HabitAware, a Minneapolis-based tech startup developing a smart awareness tracker called Keen to stop behaviors like hair pulling, nail biting and skin picking, has been named on Time Magazine’s list of Best 2018 Inventions.
Time’s list includes 50 total devices in categories such as transportation, toys, sustainability and gadgets. HabitAware was highlighted in the health and wellness category along with six other companies.
Keen, HabitAware’s flagship product, helps users pick up on repetitive motions and vibrates when it catches them in the act. This kind of awareness-building is key to kicking compulsions for good. Keen retails for $149 and is on track to pass $1 million in sales this year, Time reports.
Arlan Hamilton is founder and managing partner of Los Angeles-based Backstage Capital, which has invested more than $5 million in 100 startups whose high-potential founders are people of color, women or LGBTQ. Two of those startups are in Minnesota, including Minneapolis-based HabitAware, the winner of the $50,000 grand prize in the 2018 MN Cup entrepreneurial competition, and the developer of a smart bracelet to make users aware of hair-pulling and other unwanted repetitive behavior.
For 20 years, Aneela Idnani Kumar had a secret. She spent her life in shame and embarrassment. One day, unexpectedly, her secret came to light. This moment transformed her life, and in the process, helped thousands of others.
She suffered from a debilitating mental health disorder that resulted in compulsive hair pulling. The condition is called trichotillomania. Trichotillomania is a mental condition that fits into the general category of Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs).
Several hundred investors, analysts, technologists and others interested in the commercialization of artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and blockchain technology attended this week’s annual "venture conference" of the Minnesota High Technology Association (MHTA). HabitAware, a recent Minnesota Cup winner and MEDA $1 million Challenge finalist, that helps people curb compulsive behavior such as nail biting, hair pulling and skin picking with a smart bracelet that notices the behavior and helps reverse the habit.
MPR's Chris Farrell hosted this Conversation on the Creative Economy at the MANOVA Summit, a global gathering at the Minneapolis Convention Center on the future of health and health care. Chris Farrell's guests were three high-tech entrepreneurs re-imagining how to provide mental health support, including Aneela Idnani Kumar, co-founder and president of HabitAware.
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.
It's important that Keen fits snugly. Here's a quick guide to help you decide which bracelet size to order: