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And The Winner Is….. Results Of The Insights Innovation Competition at IIeX NA 2017

The Insight Innovation Competition at IIeX NA 2017 introduced six new finalists. Here's a summary of this year's competition, and a closer look at the winner, MindProber.

The Insight Innovation Competition is one of the signature accomplishments of GreenBook: an industry leading process to identify innovative new companies (mostly start-ups) in the insights space and help accelerate their growth via a combination of financial support, marketing support, and mentorship. Past winners (and many finalists as well) have gone on to great success with some now being considered truly game-changing, major suppliers.   Past winners were:


Past finalists include:


During IIeX Atlanta this trend of picking great companies continued, with six fantastic firms presenting to the panel of judges after the initial crowdsourced voting phase.

The ten companies that initially entered the competition were:


MindProber – Automated Consumer Neuroscience Pedro Almeida 4640 385
Incognito Research – New methodology leads to unique agile research Gregory Weston 1298 341
Attribute Elicitation Task (AET) Rajwant Sandhu 3066 294
Behavioural Recruitment of fresh, representative participants Hugh Carling 2697 286
Feedtrail: In the moment feedback Paul Jaglowski 2503 241
One-Stop Solution for Automation of Consumer Research. Kate Khozroshyna 847 140
4D Shopper Plus – VR Shopping for Marketing Research Steve Needel 981 101
SenseCheck: On-demand advertising measurement Phil Toppi 349 11
Using VR to inform pack design / shopper insights Joel Vermaas 401 4
10º Chatbot qual moderator to enable qual collection at scale Paul Hudson 522 4


Each of these companies deserve massive kudos for putting themselves out there to be reviewed and voted on by their peers. This type of concept test by research professionals is important feedback for the entrepreneurs involved by gauging what the research community considers interesting and innovative. It’s also an effective winnowing process to get to a subset of entrants to move on to the judging stage.

We selected the top five by vote tallies and one wildcard that our judging committee believed had potential. The final six that were invited to participate on stage were:


MindProber – Automated Consumer Neuroscience
Incognito Research – New methodology leads to unique agile research
Attribute Elicitation Task (AET)
Behavioural Recruitment of fresh, representative participants
Feedtrail: In the moment feedback
Wildcard 4D Shopper Plus – VR Shopping for Marketing Research


Each of these companies was given ten minutes to “pitch” to our panel of judges which included Jeff Krentz (Kantar), Sarah Snudden (Keurig Green Mountain), Pat LaPointe (Growth Calculus), Amy Anthony (Lowe’s) and Dan Foreman (Hatted). The judges scored each presentation using a 10-point scale on five attributes:

  • Originality of Concept
  • Presentation Quality
  • Market Potential
  • Scalability
  • Ease of Implementation

The company with the highest aggregate score wins.

Jeffrey Henning was in the audience during the competition and has a great summary of their presentations:


  • Feedtrail – Provides real-time service recovery to measure and act on customer satisfaction. The opportunity to offer feedback is promoted through in-location brochures and reminders from staff, as well as text messages (using phone numbers available from Salesforce). Questionnaires are personalized to the points of a customer’s experience and the staff they interacted with. The on-duty manager at a specific location will get a push notification that a customer has an issue that needs to be addressed. Feedback is by default made available throughout the organization in real time. The company is initially targeting banks, hospitals, hotels, and retail.

  • Advanced Simulations – Virtual reality research started as a reaction to mall-based shelf sets and controlled store tests, while being faster and cheaper. The simulations were rendered in 3D so participants could rotate and review boxes in the virtual store, using a touch screen. With 4D shopper, a consumer wears simple VR goggles and interacts with the products in the virtual reality environment; a store has been photographed over a million times. Respondents can be mailed goggles that they can use with their smartphones. Stephen Needel, Ph.D., believes virtual-reality store simulations have the potential to be a $5M/year industry.

  • Incognito Research – “25 years from now, car sharing will be the norm, and car ownership an anomaly,” according to Goldman Sachs. Incognito Research trains drivers to conduct surveys during the ride, for one-on-one IDIs. A driver will do only one project at a time, which they train on beforehand. The system can be used to target specific roles, who are picked up at appropriate destinations (e.g., hospitals for HCP and patient research).

