Nineteen-year old Harsh Songra was woken up at 2am on Wednesday by the frequent Facebook notifications after the social media site’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg published a post about him and his startup, My Child App.
In the post, Sandberg told the story of Songra and his app as an instance of startups being supported by Facebook under its FBStart programme. “We’re supporting developers like Harsh who have great ideas but can’t always access the resources they need,” she posted
My Child, an Android app, that tells parents if their child is likely to be suffering from a developmental disorder by processing basic inputs such as the child’s height, weight and gender, in just 45 seconds. It took Songra’s parents nine years to get him diagnosed of having dyspraxia, a developmental disorder.
The late diagnosis meant that his parents could do nothing to help. But Songra’s father, who was a hardware engineer, taught him to use the computer at a young age and he used computer games to overcome the problems of coordination and movement that dyspraxia brings with it.
When he was sixteen, Songra was experimenting with algorithms. His drive to do something that will guide parents like his and two years of research helped him build My Child all by himself.
Launched in January this year and built with the help of Facebook’s platform Parse and promoted with other tools such as Facebook ads, Hootsuite and Mailchimp, the app had seen downloads from across six continents.
The chairman of product council at Nasscom, Ravi Gururaj, recently got on board as a mentor. He expressed his excitement at Sandberg’s post in a Facebook post. Songra, who is pursuing BCA in the Bhopal School of Social Sciences, said, “Being an entrepreneur means that you lose out on a lot, including your friends. But, when things like this happen, you know that the struggle was worth it.”
Originally published in Economic Times