Promoting tech for good innovators creating a positive impact

Impact Interview: Michelle Ridsdale, Founder & CEO of Kaboose

Welcome to Global Good’s Impact Interview series. This interview series is designed to tell the stories of the people and companies working to drive impact in society.

In this interview, we will hear about Kaboose, a unique app to help facilitate the growth of neurodiverse communities and support networks.

Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your role?

I am the force behind Kaboose, an innovative app designed to foster a sense of community for autistic individuals and those embracing neurodiversity.

Drawing from my own personal journey and lived experiences, as a dedicated advocate and volunteer within the autistic community, and through witnessing my own son grapple with isolation and disconnection, I was inspired to create a platform that addresses these challenges head-on.

With a solid foundation in people and culture, I boast a professional trajectory that spans diverse industries and transcends borders. My extensive experience culminated in a pivotal role as Chief People Officer within the technology sector, where I recognised the potential to harness my expertise and expansive industry network to bring Kaboose to fruition.

My commitment goes beyond the creation of an app; it’s a testament to my unwavering determination to bridge the gaps within the neurodiverse community. Through Kaboose, I seek to build bridges of understanding, companionship, and inclusivity while exemplifying the powerful impact of uniting personal passion with professional acumen.

How did your company come about and what was the motivation behind it?

Seeing my own son suffer from loneliness and social isolation, and the significant impact on his mental health, I wanted to do something that connects people from an early age.

Our vision is to provide a community platform that provides neurodivergent people the opportunity to find friends first, and then build their tribe of support throughout their lives.

Can you describe Kaboose’s mission and values?

Our focus is on inclusion – we want to create a safe space where everyone can be themselves and have a feeling of belonging.

  • Inclusivity
  • Belonging
  • Respect
  • Trust

What are some of the most pressing social issues that Kaboose is working to address through its technology?

We’re really focused on creating a space where people feel they can belong, and that they have their tribe of support – whether it’s friends, mentors, jobs, housemates, or social connections.

How does your company measure the impact of its work in creating positive change?

We are aiming to measure using the UN impact goals, but at this stage, we are measuring our effectiveness based on user feedback. We are currently in discussions with another organisation to develop a unique impact measure for our combined work.

In your opinion, what impact will technology have in creating a better future?

Technology is a great way to remove barriers, whether they are geographical or social. Many neurodivergent people have social anxiety and find technology is a way that can remove some of those barriers. For Kaboose, AI will help us monitor bullying which creates a safer and more inclusive space for our members.

What advice do you have for other companies looking to use tech for good and positively impact the world?

Keep swimming! It’s not easy building a startup, but staying focused on your ‘why’ and pivoting quickly as you find your product market fit will be critical.

Kaboose was selected as a Top 10 HealthTech Finalist of the Super Connect for Good Competition 2023 powered by Empact Ventures and Hays

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