“IT WAS A PROBLEM THAT EVERYONE FACED”
As Sree walked to the front of her Civics class as a young freshman in high school, she sensed her heart pounding out of her chest and her legs trembling. Each step towards the front of the classroom felt like a mile. It was as if the journey to begin her presentation was never-ending. When Sree finally arrived at the front of the room, the words of the speech she practiced numerous times to her family rambled out of her mouth at rapid speed. She heard herself choking on words but couldn't stop concentrating on the beady white eyes of her peers. However, she was in awe that the bulk of her peers faced the same dilemma as her.
After several long months of mentally pondering how to answer that dreaded problem of public speaking that Sree underwent, an idea struck her. As most college tours go, a tour guide ran through their prepared speech regarding the school but a single program hit a chord within Sree. The program administered at this college appropriated virtual reality as a method of learning French and replacing basic test-taking. Sree began to formulate the notion that perhaps the problem of public speaking could be ameliorated through the employment of virtual reality. She asked herself an essential question at this point: could virtual reality simulate the same anxiety that students undergo in a classroom when public speaking?
NOV 2017 - MAR 2018
Sree began to delve into the world of virtual reality, spending several months researching and conducting an experiment of her own to test her thesis. Her thesis centralized on the assumption that a classroom portrayed through virtual reality could generate the same anxiety experienced in a real, traditional classroom when public speaking. After examining several studies concerning the effectiveness of virtual reality, Sree ultimately decided to conduct her research at her high school, La Salle Academy. Within this study, she employed a 360° video recorder to record a classroom. Subsequently, she asked students to wear a virtual reality headset that displayed the recorded classroom. While they wore the headsets, Sree prompted them with several topics and questions and simultaneously monitored changes in their heart rates. For a basis of comparison, Sree asked the same set of students to present to her while she observed their heart rates. The findings from the experiment were just as hoped; students’ heart rates increased dramatically during both the virtual reality and actual presentations. After consulting with a graduate student at the Virginia Tech, it was clear that the results of the study proved her theory that virtual reality can simulate the same fear and anxiety experienced in a real classroom setting.
"Making VADATI A REALITY"
Recognizing Vadati's impact in assisting students' public speaking fears, Sree filed a provisional utility patent for Vadati VR. Following obtaining a patent for her product, Sree pitched Vadati at the Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor’s Entrepreneurship Challenge and won first place out of nearly 40 other competitors.
Following her significant win in Rhode Island, multiple media outlets discerned the inherent value in Vadati VR. The American Psychology Association acknowledged the uniqueness ingrained at the core of Vadati. Governor of Rhode Island Gina Raimundo awarded Sree with a certification of special recognition. Additionally, various news sources recognized Vadati, including Providence Journal, Providence Business and American Inno who called Vadati one of 2019’s startups to watch.
Fueling her desire to be a prosperous CEO and founder, Sree started her undergraduate career at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, receiving scholarships from the Center for Women in Entrepreneurial Leadership as well as a prestigious Presidential Scholarship. At Babson, Sree plans on earning her Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration while concentrating in TED (Technology, Entrepreneurship, and Design).
As of now, Sree’s research is under publication through the Journal of Emerging Investigators ran by Harvard University’s graduate students. Sree believes that she is responsible for “converting my patented concept into a tangible reality by researching, developing a team, and delivering the product into the market”. The ultimate goal of Vadati VR is to build a safe and conducive learning environment so that students can succeed and reach their highest potential.