Innovative Neurotech Start-ups
Neuroscience driven technology holds great promise and provides a rich resource of inspiration towards an exciting future for consumers, patients, businesses, and entrepreneurs alike. Elon Musks' recent announcement of Neuralink and its enthusiastic goals has put Neuroscience again at center stage for translating innovative research into business ideas. Here, I will provide a small glimpse into rising startups and innovative ideas that you may never have heard of.
- Note I will focus on the innovative aspect of the idea or product and not evaluate the business model, science, team, product-, market-, or financing strategy,....
Secret Chord Laboratories - makes use of the insight into how our brains appreciate music. They aim to provide an Ai-driven model to predict how well sounds, songs, and music are received by the audience. A very timely translational effort that holds great business promises and will raise the ears in the music industry and in the world of advertising. Done properly by combining the right behavioral and physiological read-out measures and optimizing deep-learning algorithm - a strategy that almost certainly will succeed. Let's just hope it will not result in an even more optimized and thus generic popular music industry but allows flexibility and noise to push forward new concepts of how we listen to music.
Spare-change Investment is the newest hype for the Populus. Currently, you can't go a day without being bombarded by acorns. However, what we should be really talking about is InvestAcure. A model that could be a way forward to speed-up translational research efforts. It enables a unique investment opportunity for each of us while at the same time allows us to fight Alzheimer's disease dollar by dollar. Currently, their focus is on Alzheimer's but I hope to soon see an expansion around the globe and efforts towards other debilitating diseases. Check out their Intro video for more information.
In all fairness, most pharmaceutical players have by now realized the potential of repurposing registered drugs or failed drug candidates for other indications or more refined patient subpopulations. A branch of the industry dedicated to predict receptor binding and optimize early drug-development by utilizing AI-powered platforms. Singapur-based Gero is a very recent addition to the Club. They join the forces that battle the challenges Alzheimer's Disease poses.
Imaginostics is a prime example of translating research innovations towards patient-oriented business. Imaginostics new technology QUTE-CE pushes MRI technology forward. As such it allows clinicians to increase resolution and quantification of the vascular network in our bodies for improved treatment evaluation and hopefully earlier and more accurate diagnosis.
Halo Neuro - one of the bigger fish in the pond. In contrast to many other EEG-based headphone integrated systems, Halo Neuro integrates transcranial direct current stimulation into headphones and markets them towards sports aficionados, professional athletes and aspiring musicians. The aim here is to stimulate the motor cortex while you learn motoric skills or perform motorically demanding tasks.
Let's stay in the domain of sports. Rising faster than ever E-sports is on the rise with a market evaluation of many billions. The folks from Brink Bionics bring us a simple yet ingenious solution on how to cut reaction time. Instead of waiting for the finger to press the mouse button they directly harvest the signal at its source thus gaining those extra milliseconds that separate the victor from the loser.
On a side note, it still baffles me that we rely on a 180-year-old invention when interacting with the PC. It's about time to replace our keyboards and mice with new game-changers.
Building on the successful concept of integrating headphones with Neurotech applications, Sens.Ai follows a slightly different path than Halo. Canadian Sens.ai combines EEG readings and infrared stimulation towards adaptive and individualized brain state changes.
Two unfortunately not yet complementary companies that highlight the potential of virtual reality. A first-generation company Brain Power utilizes Google glasses to improve social and educational knowledge in kids with autism and ADHD. On the other hand, Daqri is a global leader for customized augmented environment technology. In combination, the application of augmented reality via smart glasses would hold great promises for neuroscience-based applications and opportunities.
I originally mentioned Neuralink and I will finish the list with its sister - Kernel - Why? Similarly big aims for brain-computer interfacing, well funded and holding great potential. In stark contrast to Neuralink, Kernel focuses on non-invasive brain recording technologies in combination with state-of-the-art machine-learning and deep-learning algorithms. The heart of this recording technique relies on a novel optically pumped magnetometer sensors for measuring the magnetoencephalogram of the brain. We hope that both efforts will be successful and advance human knowledge of the brain and greatly improve the understanding and translation of neuronal signals.