Smartbrain 3.0 is the newest program by Smartbrain, an interactive system for cognitive stimulation. It is specifically designed to create an interactive program that is both ‘gaming’ and psycho-stimulation for elder populations. Which, in the case of Spain, by 2025 people over 50 years old will represent 40% of the population and a quarter of that percentage will be over 80 years of age. KITE Invest spoke with the CEO and CTO Smartbrain, Juan Ramón Llorente and Daniel González about their newest startup venture.
KITE Invest:Please explain the concept behind and the catalyst for the creation of the Smartbrain enterprise.
Smartbrain: The concept behind the creation of the Smartbrain system is the evidence of neuroplasticity: the capability of our brain, however old and/or damaged, to respond positively to a proper stimulation. Thus, our aim is to make use of the possibilities of the new information technologies to develop an interactive system for preventing and/or treating the loss of mental skills, by the use of cognitive stimulation.
KITE: Smartbrain 3.0 evolves from Smartbrain 2.0. Can you briefly explain the differences between the different versions, as well as touch on Smartbrain Pro and Smartbrain Games.
Smartbrain: Smartbrain 3.0 is the logical and natural evolution from Smartbrain 2.0 that pursues several objectives: to keep responding to our clients demands, to introduce gaming as an empowering feature of the program, to make sure the program runs perfectly on any kind of new mobile device and operating system, to improve user experience and user friendliness, and to exploit the big data accumulated by the use of the program….
Smartbrain Pro is the version of the program for treatment and therapeutic purposes, whilst Smartbrain Games is the version for brain-training and prevention purposes.
KITE: Smartbrain is a Spanish company; however, Europe as a whole is experiencing an aging population. As the newest program, please tell us about the current stage of Smartbrain 3.0 and the 5-year plan. Is the Smartbrain program scalable to other markets?
Smartbrain: Smartbrain 3.0 is already in the development process, and we expect it to be available for our clients by the last quarter of 2015. Our 5-year plan looks for the constant evolution and upgrading of the program (v4.0, v5.0…), to ensure its permanent adaptation to our clients’ needs and the evolution of the interactive devices, the search of new market opportunities, the internationalization of the program…
Related to the last point mentioned, Smartbrain is perfectly scalable to other markets: not only to serve the Spanish-speaking population of the US and of the other American countries, but also to serve the aging European population by just doing the translation of the texts and audios of the program.
KITE: Who and what is the competition? What are some of Smartbrain 3.0’s competitive and innovative features?
Smartbrain: The competitors of Smartbrain are the other programs available in the market for brain-training and cognitive stimulation. Our competitors are much more focused on the preventive side, pay low attention to the therapeutic market, and are less affordable.
As for some of the competitive and innovative features of Smartbrain 3.0 we would mention: its scientific evidences of therapeutic efficacy, its gaming features, its availability in several languages, the capability to personalize the use of the program to the individual needs of any user…
KITE: In terms of the business model, other than having a constant demographic flow of aging individuals, how does Smartbrain intend to make this older generation into “gamers” per se, at least for the current group of elder persons?
Smartbrain: We intend to make them “gamers” by offering a wide variety of different exercises, with many difficulty levels, so that everyone, regardless of age and/or level of mental skills, will be able to find a fun and entertaining challenge that can be shared with relatives, friends or others with similar profiles.
KITE: How is Smartbrain marketed to older populations? Has Smartbrain partnered with doctors or distributors in an effort to reach your targeted demographic?
Smartbrain: The program is marketed on-line, via emailing and advertising campaigns via social networks, as well as via presence in exhibits and congresses and visiting interested specialists and entities such as residences, day-care centers, families associations, etc.
We have, and intend to have many more, agreements with specialists and distributors to reach our potential clients.
KITE: The success of startups is often tied with entrepreneurial experience. In the case of Smartbrain 3.0, it has a few predecessors, Smartbrain Pro and Smartbrain Games. In terms of funding is Smartbrain seeking funding at this time for Smartbrain 3.0?
Smartbrain: Yes, we are seeking for funding for the development of Smartbrain 3.0. In the short term we are seeking 150.000€ for the development of the new platform and for strengthening our sales and marketing capabilities. By mid 2016, and depending on cash flow, we could be seeking additional funding (up to 200.000€), for the full implementation of the marketing plans and for the internationalization of the program.
KITE: If so, please explain why this is a good investment and what is the ROI? What type of relationship are you hoping to gain with investor(s) during this round?
Smartbrain: Smartbrain 3.0 is a very good investment not only for its financial return, where the investment can be returned in 3 years, but also for the great and positive social impact generated by the program. Thanks to the use of Smartbrain 3.0 our aging society will be able to kip fit their mental skills, slow down any cognitive impairment process, and delay the threshold of dependency.