HabitAware Wins Top Prize at Meda’s $1 Million Challenge
January 30, 2019
HabitAware, a local tech startup developing a smart awareness tracker called Keen to stop behaviors like hair pulling, nail biting and skin picking, took home the top prize at the Metropolitan Economic Development Association’s (Meda) $1 Million Challenge startup competition Wednesday.
At 17 years old, Aneela Idnani was struggling with the loss of her father. Over time, she developed a mental health condition known as Trichotillomania, a compulsion to unknowingly pull out one’s hair as a self-soothing mechanism.
Director of Awareness with HabitAware, Ellen Crupi, says she has a common, yet unspoken disorder called Trichotillomania (trik-o-til-o-MAY-nee-uh). Crupi spoke with Keni Mac on Loving Living Local, sharing her journey battling the compulsive hair-pulling disorder since she was 10 years old. Trichotillomania is a mental health disorder involving recurrent, irresistible urges to pull out hair from one’s own scalp, eyebrows, eyelashes, or other areas of the body, despite trying to stop.