Joining forces with a third co-founder – UBC Sauder BCom alumnus Alexey Manov – Costello and Brown honed prototypes for HeadCheck, working to digitize the testing methods recognized as the gold standard.
The team developed a headband with sensors that connects wirelessly to their mobile app. “The app lets team doctors measure concussion risk by assessing symptoms, cognition and balance. It features an algorithm which objectively measures balance, making the gold-standard test more reliable.” explains Costello. “Both faster and more accurate, it helps to protect athletes from their biggest enemy – themselves – by stopping them re-entering a game if they test positive.”
In 2015, while beta-testing their product in market, Costello and her team were accepted into the e@UBC Lean LaunchPad Accelerator Program. There they received mentorship from UBC Sauder marketing instructor Paul Cubbon and entrepreneurship lead Adjunct Professor Blair Simonite, who were instrumental in helping her define target customers and move the ball forward.
Cubbon says Costello’s success shows how a business school can provide an invaluable training environment and launch pad for aspiring entrepreneurs.
“Entrepreneurship as a career is very real, and Kerry is a great example of one of many pathways to achieving this,” he adds.
Costello left her full-time job with BCAA in May 2015, two years after obtaining her MBA to develop HeadCheck Health full time. She says support from her former classmates is what gives her a healthy perspective when the going gets tough.
“I have a group of girlfriends from the MBA program that I meet with regularly and they’ll provide advice and feedback on any concerns I raise over my business.”