£200k invested into tech-for-good start-up Brain in Hand

Author

ClearlySo

03 September 2014

Brain in Hand, a company which uses everyday technology to support people with a range of neurological conditions, has raised £200k investment to help them support more people throughout the UK.

The investment included investment from angel investor group Clearly Social Angels(CSA). CSA was the UK’s largest first impact-focused investor network (where investors demand social impact as well as financial return), and is run by ClearlySo, who supported Brain-In-Hand to raise an additional £150k from The Solent Growth Hub, the place to go for help and advice that supports business growth. The initiative is administered by the University of Portsmouth and funded through the UK Government’s Regional Growth Fund.

Brain-In-Hand provides a collaborative technology that links vulnerable individuals to their carers and the professional organisations that support them – for example those with autistic spectrum disorders, mental health conditions or cognitive impairment – and allows them to cope with difficult situations, achieve goals and increase their independence. Through a secure website and simple app, they enable people to plan their day, managing their anxiety in unexpected situations. For example, if a user wants to catch a bus but is anxious about travelling alone and unsure how, a personal “solutions bank” is used to develop coping strategies: check the timetable; call the bus helpline; what to do if the bus is late, or how to get a taxi instead. It also includes a mood monitoring ‘traffic light system’ with a red ‘panic button’; they press this to remotely access help immediately. Mentors who support those using the app can communicate with them, intervene in difficult situations and then check their progress.

Brain in Hand can be used in a number of environments, from schools and colleges, through NHS trusts and social services, through to university students and those entering the workplace. 24/7 help costs less per week than just one hour of face-to-face support and the system has great potential for those with anxiety and the elderly in the early stages of dementia; there is huge capacity for growth as well as social impact in the personal technology market. This investment is part of a growing trend by investors to put their capital into tech start-ups tackling social issues.

Brain in Hand was founded by Andrew Stamp,whose younger son has autism. Mr Stamp teamed up with Dr Tony Brown, a clinical psychologist at the Autism Diagnostic Research Centre in Southampton to develop the system out of frustration with the quality of available services.

David Fry, CEO of Brain in Hand commented, “Our technology allows professional organisations to support their front-line carers, who in turn can better support the vulnerable individual. In early trials, we have seen these individuals achieve high levels of independence and reduced anxiety, leading to new levels of achievement and life skills. This investment will allow us to further develop the technology and apply it to new clinical areas.”

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