NJSBDC at Brookdale Community College is proud to announce that Paula Muller and the SOCIAVI Company as the Monmouth/Ocean counties InnovateHer Challenge winner. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) launched the nationwide competition for entrepreneurs who are developing products and services that will enhance the lives of women and their families.  The goal of SOCIAVI is to serve the communication needs of the elderly and their families and eliminate the isolation and loneliness that many of our seniors experience.

The senior care industry is under transformation and economists have identified potentially large payoffs. According to Oxford Economics, it composes 46% of the US economy and a $7.1 trillion market. The same analysts forecast it will grow to more than $13.5 trillion by 2032. There is a growing need to communicate with and monitor aging family members. SOCIAVI, created by Paula Muller of Keyport, New Jersey, has built a communication tool that helps everyone stay in touch addressing the needs and capabilities of each one involved. Characterized by simplicity and ease of use, SOCIAVI helps seniors and their children and grandchildren connect and come closer together even across long distances and in spite of the time management challenges of daily lives that the adult children experience.

Paula has a lifelong passion for technology applied to health care, starting with her M.S. in Biomedical Engineering in Chile working with blind people, then her work in Switzerland analyzing EEGs to prevent epileptic attacks, followed by her Ph.D. and Post-doc work at Rutgers with Parkinson patients, and most recently at Authentidate with Telehealth products and services. Paula also has vast experience in technology and software development through her engineering positions at several companies like Sirius/XM satellite radio, Net-Scale Technologies and Authentidate, among others. She is thorough in her research and development and she has educated herself (had also worked with the SBDC) in regards to planning. Paula has identified a significant challenge so many of us face within our family and has applied this highly developed and sophisticated skill set to address this need.

Paula enter her business plan alongside a dozen other New Jersey entrepreneurs. Her concept along with thorough research and forecasting moved her to the next round of in-person presentations. Her detailed business plan and compelling presentation led her to become the local winner from a pool of exceptional candidates. Local winners will then be evaluated by judges based on whether the products have the potential for commercialization, how big of an impact they have on the lives of women and families, and whether they fill a need in the marketplace.  The first-, second- and third-place winners for the national competition will be announced July 31. For more information about the InnovateHER competition, visit challenge.gov.