Mendi is a neurotechnology company of which Moha Bensofia is CEO. In a few words, Mendi aims to improve the mental and cerebral health of its users. We discuss this in detail in this podcast.
Discover this entrepreneurial adventure in this new podcast.
- The genesis of the business idea
- Validation of the business idea
- Getting started
- The future
- IntoTheMinds podcasts
Moha invested in the company at an early stage, before the Kickstarter campaign was launched to publicise the project. He tells us that he was not ready for the Kickstarter campaign because he had this image of a platform for teenagers with an “entrepreneurial idea”.
The co-founders of Mendi, Sammy and Rickard, convinced him that the Kickstarter campaign was not intended to raise funds but to create a base of prospects and early-adopters that would allow for large-scale research on the product and its impact on mental health.
Mendi is a company that wants to improve and transform the mental health of the masses
The idea comes from the cooperation of Sammy and Rickard.
Sammy’s life story is the basis of the origin of Mendi. Sammy is an engineer and entrepreneur at heart, a man always in action who eventually burned out and took refuge in meditation. After a while, he asked himself if he could go further. This is how he discovered neurological feedback. He began to use this technique, to follow treatments and to see improvements in his problems and well-being. In the course of his research, Sammy bought some costly machinery to continue his experiments and research. He got in touch with many neurofeedback experts and gradually started using it on others until he established the NeuroFeedback Clinic in Stockholm, Sweden.
Rickard is also an engineer and specialises in touchscreens. During an appointment at the NeuroFeedback Clinic, he discusses with Sammy and wonders about the possibility of making this technique accessible to everyone.
So, their collaboration takes shape, and they contact Moha on Facebook sometime later to manage the operations.
I always say that I slipped on a banana peel and landed on Mendi.
The first funds raised by Mendi came from different national and European programmes such as the EU Horizon 2020 programme, the Swedish Innovation Agency, Sting (incubator), Vinnova.
Moha is the first private investor. He says he listened to Sammy’s pitch and tested the product for a session to be convinced.
He then tested the prototype for several weeks and received very positive feedback from his associates on their state of health and positivity.
Mendi uses functional near-infrared spectroscopy. The helmet is the measurement tool that allows users to visualise and monitor the activity of their prefrontal cortex.
In short, [Mendi] will teach you to be able to manage the amount of oxygenated blood flow to the prefrontal cortex.
The ultimate goal of Mendi is to improve the mental, psychological and neurological health of users and ultimately society.
Numerous prototypes were tested before the Kickstarter campaign. The latter presented the 4th version seen by Moha. The 4 major iterations of the prototype were made possible thanks to tests, notably at the University of Stockholm. Moha tells us about the existence of a centre for the use of Mendi which he calls the “brain gym”. In this context, 2,000 people regularly used Mendi before the premises were closed down because of the COVID-19. Following this, the tests continued by providing prototypes to the participants.
Today, confirmation of the idea has been confirmed by the record obtained thanks to the Kickstarter campaign with 10,000 pre-orders. However, Moha points out that the analysis of Mendi’s effectiveness and impact is just beginning with these first 10,000 users.
The bar is very low for knowledge but we all together, entirely transparently, [want to] go on this journey, and we [want to] learn together.
For Moha, the take-off was the Kickstarter campaign which acted as a proof-of-concept thanks to the early-adopters who helped create a business model and above all will help improve it. Indeed, the use of Mendi by these 10,000 users will mainly be useful for further research.
The objective of the Mendi teams is not to sell at any price but to improve the mental health situation of the population.
In the same vein as the take-off stage, the company is not officially in the start-up phase. However, a second “crowdfunding” campaign has been launched on Indiegogo with already more than 9,000 contributors.
The matrix of everything we do [is] in conjunction with neuroscientists, we want to be as precise as possible.
For Moha, it is primarily a matter of fleshing out the ethical aspects of the company, before launching mass marketing or prospecting actions. He believes it is essential to focus on the transparency of communications, objectives and means used by the company before building a sales policy.
The Mendi team is therefore not seeking to increase its number of users but to understand its current users, their profiles, their evolution through questionnaires, WHO surveys, and so on.
- 10.000 users
- 35% are Millenials
- A large number are called “Urban Warriors”
- Users are people who simply try to face the stress of modern society.
[Mendi] is not a toy. It is something that should improve people’s lives. […] We are in the business of building mental resilience.
The first steps towards commercialisation of the product are planned for Q3 2021. The first two trimesters will be dedicated to the analysis of current uses to improve the product and customise it as much as possible.
As an investor, Moha explains that he does not have a predefined strategy for selecting the entrepreneurs with whom he will work. However, the question of ethics is the most crucial point for him.
We’re in the business of investing in good people that want to do good things. So, the metric that we care about has nothing to do with revenue. […] What we want is, by 2025, to have transformed the brain health of 10 million people.
A podcast to help you develop your start-up
In 2020 we are changing the format of our podcasts. The aim is to help you develop your start-up by providing you with relevant information on specific topics.
Our podcasts are now divided into chapters of +/- 3 minutes. Each chapter is dedicated to a specific theme or development phase. You can therefore listen to the entire podcast or choose to listen to only part of it by directly selecting the part that interests you the most.
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