest thing you've learnt so far?
The biggest thing we’ve learnt is what ‘rough’ actually means in a startup context. As designers and communicators, releasing something less than perfect for anyone to see is a living nightmare, but at the end of the day we’ve learnt that time is everything, so releasing products as soon as they fit their function is the right thing to do.
Who or what inspires you?
We’re inspired by other amazing female founders, who have found their footing in a predominantly male dominated sector and are paving the way for people like us. Hearing from Lauren Silvers Glamazon as they speak about their crazy and amazing journeys inspires us to persevere through the toughest times.
What next big milestone are you going after? What do you need for it and how should people reach you?
Our next big milestone is the launch of our full MVP - what you can see online at the moment is just one piece of the puzzle. We’re on the hunt for talented tech to assist our developer Laurence Presland in getting these next few features ready for launch. If you’re interested - reach out through our website or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Have a passion for a challenge you think is worth tackling? Visit startups.uts.edu.au and get started.
By Lourdes Millare, UTS Startups.