Young entrepreneur presents innovative neuromarketing techniques to faculty, students

Jake Stauch, the 22-year old founder of NeuroSpire, shared his entrepreneurship story with Elon faculty and students

Jake Stauch, founder of NeuroSpire, visited Elon on Oct. 3 to speak with faculty and students about how he started his own business two years ago while he was a biology student at Duke University.

A neuroscience class sparked his interest in combining brain activity with marketing techniques. After reading more than 150 peer-reviewed studies on neuroscience and reading textbooks he founded NeuroSpire.

The company won the Startup Madness competition in the spring of 2012, an entrepreneurship contest for students at Atlantic Coast Conference schools.

Neuromarketing measures the brain’s emotional responses to stimuli such as television commercials.

NeuroSpire makes neuromarketing software affordable for companies wanting to conduct brain scan-based marketing tests. Companies can set up their own brain scans using an Emotiv EEG neuroheadset and licensing NeuroSpire’s software. Afterward NeuroSpire will evaluate the data for a certain fee. This makes the cost of the tests significantly less for the companies using the software.

Stauch pointed out that focus groups used to study the effectiveness of marketing techniques can often be flawed because individuals may change their answers to what they think people will want to hear.

“Neuromarketing studies allow us to catch nuances and use software that makes it easy to turn into metrics,” Stauch said.

With neuromarketing, Stauch said, measuring the brain’s positive and negative responses to stimuli allows for greater accuracy in measuring the effectiveness of advertisements.

Professor Kevin O’Mara, executive director of the Doherty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, invited Stauch to campus in hopes his start-up business story will inspire students to start their own ventures.

“The Doherty Center wants to spread creativity and entrepreneurship across campus,” O’Mara said. “Students might see themselves in Jake.”