Since the Inc.U Competition officially launched in 2015, it has produced 10 winning teams and provided $120,000 in prize money to fund winning student startup teams.
Those 10 startups have since grown, shifted, and encountered new challenges and successes. This is the second in an article series which will explore where some of the winning teams are now, how the pandemic has impacted their businesses, and what the next big steps for their companies are.
Business name: Reflexion
Business description: Reflexion is a neuro-fitness service to increase performance in athletes.
Business location: Lancaster, PA
Name and title: Matt Roda, CMO & Co-founder
Q: What stage was your company at when you participated in the Inc.U Competition, and what stage is your company at now?
When stepping onto the Inc.U stage in Spring 2017, Reflexion was a ragtag group of founders with a barely working prototype and passion to make a positive change in sports. Over the past three years, we’ve added six full-time employees, launched a product, added thousands of active monthly users, and made hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue.
We’ve also made an important transition in our value proposition. We used to believe Reflexion could make the most impact as a concussions test, but we learned that’s a tricky market to be in, and one that not all stakeholders are ready to address. We transitioned our marketing to tap into a rapidly growing neuro-fitness market – that’s training brain function. Athletes need excellent reaction time, peripheral vision, memory, etc., and we make that better for them.
Finally, we added a service component to our hardware. Continuously updating our application to train and track cognitive function allows us to better serve our customers and generate monthly revenue from subscriptions.
Q: How did participating in the Inc.U Competition impact you and your company?
The prize money from Inc.U allowed us to hire our first employees in the summer of 2017, a big step in the growth of a company. The engineering interns we hired would be especially valuable, one of whom we hired after they graduated from Case Western Reserve University and remains with us today.
Q: What challenges have you faced since winning?
With a product that has applications in almost every aspect of neurology, there’s a lot of populations Reflexion can serve: sports medicine, sports performance, elder care, childhood development, military training, and so on. It was difficult for us to be focused when there was interest and pull from many directions. This seems like a good thing on the surface level, but splitting time, energy, and resources trying to approach multiple markets is almost certainly going to end in a lot of burnt cash and little company progress.
Q: What successes have you had since winning?
We’ve been very successful at making mistakes. In all seriousness, the people at Reflexion have done a tremendous job at handling growing pains and learning from them, and that’s one of the things I’m most proud of. There are other big milestones like our first sale or a second product launch, but adaptability and resilience are why we’re successful today.
Q: How has the pandemic impacted/shifted your business?
In a matter of three months, we built and launched an entirely new product that can be sold directly to consumers. Unlike our flagship product (the Edge) that is custom hardware, the Flex is an off-the-shelf touchscreen monitor, meaning it can act as a TV when not in use. This is perfect for a consumer who can do other things like watch Netflix on our product when they’re not using it. Learn more at www.reflexion.co (that’s .co, not .com).
Q: What is the next big step for your company?
Growth! Shipping systems out the door and establishing ourselves as the best product for neurocognitive training in sports. If you want to be an elite athlete, you need to be training with us.
Q: What advice do you have for future participants of the Inc.U Competition?
Have a team you can trust, and narrow in your target market as quickly as you possibly can. Then, start generating revenue.