The innovative start-up Cortechs, led by Áine Behan, has aims of releasing an adult brain-fitness game and wearable sometime this summer following recent successful funding from the EU and Ireland.
Cortechs has found itself on the cusp of the rather exciting field of brainwave monitoring through devices that look like something out of science fiction and, it seems, it has now also caught the eye of accelerators.
Since its foundation, the company has been developing technology with the aim of combining neuroscience, sensors and gaming to help improve the quality of life of children regarding focus, attention and relaxation.
Its first commercial offering came last September with the release of a package that includes a NeuroSky brainwave headset, along with a game called Zip and the Misty Mountain designed to train kids aged six to 12 – particularly those with issues like ADHD – to improve their attention and relaxation levels.
Having so far proved successful with parents for their kids on Android devices, Cortechs now has plans to expand into iOS devices by the end of spring.
Regular readers of Siliconrepublic.com might remember Cortechs being named in our list of 25 trailblazing companies that prove Ireland is an internet of things (IoT) hub, as well as being the winner of the FutureHealth pre-accelerator at NDRC in March 2015.
Recently, the company secured one of its largest funding amounts to-date, receiving €110,000 as part of the European Commission funding from the Future internet (FIC3), which has now allowed it to look beyond helping kids to adults, too.
“Having done a lot of market research, people’s attitudes to how they approach their health and wellness attitude is totally changing and [adults] are appearing to be more amenable to wearables like Fitbit etc,” said Behan, who is CEO of the start-up and has four on the team.
Hopes to grow company size
While keeping tight-lipped about what exactly is in store for an adult-orientated Cortechs product, Behan said that it is “almost like a brain fitness dashboard or an app that can be used to measure, monitor and improve [brain] fitness for adults”.
Behan is currently working within the NDRC’s Catalyser programme, an early-stage investment programme aimed at heavy research-based start-ups, which comes with €100,000 in funding.
“Gaming works brilliantly with kids to improve behaviour,” Behan said.
“We hope it works just as successfully with adults, but it’s important you use the right content. We did a lot of game concept design when we started and that’s equally important with adults.”
If the company is able to secure the seed investment it needs by Q2 this year, it aims to expand outside of the Irish and UK market it is in, with eyes on the US as well.