  • Fresh Squeezed Ideas – For “when you don’t know what you don’t know”. Qual is open ended but not scalable, while quant is scalable but structured: if you miss the attributes driving the behavior with quant, you are misspending your research budget. The current innovation is scalable qual, but it shares the limitation of being based on explicit measures. Fresh Squeezed Ideas uses an attribute elicitation task, which is “a scalable open-ended implicit measure, based on a scientifically validated technique.” The system invites respondents to determine what makes products similar and what differentiates one from the other. They then indicate what characteristics are important or unimportant and then benchmark products against one another. The result is a quadrant analysis of importance vs. performance of the attributes. Clients include Nestle, Lundbeck, Kashi, Kellogg, and more.

  • Liveminds – Overfishing of respondents can lead to the same participants delivering biased answers. Liveminds uses behavioral recruitment, targeting Facebook’s 2 billion users. Facebook has a global reach 100 times the size of the largest panel. Screeners are administered within Facebook before branching to the survey; for qualitative research, Facebook profiles are manually investigated and qualifying candidates are called. Focusing development on automation of participant validation. Pricing is around $85 per recruit.

  • MindProber Labs – Assessing emotional reactions to media is problematic and typically based on explicit measures. Neuroscience techniques are expensive, non-scalable, time-consuming, invasive, and use small samples of offline populations. Respondents wear medical-grade armbands for monitoring perspiration and movement and can use an app to view media, provide feedback, and respond to a post-study questionnaire. The app also alerts panelists to real-time TV programs for them to evaluate.

And the winner of this round of the competition is…… MindProber – Automated Consumer Neuroscience (!

MindProber is a scientifically validated consumer neuroscience platform providing marketers, advertisers & media companies real-time physiological & declared feedback on video & visual content from hundreds of participants via wearable tech & mobile app.

Let’s dig in a bit more into their offering from their submission on the Competition site .

About The Idea

A proprietary low cost biometric wearable + mobile app collects lab-quality data synched with video content from panelist’s homes. Impact metrics are delivered real-time via interactive dashboards.


Business Insight

MP lowers cost & decreases deployment time of media & ad testing studies using physiological metrics. Our panel-based system removes sample size limitations of consumer neuroscience without compromising data quality.

Business Potential

MindProber combines the depth of biometric ad and media testing with the speed and flexibility of automated panel market research. Our platform, designed and developed by experts in neuroscience and consumer psychology, constitutes the only truly scalable automated and self-serve consumer neuroscience platform controlling the system’s components end-to-end, from sensors and apps to real-time dashboards.



The application of the technology spans marketers, advertisers and media owners and works equally well in-home, in movie theaters and at any other static location. We are currently partnering with panel-providers and TV broadcasters to build panels equipped with the MindProber wearable and mobile app.

Our proprietary low-cost wearable technology (sub $50 when in full production), can be used by everyone and takes just moments to put on and remove. Bluetooth technology connects the biometric sensors with the accompanying mobile app that collects declarative feedback instantly.

We operate as a SaaS/PaaS. Clients have access to a dashboard through which they can setup studies, insert material to be tested and follow results.



The automated nature of the platform and the removal of the high-price hardware means we can deploy our service cost effectively to client who can make frequent use of the platform. We make leveraging physiological metrics in ad and media testing affordable, drastically reduce study timelines and make it possible to test and pretest video content with hundreds of consumers.

Over time, vast amounts of collected data will be used to build crucial benchmarking databases and used in the training of classification algorithms (e.g. learning optimal arousal functions for add efficacy).



Our ambition involves the creation of a ubiquitous engagement-based currency for content evaluation and media buying.

Example or Case Study

A client needs to optimize a commercial: test soundtracks, identify impact, analyze segments & benchmark. They create A/B testing via the online dashboard by uploading content, setting segments & creating a questionnaire.



200 panelists are notified of new material via the app and access the dashboard wearing the sensors to collect physiological & declarative reaction.

Within 24 hours the client accesses a second-by-second report with statistical comparisons of versions & segments + benchmarks.

Join me in congratulating MindProber on their well deserved win and look for more on this very cool company soon!

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