Harrison Brown, 28
Co-founder and CEO, HeadCheck Health Inc.
Life Story: Harrison Brown is no stranger to concussions. The Toronto native was diagnosed with two while playing rugby, a sport he picked up when his banker father moved the family to Hong Kong in 2000. After representing the Chinese territory on its under-20 national team, Brown earned a B.Sc. in human health and nutritional sciences at the University of Guelph. In 2010 he started graduate work at UBC, where he is now a fourth-year PhD student in sensorimotor physiology at the School of Kinesiology. With his research colleagues, Brown looked at ways to quantify post-concussion balance, developing an accurate method using inexpensive sensors. In 2013 he launched HeadCheck Health with COO Kerry Costello.
The Vancouver-based company’s core product, an iOS mobile app for sports teams, quickly performs a concussion assessment covering eight areas, including symptoms, balance and cognitive function. Unlike rival offerings, HeadCheck is a platform for what the research shows to be the best tests, Brown explains. The company also offers unlimited testing for a flat annual fee. Besides North American pro and semipro teams and collegiate programs, HeadCheck targets the high-school, youth and recreational market with educational discounts. “We want to make something that provides value to everybody,” Brown says.
The Bottom Line: As of February, HeadCheck was working with 2,000 athletes on some 60 teams, mostly in B.C. The company, which has five full-time and two part-time staff, recently closed a financing round with ex–Vancouver Canuck Kyle Wellwood and other local angel investors.