Autism Startup Raises 500% of its Goal in a Crowdfunding Campaign on its First Day
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov. 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Brain Power, a neurotechnology startup focused on autism, achieved 500% of their crowdfunding goal in the first 24 hours.
"Obviously we are humbled and deeply appreciative," said Dr. Ned T. Sahin, Founder & CEO. "Also, we are heartened by this display of humanism. Autism is complex and thought to be a 'niche,' and most companies shy away from assistive technologies. We are delighted to have evidence that when done right, such technologies can have wide appeal. It validates that you can do good, for the world, and still do well, as a business."
Brain Power's campaign raised more money and a higher percentage of its goal in one day than any previous autism-related campaigns in their full 30 or 60 days on IndieGoGo, which is the second-largest crowdfunding platform in the world. The campaign also trended at #2 on the platform.
"Empower Me" by Brain Power, is a digital coach that runs on smartglasses including Google Glass, to empower children and adults with autism to teach themselves social and cognitive skills toward happy self-sufficiency. The system uses augmented reality, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence.
For instance, in one of the several Empower Me apps, autistic individuals can look through the tiny computer screen on the glasses and move their head in any direction to see and hear an unfamiliar place – to be immersed in that place yet remain comfortably at home. The app presents a game, e.g. to find animated objects in the simulated environment, and scientifically measures increasing familiarity and calm. The aim is to increase their real-world familiarity and calm when the individuals visit the real-world place, which could be a new school or a shopping mall.
Contributors came from 8 countries to pre-order the first public release of the clinically-tested Empower Me system, and to support Brain Power's social mission. A "School Pack" was purchased for a school in California, and other orders came from parents, autism therapists, and autism clinics.
"This is just a beginning," said Sahin. If significantly more orders are place, the team of PhDs, MDs, and engineers, including several who have autism, would use the funds to hire people to finalize several apps, including one that measures stress and anxiety to help prevent meltdowns.
Empower Me can be purchased now at Brain-Power.com/LAUNCH .