The $14 million top-up came from a mix of old and new investors, co-led by Whitecap Venture Partners and Merck KGaA’s corporate VC arm, M Ventures, which also led the initial tranche of series A financing … The newly upsized funding will help Altoida add to its workforce, pay for intellectual property and regulatory filings and continue developing its tech platform to assess neurological function. [Read more…] about Altoida raises further $14 million to “democratize digital cognitive assessment at scale” via augmented reality (AR) and AI
Question: Edward, please share 1–2 major brain health needs you observe right now whose solution demands a creative and significant tech-enabled innovation.
Answer: We need to target depression, stress and fatigue in a quantifiable manner (ie. no wellness-like claims, but real data supporting an improvement in the aforementioned indications). Treatments and early detection too.
Also, ways to monitor longitudinal cognitive abilities (ie. person-specific brain function over the course of a number of years). Done on a wider population this could provide insights into the impact of certain external factors such as food, air quality, etc.
Question: And what advice would you give an entrepreneur launching an innovation to address those needs–for the approach to be successful and sustainable?
Answer: Focus on the right model from day one: You need to identify right away the best approach for the opportunity at hand — for example, regulated medical approach vs. general wellness? Both are viable but going from unregulated to regulated is hardly possible whereas the opposite is viable (although creates a risk of off-label use…)
– Edward Kliphuis is an Investment Director with Merck Ventures BV, the Corporate Venture Capital arm of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. He is responsible for the New Businesses fund, which invests globally in transformational ideas driven by great entrepreneurs. The New Businesses fund seeks to invest in strategic opportunities beyond Merck’s current businesses, make cross over investments between businesses and invest in digitization opportunities. The total volume of the corporate venture fund is €300 million. He will serve as a Judge in the first Brainnovations Pitch Contest hosted by the 2017 SharpBrains Virtual Summit: Brain Enhancement in the Digital Age (December 5–7th, 2017).
Hundreds of companies around the globe, now including Elon Musk’s Neuralink and even Facebook, are researching and developing new ways to help brain owners be smarter, sharper, and healthier.
What explains this flurry of activity? Where may it be headed?
To help you understand what’s going on, let me highlight five key facts that emerged from the recent SharpBrains Virtual Summit.
Fact 1. There are 7.5 billion human brains out there, and everyone needs help
Consider all unmet needs derived from the traditional pharma-exclusive approach to brain health.
Learning and cognitive disabilities in children are growing significantly, from ADHD and OCD, to autism. The related emotional and economic burden is substantial — yet, over 60–70% of those with treatment have poor outcomes, and many who need help don’t get any.
Globally, around 350 million people suffer from depression. Add to that substance abuse, and we are talking hundreds of millions of people without proper care and very high relapse rates for the lucky ones getting help.
Concussions and brain impairments pervade through millions of veterans and high-contact sports practitioners, yet diagnosis and treatments are elusive.
And let’s not forget the perfectly healthy. [Read more…] about 5 Facts You Need To Know To Understand, Navigate And Enjoy The Digital Brain Health Revolution
Hundreds of companies and science labs around the globe are researching the inner workings of the human brain and mind, and developing new ways to help brain owners be smarter, sharper, and healthier for longer.
What explains this flurry of activity? [Read more…] about Four reasons the future of brain health is digital, pervasive and bright
Last year I got very interested in the functioning of the human brain and the science behind mindfulness and learning , so was quite excited to attend the SharpBrains Virtual Summit  in December, indulging in the latest trends in applied neuroscience and digital innovation.
The Summit focused on the theme of reinventing brain health in the digital age, and brought together leading researchers, entrepreneurs, financiers and policymakers passionate with the mission of moving neuroscience and cognitive research from science labs towards applications in Health, Wellness and Education. Here’s a summary of the many things I discovered. [Read more…] about Survey of key scientific, technological and investment trends revolutionizing Brain Health in our Digital Age
Time for a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, providing a window into the ongoing brain health and neuroplasticity revolutions–plus some fun brain teasers. Happy reading and, for those of you in the USA, Happy Fourth of July, and for those of you in Canada, Happy Canada Day!
- 20 Must-Know Facts to Harness Neuroplasticity and Improve Brain Health
- Please participate in this Brain Health survey (should take no more than 5 minutes, and will help us to better understand and address your interests and needs)
- Which is the only common leisure activity that has been associated with reduced cognitive function?
- Next phase in the brain health revolution: Objective, physiological, and widespread measures of brain function
- Wisdom requires both higher heart rate variability and adopting a third-person perspective
- Merck and HAPPYneuron partner to include cognitive remediation program in Multiple Sclerosis e‑Health Solution
- Too early? Brain stimulation device Thync fails to get traction in the minds of consumers
- Nike launches mental training app to help soccer players win the mental game
- Sport-specific brain training programs gain adoption in basketball, ice hockey and soccer
- Three neuroscientists win $1 million Kavli Prize for discovering brain’s plasticity
- Dr. Michael Merzenich: To harness Neuroplasticity for cognitive enhancement, we need to think “Fitness” more than “Games”
- Save the Date: Reinventing Brain Health at 2016 SharpBrains Virtual Summit (December 6–8, 2016) (10%-off discount code: sharp2016)
- 5 ideas to help knowledge workers increase lifelong learning and productivity