The team created an app for people with ADHD to help with tasks. (Photo by Aaliya Jakir)

Student Startup Wins $50K, Advances in Microsoft Competition with ADHD Tool

Georgia Tech computer science (CS) major Aaliya Jakir and her team are advancing to the next level of a global competition with their startup prototype, Roadmap. 

Roadmap assists individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in task initiation and management and has propelled the team to the 2024 Microsoft Imagine Cup World Championship finals. They emerged from the semifinals as one of the top three finalists, securing a $50,000 prize.

This web-based tool aims to alleviate the common hurdles faced by those with ADHD in organizing and initiating tasks. It provides tailored strategies and tools to enhance productivity and time management. With an intuitive interface and personalized features, users streamline their workflow and stay focused on their goals.

Jakir says that the idea stemmed from a critical gap they identified in the productivity tool space, compounded by their personal experiences with family members affected by ADHD. 

The Roadmap team. (Photo by Aaliya Jakir)
Roadmap team members include Georgia Tech CS major Aaliya Jakir with Binghamton University CS majors Ever Goldin and Clay Battle. Photos by Aaliya Jakir.

The team initially went through the Create-X Startup Launch, which provided resources and a launchpad for their idea. Jakir was also a member of Startup Exchange, a student-run entrepreneurial club.

Unlike existing platforms primarily focusing on organization and planning, Roadmap's primary emphasis is overcoming task paralysis, a prevalent challenge among individuals with ADHD. By breaking down tasks into manageable steps, offering personalized suggestions, and incorporating integrated tools like timers, Roadmap aims to reduce cognitive demands and enhance task initiation.

In addition to being more cost-effective, what sets Roadmap apart is its user-centric design and continuous feedback integration.

“Other productivity tools are not designed for people with ADHD as they focus on organization and planning, have overwhelming user interfaces, and do not address the specific motivational challenges faced by people with ADHD,” Jakir said. 

“In comparison, our tool focuses on getting started, provides a frictionless user experience, and uses the insight of over 100 experts on ADHD. As a user continues to use Roadmap, we provide them with insights into their behaviors to learn how they work best, including their strengths and weaknesses.”

Jakir highlighted the significance of user feedback in the development process, emphasizing the invaluable role of Georgia Tech students in beta testing. Their feedback has been instrumental in identifying bugs, refining functionalities, and adding new features to the platform.

The Roadmap team. (Photo by Aaliya Jakir)
The Roadmap team has worked together on their startup, which aims to help people with ADHD.

Roadmap is inviting more users to test its prototype and provide feedback. Interested individuals can visit the team’s website here for a one-week free trial. 

“We’d love to hear people’s stories, with ADHD or their struggles with executive dysfunction,” Jakir said. “People can join our Discord or email us to set up a meeting so we can understand their unique challenges.”

The team says winning the Microsoft Imagine Cup would provide a global platform to tackle the stigma against ADHD and offer critical resources to those in need. With the prize money and resources, they plan to accelerate their product development and scale their startup to better serve the community they are building.

The team will fly to Seattle for Microsoft Build this month, and the top winner will be announced on May 21. The winner will receive $100,000 and a mentorship session with Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella.