Elon Musk is a pioneer in a number of industries, from electric vehicles to space exploration. But one of the billionaires more controversial ventures is Neuralink Corp., a brain implant designed to help correct neurological disorders and provide connectivity between brains.
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Since Musk founded the company, a number of startups have cropped up to compete. Mainly, Synchron, a company that counts Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos among its investors, recently received $75 million in venture capital to compete with Neuralink.
One unexpected group that is investing millions into this area is retail investors.
Because of recent changes in federal law, anyone can invest in high-growth startups on platforms like StartEngine and Wefunder, including investing in StartEngine itself. These platforms host hundreds of startups and allow everyone from retail investors to billionaires to invest in high-growth startups.
Venture-backed TruBrain is raising on the platform and has seen substantial traction. TruBrain previously raised over $2.3 million from thousands of retail investors for its Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-cleared wearable brain technology.
According to Deep Knowledge Ventures, investments in neurotech companies have increased over 600% from $1.1 billion in 2014 to $7.1 billion in 2021. The neurotechnologies market is expected to nearly triple over the next 10 years to $38 billion. While it’s not small, the market is largely undeveloped with no established players, meaning startups are looking to stake their claims now in hopes of a big payday in the future.
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Many of these companies’ technologies revolve around medical uses. TruBrain’s wearable technology is designed to reduce stress and anxiety. Synchron aims to restore lost functions with neuroprosthetics, allowing the restoration of neural pathways in patients with severe paralysis.
Reports surfaced in early 2022 that Apple Inc. started work on a brain-computer interface (BCI) similar to Neuralink and Synchron.
While Neuralink’s technology is focused on medical uses, Musk has touted it as a means of connecting individuals brains to one another. According to Musk, this would allow telepathy of sorts between Neuralink users. Users will allegedly be able to communicate with other Neuralink users utilizing only their minds. Musk has also demonstrated the ability to communicate with electronics using Neuralink. This can be seen in the video Neuralink produced of a monkey using the technology to play Pong using in early 2021.
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