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Terry Boyd
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Alumni Success Story: Alphabeats

In a program that has produced multiple fast-growing startups and scale-ups, AlphaBeats stands out in just how rapidly they’ve evolved and how much buzz they’ve generated.

‍AlphaBeats came out of HighTechXL’s 2019 cohort. In HighTechXL’s deep-tech venturing building concept, the team formed around technology developed by Philips and tested extensively at Tilburg University. AlphaBeats holds the exclusive worldwide license for the Philips technology.

‍How does it work?

The technology detects your breathing rate and heart rate variability and adds an algorithmic audio layer to the music you’re listening to. This allows your brain to reset to a more relaxed and restful state. All you need is the AlphaBeats app, a smartphone, headphones and 10 minutes a day. The app works with any streaming service and helps track your progress and keep the routine going.

‍That focus on one of the world’s most severe health threats – chronic stress – has attracted a lot of attention and helped accelerate AlphaBeats’ growth. Uniquely, as one of the most promising Eindhoven startups, they now have the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval from not one, but two, venture builders – HighTechXL and LUMO Labs.

‍After going through HighTechXL’s nine-month program, the startup got a seed round in December 2020 from LUMO Labs’ early-stage fund and entered the two-year LUMO Labs accelerator program.

‍Since December 2020, AlphaBeats has passed multiple mile markers including:

‍• starting a 30-day pilot with the Dutch police force in October 2021. The goal is to lower stress for first responders who have jobs that are among society’s most stressful. Dutch officers will use AlphaBeats 10 minutes each day to improve their mental well-being and to promote excellence.

‍“You’re talking about 60,000 police agents in the Netherlands,” says AlphaBeats CEO Han Dirkx.

‍“The common goal is to improve the mental fitness of police officers, the people who ensure that we feel safe and who therefore also have an above-average amount of stress to handle.”

In its brief history, the team has never been able to implement its vision – “inner peace creates outer peace” so literally, Han said. “We’re extremely grateful that we can work on this together with the Police innovation team.”

‍• making their technology compatible with Apple. Now when you connect to AlphaBeats, your Apple Watch measures user biofeedback.

‍• recruiting more than 1,200 beta testers as they tweak their technology

‍• pitching as a finalist in the Wearables & Wellbeing category at SXSW in Austin, Texas, a legendary global gathering of emerging technology and music

‍• negotiating with one of the three largest music labels about a joint project using AlphaBeats technology

‍“We can change the mental state of people, improve mental fitness on one hand,” Han said. “On the other hand, we also have a lot of data and insights about the business … about what music does to improve your mind.”

• expanding their staff, which now is eight people

• qualifying to participate in the Dutch delegation to CES in January 2022

AlphaBeats is among HighTechXL’s most remarkable alumni – and represents a breakout for Eindhoven’s ecosystem – for several reasons.

First, the team marks landmark collaboration between Eindhoven’s two venture builders as AlphaBeats started at HighTechXL and now is part of LUMO Labs.‍

Second, it’s generating serious buzz on TechCrunch, TechEU and Innovation Origins.

‍Third, the team is one of the few with a medical doctor on board, Dr. Jur Vellema, the CTO.

‍In the startup tech world, innovation is but a point in time, and the AlphaBeats team is already looking ahead.

‍“We’re working on a new product users can work into their daily routines as they strive for a healthier lifestyle,” Han said.

He declined to reveal more details but promises more innovation – and less stress – coming to streaming music channels near you.

‍AlphaBeats synopsis:

Founded in 2019, AlphaBeats is an Eindhoven-based healthtech venture that uses Philips’ technology and implicit learning to lower stress by listening to music as little as 10 minutes per day. AlphaBeats directly improves mental fitness, making users feel more relaxed and healthier and giving them a higher level of resilience.

AlphaBeats has the exclusive worldwide license to use a neurofeedback algorithm developed by Dutch electronics giant Philips. Combined with artificial intelligence, the technology determines user stress by measuring breathing levels or heart rate variability via a smartphone or connected fitness device. Then, a unique algorithmic audio layer triggers the brain to produce alpha waves for a mental state of “wakeful rest.”

‍Additionally, the original Philips technology was refined during eight years of independent research at Tilburg University.