Carroll School graduate Matthew Giovanniello ’18 uses familiar connections to shape the future of cognitive learning and rehabilitation
When his grandmother suffered a life-altering stroke in 2008, Matthew Giovanniello ‘18 got to see firsthand how difficult, and often impersonal, cognitive rehabilitation can be. After watching her show little improvement from standard methods like flashcard quizzes, Giovanniello stepped in to aid in her recovery. He created a Powerpoint presentation featuring specific details of his grandmother’s life in order to jog her long-term memory in hopes of improving her short-term memory. The experience became the basis of Frenalytics, the interactive life skills software company Giovanniello founded with his friend Chris Patterson in 2013.
Frenalytics aims to put loved ones at the center of learning for those with cognitive deficits. By incorporating personalized information, like identifying family members in vacation photos, and making the platform available from anywhere, family members can get involved in the therapeutic care process, from uploading information to personally running therapy sessions for an experience that is easy-to-use and engaging.
“The way in which we conduct our business truly has the heart and minds and best interest of others at hand,” Giovanniello told The Heights, echoing one of Boston College’s mantras of “men and women for others.”
Before they had even graduated high school, Giovanniello and Patterson had already incorporated Frenalytics, but it’s Giovanniello’s time at the Carroll School that really shaped the future of the company. Studying information systems and entrepreneurship, Giovanniello gravitated towards the offerings from the Edmund H. Shea Jr. Center for Entrepreneurship to help him take his business to the next level, like the center’s annual venture competition—now named the Strakosch Venture Competition after Carroll School graduate Greg Strakosch ‘84—where Giovanniello was a finalist in 2017. He also participated in the competitive TechTrek program and traveled to Silicon Valley with other students to talk with real-world senior executives, entrepreneurs and venture partners—many of them Boston College alumni.
These days, Giovanniello is continuing to expand the reach of Frenalytics while balancing his role as an analyst and project manager for software development firm Redshift Technologies. He’s even finding ways to keep his connection with Boston College strong.
When the pandemic began and students of all ages were sent home from schools, Giovanniello realized that the experience would likely disproportionately affect students with special needs and intellectual disabilities. He is now working with the Campus School at Boston College, a special education day school situated within the Lynch School of Education and Human Development, to integrate Frenalytics into the important work being done there with students. Frenalytics has also recently announced a partnership with IEP&Me, a California-based management platform for Individualized Education Plans (IEP) for students with special education needs to further personalize learning for students with Down syndrome or those on the Autism spectrum and their families.
“We work with patients and students who may not otherwise have a voice for themselves,” he told The Heights. “We can do well as a company, but the way that we are going to do well is by doing good.”
Read more about Giovanniello’s journey with Frenalytics from The Heights.
—Jaclyn Jermyn, Carroll School News