From their time in the Galang Refugee Camp in Indonesia, siblings John and Roy Doan shared everything. Once in the United States, Roy took care of his younger brother. He taught John how to ride a bike and drive a car. John looked up to Roy.
In their early 30s their roles reversed. Roy was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and dementia. Roy now lives in a supportive group home and has a limited ability to work.
“He is my best friend as well as my brother these days,” says John Doan, a military veteran. “We spend a lot of time with each other, and I see him struggle to get around, so I give him a lot of rides, but I'm not always able to be there.”
That’s why Doan came up with Mobility4All, a door-to-door assisted rideshare service for seniors and people with disabilities. His long-term goal is to transition to driverless cars without laying off drivers. Instead, the drivers would transition into caregiver roles.
As he worked to launch his new business, Doan worked with Bunker Labs Minneapolis, a startup accelerator supporting veteran entrepreneurs. Founded in 2014 in Chicago, Bunker Labs has grown to 17 locations nationwide. At Comcast NBCUniversal, we recognized the potential impact of Bunker Labs early on and became its first corporate sponsor in 2015. In 2017, we signed a three-year extension of our partnership.
“Comcast NBCUniversal’s support of Bunker Labs was kind of a lightning rod for the community in the sense that it attracted more attention and brought out more opportunities, and more resources, and allowed us to be able to support the entrepreneurs in a more comprehensive way,” said Bunker Labs Minneapolis Executive Director Tim O’Neil.
Through his work with Bunker Labs, Doan is partnering with two senior-living facilities and plans to expand to 30 others in the coming months.
He’s now closer to his goal of empowering his brother Roy and many other people with limited mobility to have more transportation independence.