For our Startup Spotlights, Times of Entrepreneurship scouted the most successful startups that spun out of top university competitions and programs. The impact of such awards can be many years in the making, especially in the DeepTech space.
Interviewee: Jared Hanley, CEO and Founder
Which university challenge did you win and when? Or how are you affiliated to a university?
NatureQuant has received support from the University of Oregon Venture Fund as you can see in the article here. We also have entered into an agreement to partner in novel research using our technology. Finally, one of our co-founders (Dr. Chris Minson) is a faculty member at the University of Oregon.
What is your elevator pitch? Has it changed much since you started?
“The science is indisputable: nature exposure provides profound mental and physical health improvements. Through innovative technology, machine learning, and big-data, NatureQuant provides tools to fully leverage nature’s impact on health.”
Our current “built environment” is dramatically different from the one we occupied for 99% of human history, as it physically separates us from the natural world. Most people—over half globally, and approximately four in five in the United States—live in urban areas, where nature exposure tends to be limited. This means that humans are increasingly disconnected from nature. In short, there is a growing nature deficit. As we have begun systematically studying the impact of this fundamental change, links between declining nature exposure and increasing depression, anxiety, heart disease, and obesity over the last five decades are becoming clear.
On par with changes in exercise or diet, nature contact offers promise both as prevention and as treatment of many serious diseases. Additionally, potential advantages of nature exposure include almost zero-cost (relative to conventional medical interventions), safety (no side effects), and practicality (not requiring individualized attention from highly trained professionals). Few, if any, medications or other interventions can boast these attributes.
What should we know about you?
NatureQuant was formed to create a suite of patent-pending technologies that enhance the health impact of nature on humanity. Specifically, NatureQuant’s innovative tools quantify the natural elements for a static location (yielding a “NatureScore™”) and track an individual’s nature exposure over time via a mobile app (providing a “NatureDose™”). Further, using big-data and machine learning techniques our technology is providing new intelligence around environmental determinants of health.
In the midst of the chaos of the built environment from concrete cityscapes to growing “technostress”, people are seeking a return to nature as a way to slow down and embrace the calm and quiet. It’s no surprise that “Nature Prescriptions” were named one of the top global wellness trends at The Global Wellness Summit and thousands of health care professionals and governments around the world are employing nature as a health tool.
Note we are also providing nature data to help support city planning, environmental justice analysis, and assess real estate values. Further, our nature data is being used by leading researchers around the world.
What are you looking for?
We are looking for organizations that share our mission to improve public health through nature exposure; help individuals to #OptOutside.
How much funding have you raised so far and from which sources?
NatureQuant has grown through a mix of funding from the University of Oregon’s Venture Fund, strategic partnerships, data and services sales, and founder capital contributions.
How many employees work for your startup?
Team of 12 – some full-time, some part-time, some contractors.
Is there clear evidence of success you would like to share?
Our data has been used by many leading researchers, dozens of municipalities, on millions of properties, and hopefully with the release of our mobile app (NatureDose) by millions of individuals.
If you would describe your startup’s superpower, what would it be?
NatureQuant’s superpower is making the complex simple. Understanding the many environmental and social determinants of health is a big, messy undertaking. NatureQuant distills billions of data points into simple, actionable numbers (a “NatureScore” or “NatureDose”) to help create interventional tools.
This story and others on Times of E are made possible by a sponsorship from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that provides access to opportunities that help people achieve financial stability, upward mobility, and economic prosperity – regardless of race, gender, or geography. The Kansas City, Mo.-based foundation uses its grantmaking, research, programs, and initiatives to support the start and growth of new businesses, a more prepared workforce, and stronger communities. For more information, visit www.kauffman.org and connect with www.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn.