A startup that wants ADHD patients to have an alternative to medication is launching with important validation and funding.
Founder Jake Stauch says the launch would have happened with or without the crowdfunding, but he believes it will help build communal excitement around the product and hopefully bring the solution to more end-users directly.
And a new $700,000 fundraise including Triangle Angel Partners, RTP Capital and SplashPond gives the launch an extra boost, Stauch says, allowing his team to fund marketing and sales efforts for the product as it rolls out.
NeuroPlus’ utility for ADHD patients (and their parents) who don’t want to pursue a medication regimen has proven to be effective in a way that’s more than just tangential. In fact, NeuroPlus has the research to back up the method.
Duke neuropsychiatrist Dr. Sandeep Vaishnavi, who also serves as director of the Carolina Partners in Mental Healthcare Neuropsychiatric Clinic, recently conducted a pilot study to test NeuroPlus earlier this year. The results showed significant improvements within the 60-participant control group the study analyzed, which indicates NeuroPlus’ approach may out-perform traditional methods of ADHD treatment largely centered around stimulant medication.
NeuroPlus is built on hardware and software components, including an EEG headset and a pair of games with different storylines—’Axon’ requires players to keep their dragon flying while shooting down monsters and mines, and ‘Conduit’ involves avoiding distractions to glide a character through a dark tunnel while riding a hoverbike.
An EEG headset records the user’s brain activity and gives them feedback on how they can better focus their attention to advance to new levels in the games.
With time, players slowly gain more cognitive control over their ADHD symptoms which in turn helps improve their everyday functioning in school, work and sometimes even social situations. By extension, their performance in the games boost their confidence in being able to manage their own condition.
Since its founding in 2012, the Durham startup has raised over $1 million in three rounds, won competition earnings and landed grants. NeuroPlus has also built an advisory board made up of key players in the video game and entertainment industries, such as former Walt Disney Studios CTO Greg Brandeau, Melissa & Doug Toys Founder Melissa Bernstein, and Peter Vesterbacka of AngryBirds developer Rovio.
See the startup’s accomplishments over the years in the timeline below.