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Muse is funded and set to go!

December 13, 2012

In this guest post, Ariel Garten, CEO of InteraXon, details her experience successfully raising funds for her company’s product, Muse, through crowd-funding platform, Indiegogo.

Muse is InteraXon’s new brain-sensing headband that allows you to do more with your mind than you ever thought possible.

Our crowd-funding campaign for Muse ended on December 7, bringing in close to double our original funding goal! The campaign closed with $287,472 in pledges.

Through the generosity of pledges received, we’ll be able to use the funds collected from our Indiegogo campaign for our first manufacturing run of Muse.

Muse by the numbers

1,613: people who pledged
47: days in the campaign
3: conferences attended to demo Muse
6: cities visited
2: continents visited
3: time zone changes
1: times InteraXon moved offices
7: videos made about Muse, InteraXon, Brain Cat and other brainwave goodness
100+: news articles
12+: blog posts

Highlights from our Muse campaign

On November 5 we launched the brainwave-controlled “Mental Acuity” at a booth during Halo 4 Midnight Madness in Toronto. Halo recruits were tested on their ability to focus. They competed against three other recruits to see who could maintain a high level of focus for the longest time during the test. The globe on screen expanded or contracted depending on their concentration skills and the person with the top score of the night won an Xbox.

Members of the public, playing InteraXon’s Mental Acuity at Halo4 Midnight Madness launch in Toronto, November 2012

On November 15, Interaxon welcomed Canadian Olympic athlete Avianna Chao into our office. Avianna is an Olympic air pistol shooter and was interested in trying the company’s brainwave technology.

Our director of applied mind sciences, Michael Apollo, commented on the evening, saying: “Olympic athletes face the same challenges that we all face. With Avianna… we explored the BCIs [brain-computer interfaces] and brain-training programs we can provide here at InteraXon, along with the common challenges high-performance athletes face on the field: distraction, anxiety, over-evaluation. I feel Avianna said it best: ‘My mind is my greatest ally, but can also be my greatest enemy.’”

The founder of Mill Street Brewery, a Toronto-based microbrewery, stopped by our office to try out InteraXon’s thought-controlled beer tap. We created a pledge level called “Beer On Your Mind” for Indiegogo, and Mill Street wanted to see exactly how it worked.

Steve Abrams, Founder at Mill Street Brewery, wearing Muse in Toronto, November 2012

Perhaps the funniest twist in the campaign was the release of a three-part mockumentary titled “Brain Cat.” To dispel some of the common myths people have about brainwave computing, our team created this Internet video series to show that the technology can be fun and harmless.

Throughout Muse’s campaign we used a combination of traditional public relations and social media, live demonstrations, conference appearances and memes, and leveraged online discussion to inform people about Muse. Another core strategy was our customer service. We made sure anyone who contacted us received—at the very least—a personalized thank you. We would recommend that any company or individual considering a crowd-funding campaign use a similar approach.

What’s next for Muse? Starting in January, we’ll be demoing the headband at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. After that, Muse will be heading to production just in time for a mid-2013 shipping date.

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Ariel Garten

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Ariel Garten is the CEO at InteraXon in Toronto, Canada. If there ever was a gap between science, art, business and technology, Ariel has closed it. Her work converts the workings of the mind into tangible solutions.

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