Israel-based social technology company Intuition Robotics has a big idea: Their ElliQ voice-activated “care companion” is like Alexa for elderly adults, offering fitness reminders, wellness support, video calls, entertainment, photos, and even jokes. But can they land funding?
As part of MIT Sloan Action Learning’s Israel Lab Executive MBA students Ryan Beaudry, Melissa Roberts Chapman, Fiton Peja, and Blaire Ryan were tasked with identifying $15 million in impact investments for the product, which involved clearly communicating its benefits and drilling down on its niche in the marketplace.
“We realized that there are deep connections between what ElliQ can do and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). We focused on highlighting the connection to UN SDG 03 (Good Health and Wellbeing) and UN SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities) and utilizing a theory-of-change framework to help the impact investment community see the tremendous upside and potential of ElliQ,” says Ryan. “We also mapped out a list of possible impact investors and shared our thoughts with the team on how we might engage these potential partners.”
Ultimately, they identified 19 potential partners. The team worked closely with CEO and Co-founder Dor Skuler despite his demanding schedule.
“Dor provided great feedback, and we worked iteratively together to come up with a final deliverable that Intuition Robotics could use. We learned a lot through the process,” Ryan says. “Dor is an incredible leader and truly inspiring individual. He consistently took time out of his day to connect with us while his team was launching ElliQ and participating in a rigorous press and publicity tour.”
Skuler also set an important example for the team, always taking time to involve them in the creative process and to share meaningful milestones even while busy launching the product in the United States. It left a lasting impression.
“A highlight was when Dor told us during our weekly meeting to tune into ‘The Today Show’ because ElliQ would be featured. Watching that happen in real time on live TV was amazing. What was even more amazing was the way Dor led his team and company through all of this while still making time for us. We learned firsthand from Dor and the team that it's not enough to just be innovative — it’s imperative to be principled,” says Ryan.