Founded by University of New Brunswick psychology professor Darren Piercey, CyberPsyc has delivered a string of recent achievements.
Earlier this year, the company was accepted into Launch36
, a New Brunswick-based accelerator program that aims to help launch 36 Maritime startups in 36 months.
Each company in the Launch36
program is linked to a dedicated mentor.
So whom did Piercey
secure as his
"I got really lucky there," Piercey
says through a large smile.
Piercey's acceptance into the Launch36
program came at a key time - just as he
was wrapping up a round of fundraising.
recalls, were "extremely impressed" by the resources available to CyberPsyc
through the Launch36
In the end, Piercey
secured $250,000 in funding, including $100,000 from the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation
"For the virtual reality therapy to be effective, it has to elicit a fear response," Piercey
Whiledoing so, Piercey
took key measurements, including heart rate and skin conductance - both indicators of nervousness.
The experiment, he
says, showed promise in fighting public speaking fears.
"They felt positive about the experience."
Piercey's first attempt at fighting phobias with software involved another common fear: arachnophobia.
That work resulted in a software program that is still available for sale through iTunes.
soon decided that arachnophobia software was not going to generate much money.
Most people who fear spiders simply avoid the creepy crawlers.
Avoiding the dentist, on the other hand, can lead to health complications.
And a fear of public speaking can impact your career trajectory.
believes dentists will buy his
software to help ease their patients' fears.
And large corporations, he
says, are expected to incorporate his
public speaking software into their employee training regimes.
The startup CEO is now securing early adopters for both the public speaking and dentistry software.
Those early trials will help refine and "perfect" the two products.
'll push forward into what he says is a lucrative market.
According to Piercey
, anxieties and phobias cost North Americans close to $50 billion a year in medication, doctor visits and lost productivity.