Tim Near
Founder and CEO, Cyborg Lab, Inc.

Your 30-second pitch

Cyborg develops technology for the analysis and enhancement of human movement. We have two devices in the works – FLO2™ and HALO™. FLO2 is an intelligent air pump that uses machine learning to figure out how you breathe and then assists you in breathing. HALO is the world’s first DronePack™. It negates the forces of gravity imposed on the body to change the physics of your actions. Our mobile application (coming February 2018) is a location tracker that is smarter than other apps on the market. It takes the data from your walk or run, processes it with our algorithms, and gives you a simple score to track – we call it a BorgScore™. We’ll use this software to measure the impact our wearables have on human performance.

Who or what was your best resource for starting your company?

That’s a tough one. I’ve had the help of two great organizations. SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) provided me a mentor with experience in organizing large government-funded programs. The act of creating a business plan early forced me to focus on the specifics of how I thought the company should take action. Alpha Loft has been instrumental in helping me understand the tools and processes that allow young organizations to iterate freely and frequently. They are a wealth of knowledge for startups; I feel fortunate to have them in my corner.

What was your biggest obstacle in starting your company and how did you overcome it?

In my previous work experience I designed data acquisition systems, so creating the CAD models for our devices was in my wheelhouse; however, I had to overcome quite a few core-competency deficiencies in order to continue our development. I am not formally educated in programming or electrical engineering, but in the age of YouTube, I was able to learn these skills online. It’s amazing how much valuable content is at our fingertips if we’re willing to go find it. I got the concepts far enough along that they intrigued my now-teammates; they’re making monumental improvements on the groundwork I laid.

What’s the best advice you have received?

My SCORE mentor Rick Dassati cautioned that often the most fun thing to work on is actually the last thing you need to be working on. Understanding the inverse relationship between immediate satisfaction and progress has been so important in order to remain focused. When you’re an entrepreneur there is no one in your office telling you what to do, you fail or thrive by your ability to remain diligent.

What about the NH lifestyle appeals to you?

Definitely variety! Variety of seasons, activities and opportunity. I’m an adrenaline junky; I love riding motocross so I do that in the summer, ski in the winter. You can go camping up north or have a night out in Manchester or Portsmouth, relax by Lake Winnipesaukee, or take a fun drive up the Kancamagus Highway. Basically whatever I’m looking for, there is somewhere in NH I can go do that.

What does the future look like for your company?

2018 is going to be a huge year for us! Our mobile app will be out in February. We’re also releasing a mini-movie in April which highlights the concept, design and assembly of the world’s first DronePack™. Then we’ll start attacking the mission of breaking five world records of human performance which can be found on our website.

Long term we’re working to procure private and government funding that allows us to continue research and development. Our devices have applicability in consumer, medical and military markets, but we can’t take on all of them at once. We’re in the ongoing process of flushing out which are the most lucrative and/or appropriate verticals to enter first.

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