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Picmonic "picture mnemonics" were invented to help us when we were medical students -- so we could study more effectively and efficiently and survive the overwhelming study load and tough exams. We figured that if we could harness memory science techniques to help us improve retention for all the facts we needed to learn to excel in school, we should share it and help others. After all, it’s the reason why we wanted to go into medicine in the first place.
Since 2013, our silly pictures and hilarious stories have helped over 710,000 students in medical, nursing, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, and pharmacy programs save time studying, ace their exams, and become successful healthcare professionals.
Ronnie & Adeel
Picmonic started when my co-founder Adeel and I were in med school as a way to survive the overwhelming pressure and study load of tough exams. We sketched silly pictures and came up with hilarious stories to help us remember all the crazy bugs, drugs, and diseases. Truth be told, though, I can't even draw a decent stick figure, so we reached out to friends for help!
A childhood friend Jonny (who is an incredible tattoo artist) joined in and brought along his creative mate, Ozzie. Together, they infused our ideas, sketches, and stories with a new level of creativity that brought everything to life.
The very first topic and sketch we gave them was Niemann-Pick disease, and the masterpiece they created permanently ingrained the facts into our memory. For every topic that we struggled to remember, we'd create a new picture mnemonic. We started sharing them with our colleagues, and soon, everyone wanted in on our secret weapon.
The problem was, it took a manual process to explain how the text information translated into characters, and how it all wrapped into an elaborate story. We needed an app to facilitate the process so we could share these creations with our friends along with students at other schools and around the world.
So, we created Picmonic, an online learning system, where anyone, anywhere could create, share, and learn with picture mnemonics.
My incredibly supportive, brilliant big brother, Kenny, quit his cushy corporate job to join us and let us start the company out of his garage (eventually taking over the entire house, even giving up his own room!) to help make our idea a reality. If it wasn't for him taking that first leap, we never would have gotten off the ground in the first place.
We launched our first product for 2nd year medical students in 2013. Thanks to students referring other students, it grew faster than we ever expected. In order to make all this possible, we had to hire a team and raise money, and I had to make the difficult and life-changing decision to drop out of medical school. Even though I was just one year shy of getting that MD, I had felt the power and results firsthand. I knew Picmonic had the potential to empower others and make the difference between failing and passing not just in exams, but in life aspirations. None of us could turn away from that.
I chose to stay with Picmonic and learn how to run a company (despite being a nerdy biochem student who, to this day, hasn't taken a business class). It was a tall order, but it's been the most rewarding decision of my life.
Over the years, Picmonic has grown from a few medical students with a dream to a nationally recognized company helping lead an education revolution. Over 930,000 learners from all over the globe have used Picmonic with great success, and we've begun our expansion efforts by releasing products for nursing, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners, with many more to come.
We've enabled students to customize our Picmonics or create their own to share with classmates, integrated multiple choice quizzes on over 20,000 facts, and created mobile apps for learning on the go. The potential for visual learning is limitless.
Our mission is to empower millions of students to unlock their potential and use the world's first online visual storytelling platform to make learning the impossible, possible.
Picmonic wouldn't exist without an amazing team, supportive friends and family, generous investors, wise advisors, and, most importantly, incredible students around the world willing to challenge the status quo.
Thank you for being part of the revolution.
Ron, Co-founder & CEO