Episode 56 is here and this time I'm talking about alleviate stress and anxiety with neuroscience wearables. I got the chance to talk with Vicki Mayo about how hersuccessfully funded Kickstarter campaign, Buzzies, is helping alleviate stress and improving performance by overriding the fight or flight mechanism. Can you image what the world would look like if everyone was managing stress through a wearable? I know I'm strongly thinking about trying out this tech. It's the end of the year and I'm thinking that this maybe the last episode of 2016. I still haven't made up my mind yet so keep your ears to the cloud to see what happens next.
Phoenix Business Journal - Scottsdale stress-reducing wearable launches Kickstarter campaign
A stress-reducing wearable device developed in Scottsdale launched Tuesday with a $15,000 Kickstarter campaign.
Buzzies are non-invasive, wearable devices that claim to alleviate stress and improve performance by overriding the “fight or flight” mechanism in your brain.
The two entrepreneurs started Scottsdale-based TouchPoint Solutions LLC in January to find a way to make the technology affordable and accessible to the masses, said Mayo, the co-founder and CEO. Serin, who has a PhD in clinical psychology with a specialty in neuropsychology, is the company’s co-founder and chief science officer.
“Anytime we feel overwhelmed, our instincts kick in and you feel stress,” said Mayo, the former chief transformation officer for the Arizona Department of Economic Security who was appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey. “This overrides that and you feel calmer. The stress goes away as quickly as 30 seconds.”
The two Buzzies coin-shaped devices, which can be worn like a watch or detached and discreetly put in a pocket, can be turned on using an iOS or Android app to give a vibrating stimulation.
The two women trademarked and patented the technology embedded in the Buzzies, called BLAST (bi-lateral alternating stimulation-delivered tactile).
Users can turn on the devices right before a stressful situation, like a presentation or meeting with your boss, or used throughout the day to improve focus. The devices are also deemed safe enough for children, who can use the devices in their socks to deal with anxiety.
“My 5-year-old daughter has night terrors and this helps her sleep,” said Mayo, who was also former vice president of Valor Global Services, a Scottsdale tech company. “After using the Buzzy you can’t get as upset because your fight or flight mechanism isn’t working.”
Buzzies are typically used for a couple of minutes to 15 minutes a day.
“This technology is so disruptive,” she said. “Everyone suffers from stress. Eighty to 90 percent of disease is caused by stress. We want to be able to offer you release in as little as 30 seconds.”
TouchPoint Solutions made it a point to use local or U.S. companies to make the devices. The electronics, programming, assembly and boxing is done at Quik Tek Assembly in Tempe. The plastics are made in Minnesota, and the app development was done in Seattle.
The Buzzies retail for $259 per order, which comes with two devices, two watch bands, a wall charger, a charging cable and a velvet carry bag.
The Kickstarter campaign was a way to test the market before the products went live, Mayo said. The company has been taking pre-orders on the devices since October through the company website.
TouchPoint Solutions had already raised more than $8,000 of its $15,000 goal by Tuesday evening. The campaign ends Dec. 20.
Kickstarter supporters are guaranteed to get their Buzzies before Christmas, Mayo added.
“We’re thrilled with how the campaign has been going so far,” she said. “It will be great to work with the backers and get their feedback.”
The self-funded company with two employees was started by both as a way to give back, not to make money, Mayo said.
“We follow the Toms model. For every two devices we sell, we give away one to whoever is in need, children or adults,” she said. “We’re really just committed to women entrepreneurs and we wanted to give voice to this women’s movement and keep our philosophy front and center.”
Hayley Ringle covers technology and startups for the Phoenix Business Journal.
Phoenix Business Journal - Top Women Owned Businesses for 2016 with only 1 month in business
International Cruise & Excursions Inc. took the No. 1 ranking in the 2017 edition of the Phoenix Business Journal's Women-Owned Businesses list, extending its top-ranked streak to three years. The list was ranked by 2016 revenue and International Cruise & Excursions reported revenue of $773.7 million. Second on the list, with revenue of $550 million, was Hensley Beverage Co. Third on the list was Mach 1 Global Services Inc. with $109.14 million in revenue. A total of 115 women-owned businesses with revenue of $100,000 or more, are included in the online version of this list.
FabAZ - Fabulous People: Amy Serin
Dr. Amy Serin is a Neuropsychologist at The Serin Center and Inventor of Buzzies, who is a recognized national leader in applied neuroscience. Her success is inspiring to women globally, so we are proud to say she was raised in Arizona! Learn more about Amy Serin…
Hometown: Scottsdale, Arizona
First job: My first job was a summer intern at a law firm. It was fascinating because I was able to read the case law I was copying and I learned quite a bit. The experience made it difficult for me to choose between law and psychology and psychology ultimately became my first choice.
Favorite AZ restaurant: Ruffino’s Italian Restaurant in Ahwatukee and I grew up there and have so many fond memories there. Also their lasagna literally melts in your mouth.
Person who has impacted your life the most: I can’t pick one person because I feel I have benefitted most from the collective sacrifice of pioneering women over the centuries who came before me and created the conditions for women like me to be successful and achieve our highest purpose.
Your biggest accomplishment in your eyes: I’m happy.
The biggest obstacle you have overcome: The status quo is an obstacle that I feel I’ve overcome, but its constant presence requires me to stay diligent. Most people are wired to maintain the status quo. I am not. Being a woman change agent has required me to blaze a trail in spite of scrutiny from those who don’t want to accept change.
Someone who inspires you: Edith Kaplan, pioneering neuropsychologist.
Favorite quote: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” -Rumi, 13th century philosopher
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Start with solid science and current practices and then innovate beyond that to provide the best patient care possible. Work to advance the field beyond where it is when you entered it. Pursue knowledge and excellence with purpose and passion. Pay fierce attention to your intuition.
What makes someone fabulous: I have two answers. 1) fabulous people spend their time supporting and elevating others, and 2) I’m not sure but I think there’s a lot of glitter involved.
Learn more about Amy Serin’s new invention Buzzies at thetouchpointsolution.com.