Power Pitch

Entrepreneur: We've bottled brain power

Neuroscientists bottle brain power

A group of neuroscientists has created the first energy-drink designed to give a boost to your brain. It's called truBrain, and according to the company's CEO Chris Thompson, it packs a punch that's much smarter than a jolt of caffeine.

"Our mission is to quantify attention and productivity in the brain, and optimize performance," said Thompson.

Watch Thompson pitch his start-up to Vast Ventures partner Nikhil Kalghatgi, Pantegrion Capital founder and CEO Alicia Syrett and Maveron Partner Rebecca Kaden. Will the drink quench the CNBC "Power Pitch" panel's thirst or leave a bad taste in their mouths? Watch the video to find out.

Thompson is the entrepreneur behind the smart-drink start-up, but the brain power behind the recipe comes from two UCLA researchers, Aida Attar and Andrew Hill, who lead the research and development.

The drink is packed with a cocktail that includes amino acids, minerals, and ingredients referred to as nootropics, substances that enhance memory and fuel the thinking process, Thompson said. The cocktail also comes in pill form. The company's website says: "TruBrain's goal is to give you the competitive edge of focused cognitive performance."

Thompson told CNBC that truBrain's scientists have conducted two pilot studies and used wearable technology to measure the product's impact on brain waves. "We observed that truBrain versus placebo showed a higher amplitude of alpha brain waves in the parietal and temporal lobes. Increased alpha brainwaves may be associated with better engaged attention," Thompson said.

Thompson said FDA approval is not necessary because the ingredients have been safely used over the counter for decades.

truBrain drink
Source: truBrain

During the "Power Pitch" segment, Syrett asked when she could expect to see truBrain's scientists' studies on brain waves published in a medical journal.

"We've done two studies underway, you know, very exciting results. So it is a process. I'm not going to promise when we're going to get there, but that's part of where some of the funds are going to," Thompson said.

CNBC anchor Mandy Drury then asked if any consumers of truBrain have reported it not working.

"I do think even if you look at certain things there's always a bell curve of response. There will be a slice that it doesn't actually work for them or it doesn't do anything noticeable. But, for the mass majority, there'll be something," Thompson responded. "We don't want to make these bold, outrageous claims."

The company sells truBrain on its website in a subscription model starting at $50 per month. Thompson told CNBC the company has shipped over 300,000 units to over 50 countries.

TruBrain has raised over $180,000 with key investors, including Todd Newman of Bumble Bee Foods, Howard Marks of Activision, Paul Kessler of Bristol Capital and the StartEngine Accelerator Fund.

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