Since I was very young, I have witnessed firsthand the dedication, compassion , and power of the world of healthcare. I was raised in a "medical family" as the daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter of highly accomplished physicians. Between my time with them, our many longtime medical friends, and my own experience working in a private healthcare practice, I have always had an intimate view and appreciation of the world of medicine. While I have been fortunate enough to not have had any life-threatening or otherwise serious health conditions, I have also grown to know healthcare as someone on the receiving end due to chronic pain from various minor yet complicated conditions.
Despite my overwhelmingly positive experiences with healthcare, the area of my health with which I struggled the most was the one for which I also failed to seek treatment. By the time I was 12, I was struggling with a number of mental health issues - issues that impacted every area of my life. To cope, I found solace in the outdoors. I didn't understand why escaping to nature was so powerful in managing my pain and mental health, but I knew that it was something that I needed to maintain and that I couldn't take it for granted. While I can now see that my failure to seek medical care was undoubtedly a mistake in many aspects, it has also greatly shaped my sense of purpose and drive to improve the health and life of any child living with pain.
The idea for Avari XR came largely from a day in 2017 when I was fretting over what path I wanted to take for my college studies. My passions had always been design, the outdoors, and healthcare, but I couldn't find a career that combined all three. After a long conversation about my concerns with my mother, she said to me: "Think about how much joy and meaning the outdoors have given you. What if you could give that to a child who wouldn't otherwise have it?".
After four years of college education, growth, and developing a deeper understanding of my goals and my strengths as a professional, I began work on
Avari XR for my undergraduate senior thesis in the fall of 2020. I quickly fell in love with the work, and after realizing how significant its potential could be to the improvement of technology in healthcare and the betterment of thousands of lives, I made the decision to pursue it fully. I continued the work through the RedHawk Ventures Accelerator program in the spring, through which I was able to compete in and take first place in the Miami University RedHawk Venture Pitch Competition in May of 2021. At the same time, I was going through the application process to a program to which I would later be accepted - as of June 2021, Avari XR is a member of the Mayo Clinic Innovation Exchange. After graduating with honors from Miami University, I packed up my car and moved to Rochester, Minnesota - home of Mayo Clinic's main campus - where I worked full-time on the business development, networking, research, and design for Avari XR.
In the fall of 2021, I accepted an offer to join Immersed, a startup building the world's top app for VR productivity and professional collaboration, as the Head of UX/UI Research and Design. I spent roughly 1.5 years immersing (pun intended) myself deeper into the world of VR/AR, UX/UI, and tech startups. Working directly with the engineering team, I grew my skillset in UX/UI for 3D interactions with a strong focus on ease of usability and accessibility. In March of 2023 I moved to Flamel.AI, an early-stage startup focused on building an AI-powered design studio for businesses, also as the Head of UX/UI. In my time at these two startups, I have not only improved my technical experience and skillset tenfold but also immeasurably grown in wisdom and understanding of the tech startup world. Today, I continue my work at Flamel.AI while also returning much of my focus to Avari XR, now armed with more knowledge, resources, and a greater abundance of creative inspiration.
As Avari XR continues to grow, a large area of focus is that of developing my network in the fields of pediatrics, mental health, pain management, VR development, health tech startups, and outdoor content development. For those who are interested in learning more about Avari XR or who have potential connections they would like to make, I invite you to reach out to me via direct contact or through my LinkedIn.
I was fortunate enough to receive an incredible education at Miami University, and the support that I have and continue to receive has been exceptional. My work in my Emerging Technology in Business and Design major was excellent for immersing me in the world of UX/UI design, 3D modeling, digital photography and processing, web and social media marketing, and more, and my minor in Entrepreneurship not only showed me how to understand and practice business concepts and processes but also gave me countless opportunities to do work that went far beyond the classroom. The extensive one-on-one coaching and mentorship that I received from Mark Lacker, Artie Kuhn, Dr. Michael Conger, Dr. Jim Friedman, and other professors and faculty was deeply powerful in empowering and preparing me to pursue and create the work that is Avari XR, and I cannot thank them enough for their tireless dedication to helping me get to where I am today.
Endless thanks to my friends and family for continuously inspiring me to work harder, reach higher, and always find time to explore.