Cory McKane 0:00
Okay, I'm ready when you do it. All right, awesome. Kill me home dog is that if I've been called home dog before, it's pretty cool. We got Cindy Cullen here,
Sidney Collin 0:11
the best one yet
Cory McKane 0:11
the best one yet best one yet. Maybe the best one ever. We'll see how it goes. So do you want to quickly introduce yourself a little bit about your background, and then we'll get into what you do?
Sidney Collin 0:22
Sure. My name is Sidney Collin. I'm the CEO and the co founder of Dr. devices. We make mobility aids for people with mobility disorders to help people walk safely, independently and confidently at home. So outside of the clinic, you don't want me to go too much into the company right now, just my personal. Um, let's see, my personal background. So I grew up in the Bay Area in California, I've always been obsessed with understanding how the brain works, how the body works, how they interact. And I studied biomedical engineering at Cal Poly, very cool. And every side project that I worked on was in Brain Computer interfacing, I was really, really fascinated in this whole concept. And I don't know how much detail you want me to get there. But I can share some details of some of the
Cory McKane 1:14
details. I mean, I like I do not know anything about brain computing or anything like that. So feel free to say whatever you want, I will understand it, but I will like I will support it.
Sidney Collin 1:24
So I mean, I just think the brain is so free. It's very fascinating.
Cory McKane 1:27
I'm not smart enough to research it. Like I'm, I wonder I'm smart enough to know that I shouldn't be the one doing the research on the brain. I'll let you guys handle that. Yeah,
Sidney Collin 1:35
honestly, nobody understands how the brain works. That's what I love about it so much is that you can get into the space, like I published a research paper when I was 20 years old, because people don't frickin know how the brain works. And so somebody can come into a space, do research and analysis for six months and be able to publish a paper in a peer reviewed journal article. Because people don't frickin understand how the brain works. It's amazing. It's so cool. And I think that there's so much to learn. And I think that we're at this place right now, in the world, where we have the equipment to be able to analyze brain signals in a way that we've never been able to before with the high signal to noise ratio. And then we have the computational power to be able to analyze large datasets, which is extremely important and looking at brain signals, because they're looking at so much data, that if I was only taking that and analyzing it on my computer, for the research that I did, it would have taken me like a week to do a simple, like, filter on the data that I was looking at. Because I could use parallel computing and cloud computing, it would take me a couple of hours. So anyways, I'm like, geeking out hard in the area that we're not
Cory McKane 2:52
even talking about. I know that it was part of the podcast. Yeah, very cool.
Sidney Collin 2:55
But I think the brain is really, really interesting. And I think the brain space right now in the next 10 years, is just, we're gonna learn so much.
Cory McKane 3:05
Do you think like the space is going to evolve into like us using more percentage of our brain? Um, like 7%, or something like that?
Sidney Collin 3:15
I don't know. Honestly, I don't know. I think what I tend to pay more attention to is like how we can work with the brain. So for example, like brain controlled prosthetics, like, what pair genomics is doing, I think is frickin so cool.
Cory McKane 3:31
What is pair of drumsticks? I don't know that is.
Sidney Collin 3:35
So Matt angle runs a company called pairdrop Max here in Austin. He also started an organization called Texas neuro tech, where he gets all of the coolest people in the whole world, aka neuroscience nerds together in a room and he has, you know, startups, he has investors, he has people from academia. He has people from big strategic companies like Abbott that'll come. And we all just kind of get together in one room and talk about how cool the brains are.
Cory McKane 4:07
Very cool. Very cool. Okay. Well, I never have gotten that invite. So I'm kind of upset a little bit, but it's okay. I'll go to the next one.
Sidney Collin 4:15
Just say that you don't like to study.
Cory McKane 4:19
Like big brain happy hours. What do you guys call those? Like?
Sidney Collin 4:22
Just Texas neuro tech. Gotcha. Okay. Very cool.
Cory McKane 4:26
So was there a specific part of the brain that you were studying? Like? I don't know what the parts are. To be honest. I know. Frontal? Is that part of the frontal lobe? I know something. Okay. Very cool. So what what part of the brain were you studying? I'm like, what part of that? What does that brain part do?
Sidney Collin 4:43
Yeah. So originally, I was doing a project while I was in school for St. Jude Medical at the time now, Abbott. I'm looking at deep brain stimulation for people with Parkinson's disease. And so I wasn't necessarily looking at a specific part of the brain. I was looking And at the type of brainwave that we sent and seeing if we can individualize that for each person rather than having just a standard type of polls or size polls that we send in the brain for everybody. Gotcha. So that was the first kind of project that I did in Brain Computer interfacing. And then I went to I took some time off of school actually, I moved to France for seven months. For Yeah, six, seven months here. Got my question here is your homework.
Cory McKane 5:32
It was like one of those like, we do this live interviews, like I'm counting in there, like, how did you know that about me? I'm like, it was just for LinkedIn. Okay. Yeah, we went to France. Okay. Very cool.
Sidney Collin 5:44
moved to France, and did research for this neuro tech company called menzi. Attack. And we were doing EEG Neurofeedback for children with ADHD, okay, and so that at the end of that kind of six months working with them, that's when I was able to publish that research paper. Very cool. So I was essentially just doing research there.
Cory McKane 6:01
Gotcha. And it's funny. So you lived in Paris and in like, the valley outside of San Francisco, wherever that's called. And that's why you're a wine snob, because you we went to a wine tour and you said you didn't like the wine. You're the only person who didn't like it. And you're from the to places like on the planet where people go to drink wine.
Sidney Collin 6:19
Yeah, okay. We're not like information. I'm not a wine snob, everybody. Low key, like low key low. I love a good two buck. Chuck. All right.
Cory McKane 6:28
Appreciate the wine. It's
Sidney Collin 6:31
a huge fan of that particular line.
Cory McKane 6:35
Okay, so you do all that stuff. We'll get to the company's second. Why are you in Austin right now?
Sidney Collin 6:40
Oh, good question. It's funny, I think I have, there's so many different reasons. And I can go through the analytical like, Okay, here's what made sense for our startup. And here's what made sense, you know, from building my network. And here's what makes sense for me personally, but I think a big portion of it. Is I just like it here.
Cory McKane 7:02
Do you like humidity or no?
Sidney Collin 7:05
Not necessarily. It doesn't bother me, but it's more of the culture, the people that are here. But honestly, if we go into why from a company perspective, I moved here. Our lead VC for the last round is based here in Texas. Cool.
Cory McKane 7:19
Well, who's that? True wealth ventures? True elf venture true wealth to wealth? Gotcha. Okay. I was like I said, really weird name. Like, only Christmas investments origin. Okay, very cool. Okay. Do you mind disclosing how much you guys raise? Is that public? I don't know.
Sidney Collin 7:35
So total, we raised about 4.5 million. Okay, very cool. This last round? We did 3,000,002.8. Okay. Very cool.
Cory McKane 7:42
Okay, so 4.5 million so far. What does that go towards with the company? Like is that like, you're going to toward tons of r&d tons, like marketing? Like, what are you guys doing? Yeah, so
Sidney Collin 7:51
the angel round that we raised was really to get it out to market. So it was a lot of r&d. We're a medical device. So there's a little bit more capital that has to go into actually getting something to market. Yeah, luckily, we're class one medical device. So we don't have to go through clinical trials or anything like that go through an FDA submission. But we do have to set up basic quality management system and make sure that the documentation is kind of up to par.
Cory McKane 8:20
What is the difference between a class one and like, I'm assuming the next class two?
Sidney Collin 8:25
Yeah, so there's class one, class two and class three medical devices. caste, class three is going to be the most invasive class one is the least invasive. The class three would be like an implantable brain stimulation device, like brand stimulation would be a class three medical device, okay. I'm pretty sure that a hip replacement like when you're putting something in the body, that's class that is class three. Interesting. And then I think anything that touches the body will be class two, and then class one is the least invasive. So like canes, walkers walking you holes, crutches, those all fall under class, what
Cory McKane 9:01
interesting, they think is really simple to understand. That's good. Very cool. Let's cover what your device is. We have the device. We have the device here. Pull it out here.
Sidney Collin 9:10
So yeah, well, we actually do Sure.
Cory McKane 9:13
Bam. So why did you choose the name? Why didn't you choose? We tried to like it's pretty close. So
Sidney Collin 9:24
we should have hired you.
Cory McKane 9:27
So close. So why any x and not like the T like why did you guys choose that?
Sidney Collin 9:32
You know, I don't have a great story for this. The question you should ask you though is why did we choose the name of the company which is Dr. Device.
Cory McKane 9:40
Okay, let's cover that was my next question. I
Sidney Collin 9:43
have a really great answer.
Cory McKane 9:45
Was it your devices?
Sidney Collin 9:46
So my co founder and I both went to Cal Poly, which is in a small town called San Luis Obispo. Right outside of San Luis Obispo is this national park called one tiny de oro when Tanya day one tiny en de oro. like mountains. And it is the most amazing, beautiful place that I've ever been. Wow. Okay, and it's one of those places where you go and you sit in the sand dunes and you watch the sunset. It's like a beach park. There's so behind. Okay, so there's, it's all in the water, and there's a bunch of sand dunes. And there's the water. And there's like cliffs that you can walk along the bluffs. And then behind it, there is a forest hiking trails. And there's like a campground there, too.
Cory McKane 10:30
I have friends that went there. I'll have to ask them about that. That's cool. Okay. Yeah, it's
Sidney Collin 10:33
a very amazing place. It's, it's one of those places that I would always go to be able to kind of get rid of stress and anxiety and you sit there and you watch a sunset and you just feel so calm and confident.
Cory McKane 10:51
Talking about just calm down with it. So de oro stands for gold. Is that what a stands for? Wow, very cool.
Sidney Collin 10:59
And so that's what we wanted all of our customers to experience when they were using our devices. So cool. And we were always going to come out with, you know, many different devices, which is why we didn't want to name the company, the name of the product,
Cory McKane 11:13
very smart, because that's what I was wondering, because I was like, I was putting your site together. I was like, do I call it de oro? Do I call it next stride? So
Sidney Collin 11:21
yeah, honestly, we need to do a better job with that because
Cory McKane 11:25
the Euro anywhere on this box or like Nope. We'll do that we'll do it.
Sidney Collin 11:39
No, no, we focused on for branding, anything that's consumer facing. We only brand next ride. Gotcha. But when we are, you know, talking to investors and whatnot, it's their devices is the name.
Cory McKane 11:53
Okay? Let's, let's cover a little bit more on what your company actually does. And then I want to get to like, de oro and like what future possibilities you guys have with other devices? So like, what is what is next right actually do besides have a very unique thing?
Sidney Collin 12:07
Yeah. Can I take you a little bit down a rabbit hole to explain
Cory McKane 12:11
the rabbit hole?
Sidney Collin 12:15
Okay, so when I was at Cal Poly,
Cory McKane 12:18
I went to Cal Poly
Sidney Collin 12:21
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo go missing. So I had just gotten back from France. And I ended up meeting this local veteran named Jack brill.
Cory McKane 12:31
Okay, so that's, that's a veteran name. That's a cool name. Yes, brill,
Sidney Collin 12:36
a veteran who lived with Parkinson's disease. And he suffered from this mobility symptom called freezing of gait. Okay, so freezing gait is one of the most common, it's one of the most debilitating symptoms of Parkinson's disease, essentially, stop someone from being able to walk. Gotcha. So, you know, for Jack, it meant he was in a wheelchair all the time. Not because his legs didn't work. But because there's a specific neural pathway in his brain that was being damaged or disconnected that was making it so that when his brain was sending that signal to initiate movement, that signal just wasn't getting into the motor neurons that are activating his muscles. It's crazy. Yeah, really, really fascinating. So as I looked into solutions for Jack, what I found is that we can use these external visual and auditory cues that essentially provide a goal for somebody to be able to walk over or be able to walk to the beat of like a metronome or walk over a green laser line. And just by adding a goal, you change the intention behind the movement. So my intention is to step over this line rather than to like, just walk. Yeah. And that change of intention actually changes the part of the brain that's been activated and allows someone to be able to restore mobility. Gotcha. Does that make sense at
Cory McKane 13:53
all? No, it doesn't say so. Is, I mean, two questions. One is like, the last one or no? Is it like a mental barrier? Not that I mean, obviously, it literally is, but is it like, it's like a is like a confidence thing that stops him from doing this? Or is it like literally something? Is your brain like, broken in a way? Or are you mentally just like, I can't do this? Like, what is the
Sidney Collin 14:19
I'm gonna try not to go down too many rabbit holes, because that's a really good question. And a lot of people used to think that because they saw this. They saw this correlation. They used to think that it was kind of like a lack of ability, a lack of
Cory McKane 14:32
Yeah, like you go to a therapist mentally just like feel better do it again, like walk
Sidney Collin 14:36
Yeah, I forget what researcher it was. But there was some famous researcher that defined Parkinson's as a lack of will. But then they did more research and found out that's not what's happening. So what's actually happening is okay, so you have these dying cells in the brain and the substantia nigra, and they're dopamine creating cells.
Cory McKane 14:57
No, do I have those are like everyone has dying cells.
Sidney Collin 15:01
Your cells aren't dying. Well, that's good. All right, sorry. Unless you have Parkinson's.
Cory McKane 15:06
Oh, that sounds awesome, too. I don't have Yeah. So when people
Sidney Collin 15:09
with Parkinson's can their cells on the sustained substantial Niagra that are dying, those are dopamine producing cells, which part of which part of my brain where we're talking about? Yeah, I actually can't point
Cory McKane 15:22
trying to visualize. Okay, cool kid so that cells are dying and the subs substantial.
Sidney Collin 15:26
substantia nigra, substantia nigra, gotcha. Okay, so that means that you have a lack of dopamine in the brain. And that's essentially what causes all the symptoms of Parkinson's is that lack of dopamine?
Cory McKane 15:38
And so how do you so how do you get a lack of dopamine, there's like, like,
Sidney Collin 15:42
cells, the cells that are creating dopamine are dying.
Cory McKane 15:45
Okay, but how do you still have some questions? How do you? This might be like, the most kindergarten question of all time, but like, by being happy, does that help those from dying? Like, because obviously, that's how dopamine is produced? Right, like so right? I mean, right
Sidney Collin 15:59
now, there is no cure for Parkinson's, so there's really no way to stop them from dying. The only thing that has been shown to slow the progression of Parkinson's disease is exercise, actually,
Cory McKane 16:10
because you get those dopamine hits,
Sidney Collin 16:12
like from, I don't really know why I can't tell you why. But I can tell you, it's the only thing that has been shown to slow the progression of Parkinson's disease. So we have medication for Parkinson's that will cover up the symptoms. And those are essentially like, like, synthetic dopamine,
Cory McKane 16:32
that word gotcha, like a melatonin kind of thing put you to sleep. Yeah.
Sidney Collin 16:37
It's like dopaminergic drugs. Yeah, gotcha. Okay, hold on, where were we doing? Ravels? Yeah. Okay. So so, so I was telling you about Parkinson's, and the dying dopamine in the brain, or the dying cells causes a lack of dopamine in the brain. And so what's happening with freezing of gait is, when your brain sends that signal to initiate movement, that signal generally goes through the basal ganglia, when it's been, which is a part of the brain when it's being activated automatically. So automatic movement versus goal oriented movement are activated in different parts of the brain. So when you're activating this automatic movement, goes to the basal ganglia, the basal ganglia has a really hard time processing that signal, because of the lack of dopamine in the brain
Cory McKane 17:26
is automatic isn't like, I'm just doing this right now. Is that kind of what?
Sidney Collin 17:29
Yeah, like, I don't know, how do I just explain an automatic movement? Like, okay, if I were to, yeah, exactly. Just kinda like put my arm out, versus something you're not thinking about. It's not conscious.
Cory McKane 17:42
Like, you're just washing
Sidney Collin 17:44
the dishes kind of thing. Yeah, versus saying, Okay, I'm gonna reach for that thing. Like, I'm gonna reach from the back of your chair. Yeah, it's the same exact movement with my arm. But it's a different part of the brain that's been activated in order to initiate that movement. So that's essentially the, you know, knowledge that we're using to be able to create this product. Gotcha. So long story short, we figured out we can use these visual auditory cues to activate go into neural pathways in the brain that allowed someone to be able to overcome freezing of gait, which is the symptom of Parkinson's that stops people from walking. We took the most effective visual auditory cues from research, combine them into a small portable device that could attach on to any cane Walker walking pole, and brought to market.
Cory McKane 18:28
Very cool. So so what you said was, there's the automatic and then there's like the intentional those wheels go through two different pathways. That's correct. So what you're saying is like, when I want to walk, I don't naturally just think about it, I'm automatically just walking, because that's like part of its unconscious, and you guys ignore the weird word. And then you go the other way, what was that word against one of the be basal, some of the basal ganglia basal ganglia. So you ignore that one, and sift through these like rhythms and whatever you're adding, like noises or lasers or what you said, you're creating it as like a manual initiative, which puts it towards a different pathway. Is that what you're saying?
Sidney Collin 19:06
That's correct. So essentially, yeah, I mean, you're invited to
Cory McKane 19:12
take your job. 100%. Yeah, we stride Yeah. Okay, what are you saying? Oh, sorry.
Sidney Collin 19:20
I don't remember Oh, essentially, what we were what we're doing, right. It's just changing that movement from being automatic to goal oriented. So there's a number of different ways we can do this. All we did was take the most effective visual auditory cues from research, and we combined them into this device that can attach on to any cane Walker walking pole. So the visual cue that we use is a green laser line projected onto the floor in front of you. The auditory cue is a metronome. Gotcha. So you try and step over that green laser line or you step to the beat of the metronome. And again, that change of intention change with the part of the brain that's been activated, allow someone to be able to walk again, so cool. It's so honestly crazy. That is
Cory McKane 19:59
so So my question is like, if I'm mentally thinking, I want to walk right now, why isn't that going into the? The the manual side already? Like you're so this is yours? So if I'm just walking, yeah, it's automatic. Yeah. And if but if I can't really walk that well, and I'm like, Okay, I want to walk to there, should that be on my manual side? Or is that my automatic side? Still?
Sidney Collin 20:25
Yeah, that'll be Donald be goal oriented. So if you say like, okay, there's a door over there, you know, I'm gonna walk, it's gonna take me 10 steps to walk over there. That is an internal cues that people can use for Parkinson's. So there's a number of different ways to overcome freezing of gait, and external visual auditory cueing is just one of them. The reason that this is so effective is one, it's proven to be more effective than any other cueing, you know, these visual auditory cues have been shown to reduce falls by 40%. For people with Parkinson's. But two, I think there are a lot of internal cues. So you're right, setting a goal yourself. There's other things you can do like weight shifting, there's many ways that we can go into the list. But the hard thing is, if you're stuck in a spot where you're walking totally fine, and then all of a sudden you freeze, and you're about to fall, like, are you really gonna remember, Oh, my physical therapist three weeks ago, told me this thing to remember, what was it again, you know, like, you're in a panic mode, and you need to be able to just like, press a button and start walking again.
Cory McKane 21:30
So is so so then also, are they pushing a button walking again? Or is this a constant thing that will that is like part of their life where when they want to walk, they have this like, kind of thing that just keeps falling with them?
Sidney Collin 21:41
Yeah. So there's different ways you can use it. There's continuous queuing or On Demand queuing. So what you just described is continuous queuing. So there are some people that every single time they're walking, they have either the visual or the auditory cue, or both of them on gotcha, like, anytime they get up. And what that will do is it will prevent freezing of the episodes from coming on in the first place. What other people will do if maybe, you know, they don't experience as many freezing episodes or their hockey, you know? Well, a lot of people do have a are very self conscious about bringing attention to their disease, their disorder. Yeah. So so if you don't want to have a laser sticking to your locker all the time, yeah. What other people do is they use it on demand or as a rescue cue. So you become frozen. You press the button to activate either the laser with metronome or both? Start walking, turn it off again.
Cory McKane 22:34
Is there a way you guys could eventually make it so that like your glasses can see the line? But like, you're not personally shooting the line out for everyone to see.
Sidney Collin 22:42
Yeah, it's funny. We've actually gotten that question multiple times. And there is one research paper that was published using Google glasses to overcome freezing of gait. Yeah. I think the issue with it was one, the usability people, just, it was a lot harder for people to figure out how to use them. And I'm sure we can create something simpler. But it it just wasn't shown to be as effective. And so we wanted to keep with at least the minimum viable products getting out to market. We wanted to stick with, you know, the simplest, most effective version.
Cory McKane 23:19
Oh, no, it makes sense. I was just curious, like, as far as like future plans go or some like that. This big in a market where Who are you guys currently working with? Are you in retirement homes? Are you like, in like 1000 homes in America? Like where are you guys up?
Sidney Collin 23:32
So we sell direct to consumer.
Cory McKane 23:34
Okay, is that your biggest market? Or?
Sidney Collin 23:36
Yeah, so our biggest area right now is direct to consumer. We also sell to the VA that's our second biggest customer.
Cory McKane 23:42
What is that? Like? Veterans Veterans Affairs of affairs. Gotcha.
Sidney Collin 23:46
So any veteran can get this device for free right now.
Cory McKane 23:48
Oh, what Wait, how does that work? Like you guys revenue wise? Are you just donating it Are they
Sidney Collin 23:53
pays for it. So VA will place an order with us directly.
Cory McKane 23:57
Any veteran get this for free.
Sidney Collin 23:58
Any veteran who gets health care through the VA can get this device for free
Cory McKane 24:02
right now. Very cool. Okay. So I keep going.
Sidney Collin 24:05
Direct to consumer, we sell through the VA, we sell through some distribution partners. So right now we have we sell in seven countries, including the US. So we have distributors outside of the US. And we are about to close a really exciting deal with a distributor in the US.
Cory McKane 24:22
So is that by relatively soon, every time I do a podcast or like tomorrow, I can't tell you today, but tomorrow. So how many how much time you think before you're gonna get that deal closed? Because this airs and like a month, so
Sidney Collin 24:35
I think in like a week. Okay, well,
Cory McKane 24:38
we'll put it, we'll put it on the screen.
Sidney Collin 24:42
It's very exciting, though. I mean, I don't know it's, I don't know if anybody who's not in the medical device space would know this name. But anybody who spent any time in the medical devices, they're like a fortune 10 company. So we're excited.
Cory McKane 24:55
Google fortune 10 company, you'll find it. That is incredible. Well, I don't know what to do. Probably won't know who they are either but I'm very happy for you.
Sidney Collin 25:02
Thank you. We're really excited. Okay, so
Cory McKane 25:04
we have consumer partnerships I keep interrupting you
Sidney Collin 25:07
know you're good this is what happens when you get like two people with ABB Okay, so we sell direct to consumer, we sell the VA, we sell to distributors, and then we sell to hospitals and physical therapy clinics.
Cory McKane 25:22
Okay, cool. How big of the market is the hospitals and physiotherapy? Right now you think of your, our revenue grow? No, sorry, no market,
Sidney Collin 25:32
honestly, it's a very small amount, because they move very slowly. Interesting. So for example, we sold to like Cleveland Clinic is a big one. It took us, I think, six months to get through their, like vendor approval, form like process that they go through. And for us, like at our price point, unless they're ordering in bulk, it just doesn't make sense to pursue that. It's too much time. Yeah, as one of our kind of main channels. But we do. Right now what we do is we're going after direct to consumer. And we use this kind of b2b through clinics and hospitals as kind of a way to supplement that. Because it's really important to us, for people to be able to hear about the next ride, go into their physical therapy clinic, see their physical therapist has one and is using one and loves it, get that validation and then purchase it.
Cory McKane 26:29
Yeah, you're right, that is worth it. Sales, regardless of sales that's worth it just for the validation, for sure.
Sidney Collin 26:35
Because that's generally the journey that our customer goes through, as they find out about us through some ad through, you know, we work with Parkinson's foundations to get awareness out. And then they go into their physical therapist, or they talk to their medical professional, and say, Hey, have you heard of this thing? And when their doctor says, No, I've never heard of that, then they're like, Okay, well, this much must just be a gimmick. But if they go in, and they see that their physical therapists is using it, and has it and uses it in training, then it adds a lot of credibility for us. That's a new product on the market. Yeah,
Cory McKane 27:06
that's all. So are you not working with any nursing homes, then it's not part of the
Sidney Collin 27:10
we actually just finished a pilot study with Paragon management, which is they have like 14 skilled nursing facilities in New York. Cool. So we're just starting to kind of get into that space and having conversations with one of the big distributors in that space to
Cory McKane 27:29
get to that being huge. I mean, like, especially with the baby boomers all heading into nursing homes right now. I mean, that's, I mean, honestly, any of your target markets are gonna be big. So
Sidney Collin 27:38
yeah, the reason we hadn't pursued that earlier is that, you know, such a small percentage of those people have Parkinson's gotcha, that they're not super motivated to buy products like this or have them on hand. But we're just starting now to expand into different disease states. So I told you this whole story about Jack and why we started the company. And once we got the device out on the market, we realized really quickly that it's not only effective in Parkinson's, but it's also effective in stroke and cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis and PSP and traumatic brain injury, and a number of other mobility disorders. So we're starting to expand and redo all of our messaging to be to go after that broader target market.
Cory McKane 28:19
Gotcha. Okay. And is that going to be a different product or the same next ride product?
Sidney Collin 28:24
Same product? Okay. Yeah, so we just published a case study with Bellevue Hospital actually using this exact product in stroke rehab. Oh, wow.
Cory McKane 28:34
That's awesome. Yeah, I, I can Is this like a product that would be like on like, a late night? Commercial or like, for people of that age? Buy these things? Like,
Sidney Collin 28:45
honestly, yeah, we're starting to test that out. TV is one of the most effective ways was it called Sir, Dr. TV, Direct TV? Oh, gotcha, gotcha. Direct response TV, I think is one of the most effective ways to get to people over the age of like, 6570. Yeah. Which is crazy, because nobody under the age of 50 has cable
Cory McKane 29:06
Exactly. Well, your product isn't like a gimmick, which I feel like most of those products on that show are long those late night shows are but at the same time, it's like, you know, who cares? Like if they need it? And they they're the ones watching it there. They might as well sell it on there.
Sidney Collin 29:18
No, I know a lot of companies that do like there's this company Ember labs that does a product for women who are going through menopause, they sell on DRTV. Inogen is a public company that sells like, products for people who need oxygen. Gotcha. And they sell on DRTV like this crushing it's honestly a lot of these like age tech companies do really well with direct response TV.
Cory McKane 29:46
I'm excited to see how that goes. The back to Parkinson's really quick. So is Parkinson's kind of like a category? And then there's like the deep was deep gated it was was it called? What gate? Oh, freezing
Sidney Collin 29:59
of gait freeze. Do you have? Like, yeah, you mix deep brain stimulation?
Cory McKane 30:05
So is is Parkinson's, the category and there's like 10 different things that can happen underneath Parkinson's or like, Are those all just symptoms? Like what? How does Parkinson's work?
Sidney Collin 30:15
Yeah, so Parkinson's is a mobility disorder. Okay, so it's a neurological disease. It's a progressive neurological disease. So once you get diagnosed with Parkinson's, there's no cure. Gotcha. And you're just going to get worse. Gotcha. And then there are a number of different symptoms within Parkinson's, that you can help with. So their mobility symptoms, there's like voice therapy is a big thing for Parkinson's because they lose their voice, all of these automatic things. So it gets hard to talk, it gets hard to walk, it gets hard to swallow, it gets hard to breathe like this is all of these things that are automatic. become very difficult for somebody with Parkinson's.
Cory McKane 30:52
Interesting. Anywhere is Where's Richard? Where's research ad right now? Like, is it? Like, are we are we I don't know how to ask this. Like, I don't know if you know about it. It's like, where are we at with research? I guess it's so
Sidney Collin 31:03
funny, because you can go back 10 years, and you can go to the research articles that have been released in the past year. And they always say, we're almost almost, we've almost figured it out. We're right at the brink of finding a cure for Parkinson's. But there are hundreds of millions of dollars going into Parkinson's research every year.
