Aidan Mickleburgh ’22 G’23 is concurrently earning an undergraduate degree in the College of Engineering and Computer Science and an MBA from the Whitman School of Management. Along the way, he realized that entrepreneurship isn’t as complicated as he thought. An entrepreneur solves problems with viable solutions. That’s what Aidan does naturally.
With this realization, Aidan began to leverage his academic skills sets and apply them to entrepreneurial endeavors. He has an ability to think forward, taking control of a room and commanding a space. Coupled with his surrealist nature, consideration of possible outcomes and openness to challenges, and tenacity, Aidan realized he has the building blocks to succeed in the field of innovation.
In his own words, “It takes a lot for me to back down from doing something.”
Aidan’s innovative drive stems from his belief that at the core of all innovation is a desire to make life easier. He says, “The core concept of efficiency is something with which I’ve been obsessed. To me, the driving factor of successful innovations is that they make our lives easier.”
At the end of last semester Aidan and his friend Noah Mechnig-Giordano went to the LaunchPad to pitch an idea. The idea was personal to him because he was especially busy. His idea was a digital platform to organize and prioritize messages, with a goal of building a platform to monitor, organize and prioritize personal communications from across many different channels.
Throughout the innovation process, Aidan’s biggest finding through research was realizing nothing like it exists. There was no cross platform technology that connects messages to actions and planning systems.
Aidan worked on the idea for his venture, Abridgd, and competed in several business plan competitions. He is also presenting the concept in the Intelligence ++ Showcase. He has been working this semester on the idea through EEE453, a course taught in the LaunchPad that is structured much like an accelerator, focusing on customer discovery, and developing product and business model roadmaps.
“I want to change how we deal with virtual messages using Abridgd,” says Aidan. “Since the start of the Covid pandemic, many of us have started to feel overwhelmed. We have low energy, low motivation, and at times struggle to complete even simple tasks. These feelings, for many of us, are new and uncomfortable. But for others, these feelings are familiar.”
Between Aidan and his cofounder Noah, they have strong technical and business skills. Aidan has a background in biomedical devices and Noah is a cybersecurity analyst. Additionally, they have built a team of excellent advisors, both experts in clinical application and research, with additional expertise in ADHD, anxiety, depression, and OCD.
“Our mission is to allow you to worry less, achieve more, and gain confidence. Abridgd is a cross-platform, AI-powered task list that connects to your messaging platforms, from Slack to Gmail to iMessage, that can help extract tasks and events from those messages. These tasks are then prioritized by urgency and displayed to you one at a time. To ensure functionality for as many users as possible, Abridgd will host many popular apps, so you can stay on top of your world, no matter where it is hosted.”
Aidan is raising $10,000 to get a web-based prototype in the hands of beta testers by this summer. “This funding will give us the ability to get our design and interfaces ready for a live product and covering the cost of contract developers and cloud fees. Together, we can change lives for the better, and we can make the world better.”
Story by Zaccai Foundation Fellow Samba Soumare