HabitAware, designer of KEEN, a bracelet that helps people control compulsions such as hair-pulling and nail-biting, scored at the top of 19 contestants during the semifinal round Wednesday night of MEDA's $1 million competition for minority entrepreneurs.
The firm, created by Sameer and Aneela Idnani Kumar, earlier in the week won the grand prize at the Minnesota Cup business competition. They created a bracelet to detect gestures and vibrate when it senses destructive activity. At MEDA, HabitAware received $15,000 for its top score and another $10,000 for being the top-ranked, female-owned company.
Ellen Crupi can easily recall when she first pulled out a strand of her long dark hair in the same way some people might remember their first kiss or losing their first tooth. She was 12 years old and in gym class at her suburban Rhode Island middle school, waiting for teams to be chosen.
“I was probably just playing with my hair to calm myself down, and I pulled a piece out. I don’t know why,” says the 54-year-old Crupi, who lives in Bethesda. “Ever since that moment, I was hooked. I just felt a zing.”
Pulling out her hair became a coping mechanism for Crupi, a way to tackle anxiety or even boredom, and nothing she was too concerned about at first.
Alan interviews Aneela Idnani - inventor of the Keen bracelet.
Tune in to learn how, after suffering for years with a psychological disorder that caused her to pull out all her eyebrows, she invented a solution - the Keen bracelet.
The Keen bracelet has changed habits and touched thousands of lives all over the globe.
It's important that Keen fits snugly. Here's a quick guide to help you decide which bracelet size to order: