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Neuroscience for Everyone!

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BYB wins Hearts and Brains at CES

The Consumer Electronics Show floods Las Vegas annually with nearly 200,000 visitors and exhibitors, and for the first time, Backyard Brains joined the likes of Intel, Google, IBM, and other giants by attending as exhibitors and hosting our own booth!

The trip was fun, but certainly wasn’t without its challenges. Upon arriving in Vegas, our team realized that we were missing something very important… a sign for our exhibit. Oops. Consequently, we spent the evening before the first day of CES hunting for arts and crafts supplies (harder to find than you’d think…) and painting a new sign! We think it turned out pretty well, and it definitely feels very on-brand for a do-it-yourself company.

Our team did demos and talked to interested geeks for four straight days, and it was a blast! We asked people who had never heard of us before to roll up their sleeves for science. The hands shaken, the electrodes used, the business cards traded–it was all a blur of new connections. In the past, we’ve typically only attended scientific conferences, like the Society for Neuroscience conference and the Michigan Science Teachers Association conference, where we’ve been pretty established. So this was our first dip into the consumer world, and a lot of people were excited about the tech and the educational opportunities it provides!

Our RoboRoach proved to be incredibly novel and intriguing for attendees at CES… We didn’t double check with every booth, but we’re fairly certain we were showing off the only real cyborg at CES! We had constant crowds, and even private tours showing up to take a look at our RoboRoach, the world’s first commercially available cyborg!

We hope you enjoyed CES… we know we did! Whether you are new to BYB or are a long-time fan, we sincerely thank you for taking the time to stop by our booth and participate in some hands-on neuroscience! This was a new conference for us and we were not sure what to expect… turns out we were so slammed with crowds that people had to try multiple times to get in and see demos! Thanks for your enthusiasm and support, we’ll definitely be back next year! In the meantime, be sure to keep checking the blog and wander over to our Products Page to see what we’re up to!


Tech Trek Success!

This past Friday, Backyard Brains held an Open House as a part of this year’s Ann Arbor Tech Trek! Dozens of local tech companies had their doors open to the public that evening and we, like our friends around town, had people streaming in from open to close!

Greg Gage on the Tech Talk Stage. Photo Credit Vanya P.

The day began with “Tech Talks” at the Michigan Theater, where our very own Dr. Greg Gage gave the Backyard Brains talk. Stimulating both thought and muscle, Greg gave an intro to neuroscience lesson and demonstrated principles of electrophysiology with the Human to Human Interface. He then explained the importance of neuroscience education and Backyard Brains’ mission, stating that “Backyard Brains exists because people deserve an opportunity to learn about neuroscience, not just in a book, but by performing real experiments.”

The Tech Talks were a hit, and very shortly after, the open houses began. For four hours straight we were packed with people interested in learning about Backyard Brains and neuroscience! We demonstrated the SpikerBox, the Human to Human Interface, the Muscle SpikerBox, and even the PlantShield! It was a day of education, outreach, and new connections.

There were parents with their children who were excited to learn, area educators and physicians who were intrigued by the potential of our kits, and otherwise total strangers to neuroscience who walked away with a new appreciation for the field!

We met a few longtime fans and hopefully made many new ones!


The $3,000,000 Spike! BYB Sales Milestone

Since we opened our doors in 2010 with the $100 dollar spike, we’ve been working hard to create continue developing affordable, open source neuroscience experiments and educational materials. Seven years later, we’re excited to announce that we have exceeded $3,000,000 in sales! That is more money than the total of all of our grants prior to this month! Curious where that money comes from? Well, you’re in luck, we keep open books! If you haven’t seen it before, check out our finances page. It is exciting to see the growth!

Sales by Month/Year in USD

Here are some of our stats at the time of posting…

We’ve sold 11873 SpikerBoxes

We’ve sold to 85 different countries

Our biggest customers live in California, Michigan, New York, Washington, and Florida

This milestone is important to us, not just because it helps us keep a roof over our head, but because we see every sale as an investment. Every kit sold is a shared stake in our vision to bring neuroscience education to as many people as possible. Not every student will grow up to become a neuroscientist, but we believe it is extremely important that students are introduced to the basics of neuroscience at an early age. At its essence, neuroscience is an exploration of how our bodies function and who we are, and it is a field that is full of more mysteries than answers.

Strong sales and our recent grant prove that people are excited for neuroscience education. Like the grant funding, our sales are reinvested right back into research and development. We’ve got big plans with the next few years, and we’re excited to announce them as soon as we can! So be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter.