Larry Smith, founder of Quality of Sobriety
Quality of Sobriety, a University of Notre Dame startup, has won an Elevate Nexus seed investment of $80,000 funded by Elevate Ventures. Quality of Sobriety is a relapse prevention software application for people in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. The company uses machine learning through AI to predict when a relapse is likely to happen. They use that information to connect patients to a supportive community of other individuals who connect with them at the times they need it most.
The Indiana-based startup founded in 2020 has raised $153,000 to date to service pilot programs for those in recovery. They are partnered with the largest drug and alcohol treatment facility in Indiana, the Bowen Center, to get access to hundreds of patients and dozens of therapists to test the app. The Bowen Center is helping Quality of Sobriety identify bugs, additional features and help make initial measurements of the impact it has on their patient population.
Quality of Sobriety has also secured three pilot customers. This year the company hopes to raise $500,000 in pre-seed funding according to Ben Hoggan, who serves on the board of directors and is the director of de-risking at the IDEA Center at Notre Dame. The company will use funding towards client relationships and support, new clients and the Bowen Center. The next round of funding will be used to add staff including a UI/IUX designer, social media manager, president and CEO.
Quality of Sobriety’s sole purpose is to help people in recovery from addictions to alcohol and drugs. The goal is to fix the root causes that lead to addiction and dramatically reduce the amount of drug and alcohol relapses that occur. By lowering the rate of relapse, Quality of Sobriety increases the rate of abstinence through a combination of fellowship and unity using a 12-step program. This is done through a holistic approach in the recovery process. With 24-hour access to the app, patients can connect with sponsors and clinical professionals to keep them on the road to recovery.
The app is not limited just to those in recovery. It is also available to a patient’s predetermined support community who, in turn, create their own account and connect with the individual they are supporting when needed. This support community helps the individual struggling with addiction create a plan and the app then tracks if that individual is following that plan. The support community is also notified with suggestions of things to do to help the individual with addiction when that person gets close to a relapse. In order to reach those struggling with addiction, Quality of Sobriety goes through treatment providers to learn about each individual patient.
“The biggest takeaway is how God is at work in my life! What I like most about Quality of Sobriety is that we have assembled an amazing team! Each member of the team brings a unique set of experiences, knowledge and perspective to our company and our vision to help people in recovery be successful!” said founder Larry Smith.
Quality of Sobriety is one of the IDEA Center’s “high potential startups.” High potential startups are companies that are more likely to scale and grow quickly compared to other companies.
Currently there is no timeline for release of the app to the public. The company is further developing its app by working with two pilot facilities first. It then hopes to expand to 30 recovery center locations in the Bowen Center and Oaklawn networks. In addition, finishing its sales and marketing plan by the end of 2022.
When available to the public, the Quality of Sobriety app will be free to download on iOS and Google Play.
“Utilizing AI, we will be able to predict a relapse before it happens and implement targeted interventions. The primary outcome will be to lower the rate of relapse in the recovery process.” said Smith.