Editor's Spotlight: Startup Focus

Cerebral success: Startup sets trend for focus on brain over body

By Nikki Hancocks contact

- Last updated on GMT

Founder Fabian Foelsch and CFO Robert Meusel
Founder Fabian Foelsch and CFO Robert Meusel
“We are on the edge of a change in society - from fitness-focused to mind-focused - and we want to be at the forefront of this change.”

These are the words of nootropics aficionado Fabian Foelsch, who aims to reach 10 million people across Europe by 2022 with his mind-focused functional food and supplements brand Braineffect​.

The 2.5 year-young Berlin-based brand offers a whopping 20 products designed to help customers reach an optimum cognitive functionality, through better focus, sleep, mood and more energy.

“Brain performance isn’t just concentration but it´s also energy and wellbeing, sleep and regeneration.

“We see it from a holistic perspective and we’ve created an integrated portfolio of products.”

As such, the company’s portfolio is split into four pillars: concentration, energy, mood and sleep, with all products designed to work in synergy with one another.

The range began with supplement capsules to meet the needs of each pillar but it has expanded to offer a wide range of formats including energy bars, power ball snacks, sleep spray, CBD oil and keto diet-friendly coconut oil.

All products rely on a range of natural extracts and vitamins to provide the cognitive boost they claim. For example, the ‘Focus’ capsules contain ginkgo biloba extract, panax ginseng extract and vitamins B5 and B12 while the ‘Mood’ product includes cordyceps mushroom extract, rhodiola extract, magnesium, vitamin K2, flaxseed oil powder, B vitamins, as well as vitamins C, D3, zinc, iron and folic acid.

The fruit and nut Kickbar is boosted with L-theanine, caffeine, 0,03 % guarana seed extract, vitamin B5, B6, B1 and B12.

Not expecting to take the brand´s word for it, the range also includes test kits to see that the products are working. To show the effectiveness of their products, Braineffect offers different third-party tests which customers could do on their own at home. One example is a melatonin test from cerascreen that could be bought together with Braineffect’s sleep products

How it began

Foelsch’s passion for nootropics started when he struggled with injury during his career as a professional athlete.

“My dad, who’s a doctor, showed me a study from Harvard researcher which indicated that a lack of sleep might increase the likelihood of injuries.

“I have always struggled to sleep, perhaps getting four hours a night, so this instantly caught my interest and I started to dig deeper into how food impacted my body and my sleep.

“I realised I could use nutrition and supplements to help improve my sleep and this would in turn help me become more concentrated.”

Over the years Foelsch built a strong desire to delve further into how the brain can boost performance for people in all social classes.

The mission in mind

Having built the company from a team of two to a team of 50 in just 2.5 years, Foelsch is confident in his company’s prospects.

“My big vision is to enable 10 million people in Europe to be mental athletes by 2022.”

In order to achieve this aim, the entrepreneur’s current focus is to expand across Europe starting with Spain, Italy, France and the U.K.

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