Cory McKane 31:25
Yeah, that's cool. Did this go in towards is that there's a lot of that going towards the rehabilitation? Or is it going towards like solving or curing Parkinson's? I
Sidney Collin 31:33
mean, so most of us going towards actually finding a cure, which I think is a very noble cause, which I think is really important. But something that's really frustrating is, you know, I see that I think it's fantastic.
Cory McKane 31:48
And for the time being,
Sidney Collin 31:50
what about all the people who have Parkinson's right now? Who is spending money to find them tools? Out here? That's something that I really like about the Davis Finney foundation is that they're really focused on people who are living with Parkinson's today, what can we do to help them?
Cory McKane 32:07
That's awesome. Well, I love what you guys are doing. I mean, what regardless of it, you know, it's a cool product to like, it's obviously for like a really good cause. Do you guys work with like, I mean, I think of like, so many, like, charity organizations, or you guys can have your own at some point? Like, is that a goal for you guys to like, also, like, raise like a fund to go give back to Parkinson's like that? Or does it just help us that I don't know,
Sidney Collin 32:29
we do. So we partner with a lot of Parkinson's foundations. And I would absolutely love to get to a place where we can, you know, do like 5% of our profits go back to this organization. It's really cool. Right now, the way that we do it is we partner with an organization called the Parkinson's wellness fund. And so they will fund they'll give a grant for anybody who needs financial assistance, failed to get the next ride. So they'll pay for someone to be able to get the next ride cool. But the way that we work with them is that we discount it on our end, if they qualify somebody and say, Okay, we're gonna give this person a grant, we discounted on our side, and they put in money to help get the person to, like, that's the way that we work with them. Now, we, you know, volunteer with a lot of different Parkinson's organizations, like I actually host the Parkinson's support groups, here in Austin. Oh, cool. The Capital Area Parkinson society,
Cory McKane 33:23
is that for people that have Parkinson's or people that are like married to someone with that, or something like that?
Sidney Collin 33:28
It can be either. There's a lot of people with Parkinson's who come but spouses and children and whatnot will come to learn about it as well.
Cory McKane 33:34
Okay, gotcha. How long has this product been out for like the next Friday, specifically?
Sidney Collin 33:40
So we kind of got the beta version out, we did like a soft launch in April of 2020. Gotcha. Oh, so I feel like
Cory McKane 33:49
my birthday is good, great time to have a birthday.
Sidney Collin 33:54
So right at the beginning of all the shutdowns and whatnot, so it was a little bit of a shitshow trying to figure out like, we had this whole, like, beta launch strategy of like, Okay, we're gonna go to all these in person events, we're gonna go to all the support groups and whatnot, and then COVID hit and all that went shit,
Cory McKane 34:12
in the audience you're working with was the most like at risk. So you're just kind of like, fuck, like, what
Sidney Collin 34:17
do we do? The least technologically savvy? Yeah. So to be there. Yeah. So a lot of support groups now have figured out how to be on Zoom. But at that point, was not really an option. Meeting and wow, that's tough. We had to rethink everything
Cory McKane 34:34
would you guys do for those months? Just kind of like, like to work on the product more like what do you even do when your audience can't be reached in person kind of thing? Yeah.
Sidney Collin 34:42
So we definitely cut spend substantially, we're planning to do this big kind of marketing push to kind of test out some different strategies of what was going to be effective and our long term go to market. But we cut that substantially with everything that was happening and we did decided to just do a lot of smaller, cheaper tests. So we did a lot more digital ads. We did like Facebook marketing, and
Cory McKane 35:09
how'd you like the Google ads?
Sidney Collin 35:12
It was honestly, it was pretty effective. What I really liked about our Facebook ads is that people would people would see our ads and they start commenting on it. Oh, yeah. Especially that demographic. Yeah, then they'd have full conversations with each other. It was really cool to see. That's interesting. Like, I remember one time one of our customers commented on it was like, I have this and I love it. And then we have we've had one of our PTS comment on and be like, Yes, I refer this out to all my patients. Oh, cool. And then sometimes we just have people comment on them, saying, like, I have Parkinson's, and I don't know what to do. And then somebody else will come in and be like, Have you tried the support group, and then somebody else will come in and be like, bring these questions to your neurologist next time. Like, it's such a cool community, you know, like, people really want to help each other.
Cory McKane 35:57
Do you guys have a digital community, like a Facebook community or something like that your Facebook page, we tried. I tried to people have really good Facebook communities. I tried it.
Sidney Collin 36:08
So we tried to do it with physical therapists. We haven't done it with consumers. But we've tried to do with all because we're in like, over 100 physical therapy clinics across the US. And we get a lot of questions of like, okay, well, what do you do when the patient has this symptom? What do you do when the patient has this symptom? Like, I can, quote, research to you, but I am not a physical
Cory McKane 36:27
therapist. Okay. You should not be the one like, exactly, yeah. So
Sidney Collin 36:31
and so I tried to get them all in a group together. And I'm like, okay, ask you tell them. Exactly. Um, turns out, it's a lot of work to get people to actually interact. It's like community,
Cory McKane 36:40
it's tough. And like, honestly, it's Facebook's is getting worse and worse to like, their, their groups used to be able to post until like, if you had a page, you could post on the page, and everyone would see it. And now when I post on my page, I get like, 40 views from like, my family that follow it. I'm like, I don't even use our Facebook anymore for business. So I mean, it used to be good, though. It'd be good. Yeah. Does I don't know if you mentioned this do does insurance pay for your product in any way? Are you guys? Are you guys working towards that? Yeah, so
Sidney Collin 37:09
we're not covered by insurance right now. And what's hard about our product is that we have, we don't fall under any billing code. It's called the hickspicks code. We don't fall under any billing code, because we're not a cane. And we're not a walker, we're this device that attaches onto canes and walkers. And the great thing about this product is that nobody's done it before. The terrible thing about this product is that nobody's done it. And so there's no like code that we fit under. So it is a long process. And we are going through that process. We've had many conversations with CMS. And in the meantime, though, it is really important for to us that anybody who needs this product can get access to it, which is why we partnered with the VA. So any veteran can get the device for free. And then we partner with the Parkinson's wellness Fund, which again, will cover the costs or anybody who needs financial assistance.
