Where did your idea and value proposition start?
Our company started when we all met at MIT in 2017. We were in a program that combined engineers, designers, and businesspeople to invent new amazing things. Basically, the point was to bring all these different perspectives into the room to balance all the aspects of bringing new products to market. The three of us worked on a pill dispenser together for a big pharmaceutical company. As we developed the product, we realized that we were this little navy seal team that could build anything. We founded our company together shortly after. We started inventing new things in the mental health space because it was an area all three of us were passionate about. Once we zeroed in on stress, the cortisol meter quickly came into existence. It all fell together like a stack of dominos. We knew people had a terrible relationship with their stress, and we saw a way that academia was using to measure stress (through cortisol). And we realized this would be an incredible tool not just for the research world but for all of us as we go through life.
This kind of sums it up: Imagine a world where we don’t measure anything. No wind gauges, no scales, no meat thermometers. It would be a place full of even more questions and even fewer answers. Did I lose weight? Who knows. How is the economy doing? Your guess is as good as mine. Is the car about to run out of gas? We’ll have to wait and see. Without the tools to quantify things, we’d be living in uncertainty and darkness, and the world would feel unpredictable and uncontrollable. That’s the state of stress today. But things are changing. For most of us, our default relationship with stress is a passive one. Stress runs the show and we’re along for the ride. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. Measuring stress inverts that relationship, clears the fog, and allows us to treat stress as a practice.
What led you to mHUB?
We started out at another local co-working space, but the vibe wasn't right. We came on a tour of mHUB in the spring of 2019 and immediately felt at home after seeing how much equipment mHUB had; we hadn’t seen that in any other co-working space that we had visited. After joining almost immediately after our tour, we quickly noticed how similar mHUB and MIT were. Both are filled with people who genuinely care about making and inventing above all. We love to be surrounded by people who do the work because they love the work.
How has your business grown?
Our business is still a baby. We started putting information out publicly just few weeks ago, all in service of our Kickstarter. We've gotten really good feedback about the potential. People have an immediate, palpable, and positive reaction to the idea because it's unique and different. It surprises most that it’s possible to have an objective source of truth behind your stress, so we are excited to see how people will be using our product after the launch since it’s all about checking in with yourself. But regardless of the large number of cold emails we receive about the product, the biggest test will be with the Kickstarter launch in 2021.
What’s next for SelfSci?
The next year will be an exciting, guns-blazing growth chapter. We will bring the product to the market in 2021 and see what kind of traction we can build. We truly believe regular tracking of cortisol will be a well-established part of self-care in the next 2 years and our product will bring a sense of permission to look out for themselves. Long term, our vision is to have a portfolio of tools for self-care to help people design the best version of themselves and their lives.
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