Nootropics startup ramps up scientific backing with new funds

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

Nootropics startup ramps up scientific backing with new funds

Related tags nootropics Mind Cognitive health Startup company Innovation

A nootropics supplements startup company is looking to ramp up production and increase its scientific backing after closing a second successful funding round.

Koen Indesteege, CEO and founder of Belgium-based Mindscopic, has announced a new round of capital investment it will use to inject funding into the company’s research projects conducted alongside leading European universities.

“It’s our science-based ingredients and health claims that really set us apart from the competition. We know the ingredients work because they are already science based but we want to verify the efficacy of our specific products with placebo controlled studies.”

The investor in this round remains anonymous but is is Belgium-based and mainly works with companies in the SpaceTech, BioTech and FoodTech industries. 

Indesteege gained a clear picture of the trends in the global supplements industry while working as a key account manager for Amino Labs from 2014 to 2017.

It was during that time that his personal interest in nootropic ingredients turned into a business idea.

“I noticed what seemed to me to be a clear gap in the market - for brain health focused supplements. It was something I was already passionate about as I had taken a range of nootropic supplements for a number of years just to help with my focus at work.

“I took ginko, bilbao, and ginseng, but I had to buy those all individually as there weren’t any high quality supplements on the market offering multiple brain health focused ingredients.”

While working for Amino Labs, the young businessman discovered a huge array of other ingredients that are beneficial to the brain and became even more interested in this untapped area of health.

“The second most drunk beverage globally, is coffee, and that’s a nootropic. So it occurred to me that everyone is drinking this nootropic drink without even realising it and there are so many more healthier alternatives they could be taking that provide the focus, without the jitters or the crash.”

A self-proclaimed entrepreneur at heart, aged 29, Indesteege decided to bootstrap his own company selling brain health focused capsules and sublingual sprays, with his first product ‘Clear Focus’, launched in 2017.

The main ingredient in Clear Focus is Bacopa Monnieri: a nootropic herb that improves processing speed, memory and learning ability. The capsules also contain: Rhodiola Rosea​ extract, an adaptogen which helps the body to adapt and to resist both physical and environmental stress; L-Theanine, an amino acid shown to reduce stress and improve focus as well as reduce the side effects of caffeine; caffeine; CDP Choline, a component of cell membranes which can repair and rebuild cell membranes of neurons as well as increase dopamine levels in the central nervous system; co-enzyme NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide + hydrogen, a derivative of vit B3), for improved mental clarity, alertness, concentration, and memory; as well as B vitamins and and the bio-enhancing black pepper extract bioperine.

Other products in the range include: Caffeine free ‘Clear Focus’ capsules; ‘Moodmaster’ capsules, with ashwagandha, griffonia simplicifolia​ extract, baldrian wurzel extract and l-tryptophan; ‘Sleepwell spray’ with chamomile, passionflower extract, lemon balm and melatonin; a vitamin D spray and a purified hemp oil.

Indesteege points out that the sublingual sprays are particularly popular with those who dislike swallowing capsules plus they also do not require the body to digest and absorb the nutrients in the gut, which can be very ineffective in those with ‘leaky gut’ syndrome.

Sales were already strong for the brand, with customers across Europe and Russia but the company saw a sudden surge in sales during the pandemic.

“Sales of our Clear Focus product suddenly jumped, I think partly due to the fact people were struggling to concentrate while working from home.

“Before the pandemic, the majority of our customers were biohackers or people with an in-depth knowledge of supplements. Now, interest in nootropics has become much more widespread and our target audience is much broader.”

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