Cory McKane 38:02
I love that so much. That's so cool. Yeah, I feel like I mean, that's I know, when you have to create your own category. I was talking with someone yesterday, like what the last one with the Fetty. Guys, the vans, you know, you're one of them, we did the one you hated. It was great. She loves the tour, the wine is just not
Sidney Collin 38:22
a cup of tea, like the winery is gonna listen to this, and I'm never gonna be allowed
Cory McKane 38:25
back. They don't there's no way they're gonna associate that we've done 40 Wine Tours, you don't know which one it was. But, but no. So we had them on here. And they were talking about like, I was asking them if it's like, how it's been legally opening up in different cities. And they're like, well, Uber just cleared the past. So we can just open up and it's like, the paperwork might as well already be done for us. So that is annoying that you do have to kind of like create your own rules and kind of like figure out that things are working or not. Interesting. But that's the fun of a startup. Right? This is the quote fun of the startup. Yeah, exactly. Creating a little bit of a new market here. Exactly. Yeah. And speaking of like, the fun of a startup like what what is your like day to day role? And then what's your team your team comprised of? Or who is your team?
Sidney Collin 39:09
So my title is CEO and co founder. My that is means everything from putting together a grant proposal to fundraising to being on podcast, I mean, the face of the company, just speaking on panels and being at events, too, I don't know what else to do. I mean, I get really in the I always mess up when I'm trying to say freezes in the weeds, you know, it's gonna stick in the ground. And I was like, that's not right.
Cory McKane 39:38
That's terrible. You don't want to be in the ground. So
Sidney Collin 39:41
I get really in the weeds right now our biggest focus is really understanding our customer acquisition cost to the point where we can scale it and reproduce it in a cost effective way. So I get really in the weeds on that right now. I'm in all of our sales and marketing calls, trying to understand as much as I can about the space be In an engineer science background, like there's a lot I don't know,
Cory McKane 40:04
every day you're gonna learn something new with that space, like crazy. Do you feel like, because I have the same I have this problem so terribly as a CEO, I'm doing a bunch of shit I shouldn't be doing constantly.
Sidney Collin 40:14
i Yeah, so I had to really reevaluate that when, as soon as we close our last round, we brought, you know, three people on board. And we went from me and my co founder full time, one person part time to six people on
Cory McKane 40:34
the team. Okay, oh, you know, synergistic promoter, one
Sidney Collin 40:37
remote all over the place. Gotcha. Um, which was a huge change. And it went from, like, William and I doing everything, to me having to completely change my role. 100% To the point where I, I had to, like, really sit down and be very kind of thoughtful about it, like, Okay, what is what is my role now? And what does it mean to be successful in my role, because it's not sitting down and grinding out as much work as I possibly can. It's much more strategic, and it's much more, you know, forming relationships and thinking about how the team as a whole can be productive, and how to make sure that everybody is very clear on what their goals are, and what they need to get done. And they have kind of the authority in their own domain to be able to make decisions and move quickly. And so that was a complete change for me,
Cory McKane 41:32
what, what, what tasks, what tasks that you used to do? Do you not do anymore, because you hired people?
Sidney Collin 41:38
Um, so I mean, a great one is, I was the contact for all of our physical therapists. So I was the person who reached out to them and I did our inservices. And I followed up with them monthly, you know, I was the contact person. And that's now either Hershey near polar or gotcha sales people.
Cory McKane 41:58
Well, that's really important, too. Like, I think that's the biggest mistake that startups make is that you're not that person initially, like for whether it's financially because you couldn't afford to hire someone else, or just because like, you just decided not to, like, I think it's important to, like, be that person that that your initial customers are talking to you because you get to you get to know your original customers, you get to know what the problems are, like firsthand basis. Like it's just important, it's hard
Sidney Collin 42:19
to take a step back. So sorry, disconnected. But I also have a lot of trust like her, she is the most amazing, like just Rockstar employee ever. Where I actually I 100% Trust her opinion on things. And I think that she does a much better job than I ever did. And so she's made it really easy. No, it's hard to take a step back because you feel you feel so far away, when you were the person talking to everybody and understanding every single thing that was happening in the company to like, going up one level in terms of like, what you're looking at, and, and be having to trust that your employees and the people that your team is gleaning the information that they need to from their interactions with our customers.
Cory McKane 43:10
Yeah, no, it's tough. I mean, I, I've taken a step back a little bit. Like I've had a person take over, but like for the like, we I have two calls with some big gyms and I and I'm like, I am taking those calls. Like I want a result. So I'm moving towards where you're at, but I'm not there yet. Mentally. It's a mental thing for sure. I could hire someone to do it. But I'm just like, I don't know. It's just Yeah, it's my heart right here. Yeah. Very cool. So what is what is your co founder do? What is his role? He said, William, right, William. Yeah. You said William William.
Sidney Collin 43:38
Abs. He's so funny. So his full name is William T. Thompson. The third. I love that. Okay. Okay. His middle name is the letter to you. Oh, actually.
Cory McKane 43:52
Sidney Collin 43:53
I think it is so funny. When we're doing due diligence with our VC. I remember Sarah and Carrie reaching out to me and asking for full names to do background checks and whatnot. And they're like, can you give us their full name? And I said them William T. Thompson. I had to like put in parentheses a third. Yes, his middle name is Joe.
