The story of Memjo starts at SyncTheCity; a 54-hour startup business event organised by the University of East Anglia and SyncNorwich. This event brings together students, developers and business people to some together, share business ideas and then form teams around the ideas voted the best by everyone attending.
One of the ideas really caught my attention. Many people who have a family member living with dementia create memory books. One participant, Robert Bonar, talked about his experiences spending time with his grandma and though wouldn’t it be great to create a digital memory book. That way it would be possible to combine photos with music and videos, and display them in a more interactive way than is possible on paper. It reminded me in particular of a neighbour that I was close to, and the little simple things that helped him live in his home.
So my vote when straight to Robert’s idea – and that was the team I wanted to join. At the end of the event we had a rough prototype. The clever part of Memjo wasn’t creating an App that was easy to use, it was having it all linked to a website where family and friends can upload photos and so on, and layout them out in an interactive memory book. I spoke to several charities and care homes who all said what a great idea and were hugely supportive and encouraging.
Since the event ended we all tried to stay in touch, the students on the team went back to finishing their degrees, those of us working went back to our busy jobs. However the idea of Memjo stayed with us. This summer a few of us had more time. I’d finished some hectic projects, and Robert had graduated, so we thought now is the time to pick Memjo up and see if we can make the rough business plan into reality. We bounced the ideas around between us and are now busy turning Memjo into reality.