Belfast healthtech startup raises £1 million in seed funding

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  • BrainWaveBank, a Belfast healthtech startup that is developing a neuroscience platform to track cognitive fitness, has raised £1 million in seed funding from a group of investors that includes techstart NI, Innovate UK, Invest NI and the Angel CoFund.

    Founded in Belfast in 2015 by Ronan Cunningham, Siggi Saevarsson and Dr Brian Murphy, BrainWaveBank is working on neuroscience technologies that could help with the early detection of dementia.

    By connecting a wearable electroencephalogram (EEG) headset with a mobile device, the startup’s platform is able to record and analyse a user’s brain activity while they play games and complete cognitive challenges, enabling the company to detect signs of cognitive decline.

    Ronan Cunningham, co-founder and CEO of BrainWaveBank and a seasoned technologist with more than 20 years’ experience in the development of hardware and software, said: “We founded BrainWaveBank with the goal of transforming the early detection and treatment of devastating cognitive illnesses such as dementia. We are very excited to be supported in achieving this vision by such a strong team of leading technology investors and innovation agencies.”

    Tim Mills, investment director at the Angel CoFund, added: “Considerable progress has been made in recent years around the awareness and treatment of issues with cognitive health – but it’s clear that the human brain is still the least understood part of the human body.

    “We’re backing BrainWaveBank because we believe they have a huge opportunity to advance the fight against dementia and better manage the treatment of impact related concussion, and we’re proud to be part of their journey.”

    Two promising use-cases for the technology developed by the Belfast startup are the detection of cognitive impairments caused by concussions received during sport, and the regular assessment of cognitive functioning in older people in order to allow for the early detection of cognitive decline.

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