The Brabant Startup Fund invests in Mentech Innovation to accelerate the development of the HUME.
Mentech, a company based in Veldhoven with a branch in Eindhoven, has been developing the HUME since 2017. The HUME is an emotion recognition platform that records physiological and personal characteristics (such as heartbeat, skin conduction and voice/sound) through wearables, and converts these characteristics into emotions using smart algorithms. The first application is in long-term care. People with dementia or a mental disability often have difficulty expressing their stress and emotions and, in some cases, show ununderstood behaviour. By recognizing tension build-up at an early stage, a healthcare professional can prevent escalations and incidents. The HUME gives these vulnerable people a voice, ultimately to increase self-management and the quality of life and happiness.
Mentech Innovation participated in the BOM Investor Readiness Program in preparation for this investment round. Stephan Hulsbergen, Business Developer at the BOM, explains: “We are getting older and are therefore increasing pressure on a limited group of care workers. We will have to develop smart solutions that can take over part of the care from human hands. Mentech Innovation is developing a software platform that can potentially deliver better care and relieve care staff.”
Gerard Spanbroek, director of BSF, motivates the potential of the BSF investment: “The BSF facilitates knowledge-intensive and innovative startups in Brabant or who want to establish themselves in Brabant with early stage financing.” Mentech is a high-tech company with a strong social mission that fits in perfectly with the social tasks of Brabant. In the past 2 years, Mentech has developed an initial prototype of the HUME and is now validating it with close involvement of care partners in a national pilot study. In addition to long-term care, we also see a lot of potential in other care applications and markets, which means that social goals could be achieved in a broader context.
Erwin Meinders, CEO and founder of Mentech Innovation, looks back with great appreciation on the IRP program and the cooperation with the BOM: ‘our participation in the BOM’s IRP program has given us new insights and has confirmed our focus on long-term care . With the BSF investment we can further strengthen the value proposition of the HUME and bring the HUME faster to the market. “