Interviewed by: Tanja
MindGames was founded in 2009 when two MIT-trained researchers decided to combine brainwave interfaces and the power of habit learning to produce software which would train users to better observe and regulate their levels of stress and attention.
1. Name: Deepa Iyengar
2. Email address: deepa [at] mindgames.is
3. Your title in the company: Co-founder and CEO
4. Company Name: MindGames Ehf. / www.mindgames.is / kt. 500909-0800
5. Industry: Software / Games / Health and Wellness
6. Company years in operation: 2009
7. Type of company: Private Limited companies (“Einkahlutafélag” (ehf)
8. Description of company:
MindGames designs and creates brainwave-controlled games, apps, and software for personal usage and business applications. Our purpose is to give people technology which they can use to train themselves in important mental skills for life while having fun.
They make games on iPhone and iPad compatible with consumer brainwave headsets (EEG) powered by NeuroSky technology.
They currently have 2 app products on the market:
9. Company Mission: To create a good gaming experience to help people to train their minds.
10. Description of social / environmental mission: Same as 12.
11. Would you call yourself a social entrepreneur or social enterprise? Yes, they are socially motivated entrepreneurs
12. How do you interpret the concept of social enterprises? The term is unfamiliar.
Interpretation: It is an organization that is for profit with a social priority ahead of a profit priority.
Questions related to the definition
13. Does your company have a clear social and/or environmental mission set out in their governing documents?
As set out in our original business plan as well as a general description of the business in the legal documents.
14. Does your company generate the majority of their income through trade? (51% and above). If not, how much?
In the past they received grant income as well as investments from friends and family. Approximately 10M ISK in grants and 5M ISK from investors.
15. Does your company reinvest the majority of its profits back into the social and/or environmental mission? (51% and above), if not, how much?
There have been no discussion to date on how future profits would be distributed.
No specifications in any documentation to date.
16. Is your company autonomous of state? Yes
17. Is your company majority controlled in the interests of the social and or environmental mission?
Yes, and all founders are driven from the social mission.
18. Is your company accountable and transparent? (Transparency – corporate actions are observable by outsiders)
They have nothing in place, but are willing to share information if asked.
19. Who are you clients / focus group?
Therapists and doctors: it’s a tool they can use for patients
The apps need a very specific EEG headset produced from NeuroSky‘s technology (http://www.neurosky.com/) . The market size of these headset is unknown. There are few suppliers of this technology available currently. In the 90’s the virtual reality sphere was gaining momentum, yet still is a new and burgeoning technology (similar to 3D printing, yet still hasn’t gained the popularity in the mainstream as 3D printing).
20. What KPI’s (key performance indicators) or measurement tools, if any, do you use to access if you are meeting your social impact according to your mission? (e.g. Number of users, number of engaged users. Etc.)
We have anecdotal evidence: conversations and emails with children and adults who self-identify with ADD or ADHD, and either say that they think playing our games helps them, or that they would like to play such a game as part of therapy. Some hypnotherapists have also emailed to say that they are using our games with their patients.
Social enterprise sector
21. If a social enterprise umbrella body were formed, would you be interested to know more about it and possibly join as a member? Possibly.
22. How would you like to see social enterprise develop in Iceland?
Differently abled entrepreneurs
Test bed for the games produced by MindGames for data collection.
23. Can you recommend a company (NGO) that you may know of that has a social and/or environmental mission?
Skema / www.skema.is/
GreenQloud / www.greenqloud.com/
Táknsmiðjan ehf / www.taknsmidjan.is/
Note: Social Enterprise Iceland does not in any way imply that the interviewed company is a social enterprise. The definition for social enterprise in Iceland is still work in progress through these research interviews. The purpose of sharing these interviews with the public is in alignment with our values of transparency as we share our process of discovery with those who are interested.