The winners of Thursday’s Hatching Event, Halcyon Labs was founded by high school friends Derek Metcalf and Scott Swarthout. Their product, ScratchX, is a bracelet designed to eliminate some of the effects of OCD conditions, particularly skin scratching. The product aims to break the habit by vibrating each time the wearer is scratching.
The Problem Being Solved:
Halcyon Lab’s product, ScratchX, aims to deplete the prominence of a class of conditions called dermatillomania or excessive skin scratching.
Where the Idea Came From:
The idea was originally conceived of to help a mutual friend with a somewhat severe case of dermatillomania. Derek says “the idea of becoming a business wasn’t even a thought until the friend expressed how tragically frequent the condition is and how many people it could help.”
Derek and Scott are most excited to break into an alternative medical technology that has the potential to help so many people. They are pleased they could find a way to incorporate technology into already established methods of psychological conditioning.
The target customer is, of course, dermatillomania sufferers. But, the technology itself could prove useful in helping with other destructive, compulsive conditions like hair pulling.
Thus far, Derek says the biggest challenge has been figuring out the best way to get production to be both efficient and high quality.
Their solution to this is the advent of a custom PCB for the product, which will be paid for by the Hatching winnings, and will lower the overall unit cost and size, and will make assembly much easier.
According to Derek, the most surprising set of statistics is the sheer quantity of people who exhibit skin picking disorders. On repeated studies, 4% of college students have a severe issue. “Everyone has heard of OCD but not everyone realizes skin picking is a very serious and common compulsion for many OCD sufferers.”
So far, the bulk of their funding has come from their Hatching winnings. “The Hatching is a truly awesome opportunity for anyone looking to propel their idea off the drawing board.” Derek says the $1000 will really take the company a long way, they are already well underway with prototyping.
In a year, they would like to have a solid product with substantial data proving it’s functionality and usefulness to the user.
In 3 or 5 years, Derek says, the possibilities are endless. They would eventually like to start selling third party licensing for the mobile app and microchip but for now, generating a good reputation is the most important thing.
Derek’s advice to new entrepreneurs would be, “that the value in something is not always inherent and often imbuing any idea with value is a matter of doing work and actually giving it a shot.”