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Alpha brainwaves are associated with meditative states, moments of flow, and deep focus. AlphaBeats trains your brain to control alpha wave states. AlphaBeats, founded in 2019, started after Philips had offered their audio neurofeedback technology IP to build a venture around it.

  • The Gerard & Anton Awards ceremony highlights 10 promising start-ups each year.
  • AlphaBeats was one of the 2023 winners.
  • This start-up offers an app to help you get into a relaxed mood.

Chief Medical Officer & co-founder Jur Vellema says the company’s ultimate goal is “to deploy the AlphaBeats neurofeedback technology to as many people as possible to promote relaxation and mental health”. For now, the main target market is the professional sports industry. “The main reason for choosing this market is the demand – especially in the US – for mental performance solutions is growing strongly. The price of our technology is, for now, still quite high, so we generate the greatest chance of traction right there. In the future, we intend to expand into the business performance market and, eventually, the consumer market to improve mental well-being as a whole.”

This is an article from IO Next: The Brain. This magazine is full of stories about scientists, entrepreneurs, and innovations share one common goal: to better understand the most complex system there is.

How does it work?

As a user, you need a smartphone, a headset, an internet connection, and a relaxed place to sit. Listening to your favorite music gives you real-time feedback about your alpha brain wave activity. You’ll hear changes to your personal soundtrack corresponding to alpha activity changes. This process aims to help you learn how to increase your alpha wave activity consciously. Over time, with repeated training, you’ll learn to enter this relaxed, creative state more easily, which can help reduce stress, improve motor coordination, and enhance focus and decision-making.

The accessibility of hardware that measures EEG signals will improve significantly in the next three to five years, Vellema expects. “This will serve their affordability over time. EEG sensors will, therefore, find their way into widely used consumer products during that time frame. An important indicator of this is Apple’s patent application, published recently, to implement EEG sensors in their EarPods. This is a game-changer for AlphaBeats.”

Alphabeats at Gerard & Anton Awards, © Bram van Daal
Alphabeats at Gerard & Anton Awards, © Bram van Daal

In the past years, AlphaBeats has worked hard to make its target audience aware of the possibilities of the application. “We are at the leading edge of this technology. The field of neurofeedback is still relatively new and, therefore, unknown to the general public. We are now finding that, after three years of spreading the gospel, awareness is growing rapidly.”

Vellema’s pride lies in the application itself as well as in the development of the business. “We achieved to develop a fully digital and portable system for using neurofeedback, based around your own favorite music. On top of that, we raised substantial investment rounds from LumoLabs and Deep Tech XL.”

Brainport Eindhoven

The Brainport ecosystem was indispensable in AlphaBeats’ growth, Vellema says. “The cooperation of all types of companies and institutions ensures a start-up to find all knowledge and skills within the network.” There’s also a downside, he adds. “To really compete with the American investment market, we still lack investment money. I know several start-ups within the network that I rate highly but cannot raise enough money. These companies especially need to build a working prototype, which often requires large financial injections immediately.”

As a winner in the ninth round of the Gerard & Anton Awards, AlphaBeats is part of an already strong tradition. Out of the eighty former winners, Sorama stands out for Jur Vellema. “CEO Rick Scholte is a very pleasant person to work with. He has an eye for the ecosystem around him and recognizes its role in Sorama’s development.”