EyeFocus Accelerator would like to introduce Anne Kjaer Riechert, one of the mentors for EyeFocus 2016.
Anne is the Co-founder and CEO of ReDI School of Digital Integration, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping refugees integrate into German society by learning to code. She also has experience managing her own humanitarian project, Kids Have a Dream, which organizes workshops to empower youth through drawings and discussions about their dreams for the future. The project has reached over 4,000 young people in 33 countries, and garnered support from organizations such as UNAIDS, Rotary International and Amnesty International.
Even with her myriad accomplishments, including receiving the prestigious Rotary Peace Fellowship, Anne is most proud of her ability to connect with people from all walks of life and find areas of need that should be addressed.
“We are convinced it’s not only what you know, but who you know if you want to start a new career. That is why networking and community building are core principles at ReDI,” Anne said.
ReDI launched its first two coding programs in February 2016 with an event in Berlin that had as a special guest Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman of Facebook. He had this to say about his experience with ReDI:
“Dealing with the refugee crisis is a huge challenge, and it is inspiring to see people creating opportunities through technology … Germany’s leadership and compassion in the refugee crisis has also become a symbol of what it means to build an inclusive global community, and has set an example for the world.”
As a founder of multiple organizations, Anne has experience building companies from the ground up. Looking back to when she was starting out, she remembers receiving a key piece of advice: “If you want to go fast – go alone. If you want to go far – go together.” She then added that the key to success is to build a strong team.
Anne’s advice to entrepreneurs is to “stop talking about your users – start talking with them! Involve your end-users as much and as early as possible. If possible, co-create your solution with them from Day 1.” For EyeFocus 2016, she hopes to support companies while they find healthcare solutions that will ultimately aid more people in need.
Anne says she enjoys mentoring because she is incredibly curious and wants “to see health innovation ideas help more people.” Specifically, she is interested in scalable solutions for users at the bottom of the pyramid in the developing world – particularly in refugee camps.
Sign Up for Our Eye-Care Innovation Conference
EyeFocus will be ending it’s second accelerator program on January 31 with a one-day conference to explore the future of eye-care technology. The event will provide an opportunity for members of our ecosystem to network and collaborate and gather experts from a wide range of med-tech fields to explore the ways new technologies can make life better for people with vision problems.