REVIEW: Fun Learning Tool to Boost Cognitive Skills

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BrainWare Safari has won numerous awards and is used in approximately 400 schools. The market for brain fitness software is expected to reach $4 billion in 2015.

The BrainWare Company has created BrainWare Safari, a disruptive software program that combines neuroscience with video game technology to strengthen cognitive skills which are the foundation of all learning: attention, memory, thinking, visual processing, auditory processing, and sensory integration. Students’ cognitive skills can be dramatically improved in as little as 12 weeks. BrainWare Safari can also be used to address specific problems such as ADD, autism, learning disabilities, impaired vision, and brain injuries.

PRODUCT/SERVICE: BrainWare Safari motivates students to learn by making it fun with video game technology. The software program develops 41 cognitive skills in 6 key areas which are the foundation of all learning. The 20 exercises or games present 168 levels of varying difficulty. Weak skills are strengthened and strong skills become stronger. The software benefits users of all ages, 6 and up. According to Patricia Wolfe, international authority on neuroscience applied to teaching and learning: “I am endorsing it wholeheartedly because it works and because I think it is what we really need for our kids.”

VALUE PROPOSITION: BrainWare Safari promotes brain fitness. An improvement in cognitive skills expands the functionality of the human brain and prepares users to learn and excel in both the classroom and work environment. According to a white paper by Eric Hanushek, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University and an expert on educational policy: “We provide evidence that the robust association between cognitive skills and economic growth reflects a causal effect of cognitive skills…countries that improved their cognitive skills over time experienced relative increases in their growth paths.”

MARKET SIZE: The BrainWare Company targets four primary market segments: education, consumer, healthcare, and workforce. Other verticals are corporate, military, government, nonprofits, athletes, and drivers’ education. According to SharpBrains, a market research firm and think tank, the market for brain fitness software grew from $100m in 2005 to $295m in 2009. They forecast the market to reach $4 billion in 2015.

REVENUE MODEL: Schools buy bundles of licenses or pay an annual fee to use the software program, the cost of which is dependent upon the number of students. Consumers can download the software for $150 or pay $175 for the CD. Healthcare clinics and corporations pay a bulk price to use the software.

MANAGEMENT TEAM: Roger Stark, founder/CEO, is a serial entrepreneur with 1 successful exit. The BrainWare Company is his third startup. Betsy Hill, President/COO, worked at NutraSweet as a business analyst and later as Director of their fat substitute division. She doubled their sales and brought it to profitability within 1 year. She’s a part-time professor in the MBA programs at the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Other members of the management team include Sara Sawtelle (Director of Scientific Affairs), Doug Van Poppel (VP of Business Development), Karen Buccola (Director of Customer Service), Patricia Cosentino (CFO), and Brian Wink (CTO).

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE: BrainWare Safari is the most effective and affordable brain fitness software on the market. It drives the greatest cognitive growth within the shortest period of time which translates directly to success in both the classroom and work environment. Major competitors include: Lumosity, Cogmed, Lexia, Captain’s Log, Mindfit, Brain Age, Earobics, Fast ForWord, BrainSpark, and Brain Fitness. Patent is pending.

PROOF OF CONCEPT: BrainWare Safari is in the marketplace. BrainWare Safari has received the following awards: Teachers’ Choice Award (TCA), EdNET, CODiE for Best Game Simulation, Parents’ Choice Award, Moms’ Choice Award, Association of Educational Pubishers (AEP) Distinguished Achievement Award, Academics’ Choice Mind Spring Award, and District Administration Magazine’s ‘Top 100 Products’ Award.

CUSTOMERS/USERS: The company broke even in 2010 and became profitable in 2011. Currently, BrainWare Safari is used by individuals, schools, and clinics/hospitals in all 50 states and 36 countries, including approximately 400 schools and 300 clinics, hospitals, or learning centers.

STRATEGIC PARTNERS: The BrainWare Company has strategic partnerships with several major firms and organizations including Intel, CDW, Empirical Education, and Homeschool Buyers Co-op which has 60,000 members. Currently, they are working on a third pilot program with Chevron, developing a study on brain development with John Hopkins University, and in negotiations with a major distribution partner that operates in 45,000 schools.

FUNDING: The company is seeking between $500K and $1MM for sales & marketing, new graphics, and administrative support. Initially, The BrainWare Company raised $4MM from individual investors, including John Canning (Chairman of Madison Dearborn Partners), Don Perkins (former chairman/CEO of Jewel), and $1.3MM from Roger Stark.

SUMMARY: The BrainWare Company needs a catalyst to accelerate revenue and take the company to the next level. Currently, the company is in discussions with a major distribution partner which could be a gamechanger.


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