“Cognitive decline is the real pandemic of the modern age”
Cognishape has recently raised $1 million to help older adults with cognitive decline
“Cognitive decline is the real pandemic of the modern age with more than a billion people that suffer from it in one way or another, and 40% of people over 60 cope with known issues,” explained Cognishape Co-Founder and CEO Oren Meir. “The effects on society, the economy, and most importantly - on so many people’s everyday lives - are huge.”
According to Meir, thousands of users are already using Cognishape as an app or extension to a messaging service to help older adults with their cognitive abilities. The company focuses efforts on clinical validation and strives to obtain FDA approval as a Digital Therapeutics (DTx) for preventing cognitive decline and reducing the risk of dementia. It believes this will mark a leap in the treatment and prevention of cognitive decline, as no proven solution exists to date.
Cognishape has joined CTech as part of its Startup Boarding Pass series to share what it has in store in the future.
Company Name: Cognishape Ltd.
Sector: Healthcare, AgeTech, SilverTech, Digital Health, Digital Therapeutics.
Older adults are the fastest-growing age group in the world. In many regions, the population aged 65+ will double by 2050. At the same time, more than 40% of people over the age of 60 cope with known cognitive issues, and a billion people in the world right now don’t feel like their cognition is what it used to be.
Developing the first Digital Therapeutic for cognitive decline, Cognishape is an AI-powered, effective online cognitive training service for older adults.
Cognishape provides a cognitively stimulating service that keeps older adults sharp, creative, and socially engaged. Through refreshing daily interactions and scientifically based brain training, users create and maintain a healthy routine and improve daily function.
Cognishape’s service is provided through a conversational interface over popular messaging platforms and in the Cognishape App.
The company deploys NLP and AI algorithms to assess the user's cognitive condition and personalize the training program to the user's needs and capabilities.
This enables Cognishape to democratize methodologies and techniques that have proven to be effective in maintaining and even improving daily function, but are not currently accessible to the general population, and are not scalable at all.
Oren Meir - CEO:
Serial Tech Entrepreneur, 23 years in various startups of all kinds and in varying stages. Last six roles as VP R&D or CEO at Double Fusion, Peer39 (Acquired by DG), Shaker (Acquired by Playstudios; IPO-ed), Conduit, Conntigo, and Resonai.
Daniela Aisenberg - Chief Science Officer:
Clinical Psychologist with a Ph.D. in Neuropsychology of Healthy Aging. Head of Clinical Psychology of Adulthood and Aging department at Ruppin Academic Center. Her research deals with providing low-cost interventions to improve cognitive and emotional conditions in old adults.
Gal Nachum - Chairman:
A serial entrepreneur with a record of five startups he founded, three of which were acquired. Currently active chairman at two startups and a startup mentor and a lecturer at the Tel Aviv University
Year of Founding: 2020
Last Investment Round: $1 million
Last Investment Stage: Seed
Date of Last Investment: March 2022
Total investment to date: $1 million, and has a $400K piggyback opportunity open for additional investors who would like to join under the same terms.
Investors (leading and all): Terra VP
Current number of employees: 6
Open positions: Marketing Manager, CMO (Cheif Marketing Officer)
How was the idea born?
After 23 years in leading roles in various startups, I felt I needed to do something much more impactful and meaningful to the world, and for many reasons found myself attracted to the longevity industry, in which I have looked for the most burning problems. I decided to focus on cognitive decline and on loneliness, where the need is imminent and where technology can play a transformative role in the solution. Together with my partners, Gal Nachum and Dr. Daniela Aisenberg, we shared the frustration from the business success of products that aim to address this but don’t really work. At the same time, we were aware of the fact that there are services that do show real-life efficacy in preserving and even improving cognitive function, but they are not accessible to the wide public as they are provided to specific people, by human therapists, which also makes them expensive and unscalable. We were determined to bridge this gap by finding a way these proven techniques can be democratized.
What is the need for the product?
Well, I guess the need goes without saying. Cognitive decline is the real pandemic of the modern age with more than a billion people that suffer from it in one way or another, and 40% of people over 60 cope with known issues. The effects on society, the economy, and most importantly - on so many people’s everyday lives - are huge.
Currently, for someone who is concerned about maintaining daily functioning as they grow old the only option available is using existing ineffective products such as brain games, while effective methodologies exist but are not available.
How is it changing the market?
The market currently offers products that don’t work and are not scalable such as vitamins and supplements, products that are scalable but do not show real-life efficacy such as crossword puzzles, Sudoku, or brain games, and services that do show efficacy but are not scalable - various treatments from the fields of occupational therapy and neuropsychological rehabilitation, and no solutions that are both scalable and effective. Cognishape is here to fill this blank space.
Eventually, having a solution that delays cognitive decline and reduces the risk for dementia will not only change this specific market, but rather the entire economy, as more people will remain active and productive longer, and more people will be able to age in place (at home, connected to the community), fewer people will be forced to become informal caregivers, and the huge expense that is currently spent on therapy and treatment will be dramatically reduced.
How big is the market for the product and who are its main customers?
In the U.S, alone, the market for Cognishape is estimated at $6.8 billion a year, and the global TAM is $37.2 billion. The customers are healthy people over 60 worldwide. Natural cognitive decline which is an inevitable part of growing old affects us all, so anyone over 60 is our potential customer.
Does the product exist already? If not - at what stage is it and when is it expected to hit the market?
Cognishape is available as a bot on Facebook Messenger, text messages, and even Telegram, but the best experience and efficacy are achieved by using our app. Thousands of U.S.-based users are already using Cognishape with very promising results so far, and this is only the beginning.
Who are the main competitors in this sector and how big are they?
The main competitors are the “Brain Games” vendors. These are game-based products that offer cognitive training and who have over 250 million users globally. The market leader is Lumosity with 80 million users. All of them operate B2C in a subscription-based model.
In the past, they used to claim that using their products improves cognitive functioning, but it has been proven wrong: the scientific community has concluded that none of these games has real-life efficacy.
What is the added value that the founders bring to the company and the product?
We are experienced tech entrepreneurs with successful track records and leading researchers from the fields of Psychology, Neuropsychology, Neurology, Occupational Therapy, and Gerontology.
To complete the picture of the founders, we have Yotam Rosenthal who is a top-notch R&D leader, with vast experience in NLP, AI, and chatbot development. He has played a major role in the development of chatbots for several companies, most recently - ServiceFriend, which was acquired by Facebook (Meta).
What will the money coming in from the round be used for?
In the next two years, we plan to reach 100,000 paying users and proven efficacy in clinical trials with leading U.S. research institutions. The money will be used to achieve this.
In the "Startup Boarding Pass" section, CTech will cover the (relatively) small investments made in companies during the early stages of their existence - and the entrepreneurs and startups who have not yet had the opportunity to reveal their stories to the world. Please use the linked form and fill it out according to the guidelines. This form is intended for startups raising between $500,000 and $3 million from venture capital funds, angels, or official grants from Israeli and foreign institutions. If relevant, someone at CTech will be in touch for follow-up questions.