METAIRIE, La. — The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) announced a new partnership between a local startup tech company and a Jefferson Parish-based PK-8 School this week. The Tom Benson School began working with 2019 JEDCO Challenge finalist nDorse at the start of the school year to create a culture of recognition among teachers and faculty. According to a press release, this is the first educational institution in the Jefferson Parish Public School System to utilize the new technology.
nDorse is a mobile and web based software application that allows colleagues and team members to provide real-time positive feedback based on institutional core values. The company launched in late 2015 to help businesses and organizations create positive company culture, enhance communication between employees and reduce company turnover.
nDorse founder Rohan Walvekar was selected as one of six entrepreneurs to compete in the 2019 JEDCO Challenge, a startup pitch competition for businesses with ties to Jefferson Parish. After the competition, JEDCO connected nDorse to leadership at the Tom Benson School, which serves students in grades pre-kindergarten through eight.
The school underwent a rebrand and expansion before the start of the 2019-20 school year, bringing new leadership, faculty and students to the facility. Tom Benson School Principal John Starr felt that nDorse was a perfect tool to connect the staff, create a culture of recognition, and highlight the school’s core values.
“Often times, school staff members are giving it their all, and it is not recognized. nDorse is giving us the platform to highlight everyone’s effort,” said Starr.
nDorse tailored its software to ensure that all staff feedback is directly related to the core values developed for the Tom Benson School. Approximately 100 teachers and faculty at Tom Benson School are encouraged to share positive feedback about coworkers who have displayed open-mindedness, innovation, honor, supportiveness, and hard work.
The feedback is shared live on the platform, so all school employees can see the recognition in real-time on a mobile device or desktop. nDorse also offers a Guest Portal, which allows parents and visitors to provide feedback for Tom Benson School teachers.
“We are honored that Tom Benson School has chosen to use our app to bring access to recognition in a format that speaks to our current generation of teachers and helps celebrate their efforts and contributions,” said Walvekar. “Our mission at nDorse is to spread positivity and celebrate our educators, health care colleagues and others who are helping shape our community and world.”
Walvekar is a full-time otolaryngologist and head neck cancer surgeon in New Orleans. The idea for the recognition app came from his own experiences in the medical industry. Today, nDorse has more than 12,000 users across multiple industries, many of which are in the education and healthcare space.
nDorse has a vast array of clients, including all hospitals in the LCMC Health System, Our Lady of the Lake GME Program, medical residency programs at Loyola University Chicago, Marquette University in Wisconsin, Mt Sinai Beth Israel in New York among other as well as Hynes Elementary and Cabrini High School. Companies and institutions using this software have seen a decrease in company turnover and a jump in positive company culture.
“As adults, we forget that for our spiritual healing and wellness, we need to be validated, recognized and appreciated as well to stay motivated and on track,” added Walvekar. “Why not highlight the good things that people do to encourage more of that behavior?”
Since competing in the JEDCO Challenge in May, nDorse announced new projects, including a soon-to-begin system wide trial at Lafayette General Health, a new client in Southern Tennessee Regional Health System (STRHS)-Pulaski, and a partnership with The DAISY Foundation, which recognizes extraordinary nurses in over 4000 hospitals in the United States and is celebrated by 22 countries across the globe.
“We are delighted that nDorse’s participation in the JEDCO Challenge led to this new relationship between the tech company and the Tom Benson School,” said JEDCO president and CEO Jerry Bologna. “The goal of the JEDCO Challenge is to elevate opportunities for startup companies chosen to compete – long after the competition has ended. We look forward to seeing nDorse’s continued growth and success in Jefferson Parish and beyond.”