Cory McKane 44:14
That sounds like a name you'd give like a cop when you were drunk or something like that. You didn't want to in trouble. William T. Thompson the third? What is his role in the company?
Sidney Collin 44:23
So he's much more operational. So he handles everything from like making sure that our business is registered in Sam's and making sure that you know, like, all of that kind of logistical stuff. I need one of those so bad and then yeah, and then he does all of our financials because over like taxes and stuff like that,
Cory McKane 44:45
I need one of those so bad I'm gonna get me a William T. Thompson.
Sidney Collin 44:48
You definitely don't take mine.
Cory McKane 44:52
I'll get a bill T Thompson the third. The second though, was his dad looking for a job? Okay, very cool. So So, I know you do have something that you have to get to relatively soon. So I want to ask two final questions here. One is like what's next for the company? And then the second one, which might be related to the first one is what future products? Do you see kind of down the horizon?
Sidney Collin 45:15
Yeah, good question. So I mean, the first thing, which I kind of touched on already is just sales growth is really spending the time to understand who are our customers, and how can we get to them in a cost effective, scalable, reproducible way. So that is our number one goal right now. And that includes expanding outside of Parkinson's and going into stroke rehab, and multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy and PSP, and traumatic brain injury and a number of other mobility disorders. So we're redoing all of our messaging to be able to be more inclusive of different mobility disorders. The next step after that we'll be bringing on new products. So the the next product that we're in development for right now is basically a belt attached version of this product. So it'll have the same visual and auditory cues, but will be attached onto the body. For people who don't use canes walkers are walking through
Cory McKane 46:08
that stage too, though,
Sidney Collin 46:10
a costume. It shouldn't be.
Cory McKane 46:14
based on my knowledge that I learned in the last hour, that might be a class to this object, say it. They're all thinking it to, like it's a class to
Sidney Collin 46:23
so just this that like attaches like with a belt clip onto the body wouldn't be a class to what we need to think about is like data collection, what data we're collecting, how we're collecting it, that might make it a costume?
Cory McKane 46:38
Would it be class to if it was like on your arm? Is that because I think I understood you. I'm
Sidney Collin 46:43
just gonna go ahead and say I'm not an FDA specialist.
Cory McKane 46:47
I thought I had the classes down. And now I'm like, maybe I don't have the glasses down. Okay, sorry, keep going.
Sidney Collin 46:53
I'm not a lawyer. This is legal advice. I'm not a doctor, none of this is medical physiotherapist put on. Don't sue me.
Cory McKane 47:04
Okay. So you're gonna do a non class to probably class one on the bill.
Sidney Collin 47:09
So non invasive mobility solutions is kind of umbrella is what all of our products will fall into. The next one will be about the touch version of this product. You know, we're moving towards data collection as well. So being able to collect that mobility data, feed it back to the physical therapist or the medical professional,
Cory McKane 47:29
is that like an Apple Health sync up? Or what is that? Like? We're like,
Sidney Collin 47:32
No, we were so we would create that we would put the sensors in our products. Okay,
Cory McKane 47:36
interesting. So I really, what do you guys have competitors, I know, you're the first to like, do like this space. So So there's
Sidney Collin 47:43
one other company in the US who makes visual auditory cueing products, and they're called instant mobility, they have a product called the U step, that is a walker that integrates the visual and auditory cues into it. So it's actually a great Walker. And we have some customers who have the U step and have the next dried damn double up. Because it is a really great product. However, it's a great product for a specific purpose. And for a specific kind of type of person. Why is the type of person I mean, like, the stage of their mobility, and, and, and where they're going to be moving. However, it weighs 32 pounds, you know, and costs over $800. And so Sandy, Jack's wife couldn't lift it in and out of the car. So he would walk around to use up around his house, but whenever he left his house, he couldn't walk. He was
Cory McKane 48:35
in a wheelchair. Interesting. Okay, well, how much is yours costs?
Sidney Collin 48:38
Ours cost 499. But $500. Okay,
Cory McKane 48:40
and how much does it weigh? How much does? How much does it weigh? What's one pound less than a pound? We can carry that. Okay.
Sidney Collin 48:48
So our device was really different about our devices that attaches on to any cane Walker walking pole. So one, that means you can walk in with whatever mobility assistive device you're already using. And that can be very personal to people. You know, whether using walking poles or a cane or a walker. There's lots of different kinds of canes and walkers
Cory McKane 49:07
stick like in the movies. They're going to stick in there. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So there's lots of different
Sidney Collin 49:11
types of mobility aids that can be very personalized to the person. But the other reason that this is important, is because it actually allows for somebody with Parkinson's as their mobility progresses or changes. They can move this from McCain to a walker to walking poles back to a walker. So we've had a customer that started using the neck stride when he was using a walker. And then he start going to physical therapy, and he went to using walking poles. Then COVID head and we went back to a walker and then he started using a cane and he could use our device consistently and have access to those cues consistently as his mobility changed.
Cory McKane 49:48
So cool. I love that. Well, that's awesome. I I probably could ask you a lot more questions, but I know you have to get down through Austin traffic to UT. So So this was so amazing episode seven or eight. We're gonna I'm not sure yet we're gonna figure it out. TBD, TBD, TBD. And we're probably gonna have some interesting news that you're gonna come out with very soon. So I'm excited to add that to the podcast. I'm excited to announce it. Yeah, we'll have you like FaceTime in Atlanta we did. It will be really funny. So, so cool. It was awesome to have you on here with Brett press to TMZ so it was incredible. have you on here and we finished with this why we strive.
Sidney Collin 50:29
Cory McKane 50:30
You got to do it too, though. Oh. Well, that's why we strive that's why we got pleasure.
Sidney Collin 50:38
Transcribed by https://otter.ai