Five questions for: John Ramsay, CEO of Shift 8*
Shift 8* makes the Tovertafel, a series of award-winning games aimed at those living with mid-to-late-stage dementia.
What does your business do?
Shift 8* is committed to changing the world by introducing socially responsible and life-changing games to the UK and Ireland. Our first product is called the Tovertafel which is Dutch for "magic table" a series of award-winning games aimed at those living with mid-to-late-stage dementia. The equipment comprises a small box that holds a projector, infrared sensors, a speaker and a processor, and works by projecting interactive light games onto a table.
What's been your company's greatest achievement so far?
In October this year we were selected to showcase at the Dutch royal state visit. It was absolutely fantastic to be recognised for our work in improving the quality of life for people with cognitive challenges, and, of course, showing the attendees how the Tovertafel works.
What has been your biggest challenge?
My dad was diagnosed with early-onset dementia when I was 12 years old, so I spent a lot of my teenage years helping to care for him, and this is what led me to found Shift 8*. So, for me, the biggest challenge has been separating my personal life from my career as a business owner.
What are your plans for hitting your targets?
We will soon be launching Tovertafel Up for adults with learning disabilities. As well as this, we're working on expanding the locations where our products are installed not only are they found in care homes, but they're now also set up in community spaces, such as libraries and hospitals.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs?
It is very important to pursue something youare passionate about. Many people shy away from their personal experiences, but these can help you in what you do, and inspire others.