Brain gain: IQ Bar ups the ante with $1m in seed funding and new-and-improved bars

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

IQ Bars are designed to build mental and physical performance. Pic: IQ Bars
IQ Bars are designed to build mental and physical performance. Pic: IQ Bars

Related tags IQ Bar Brain health Kickstarter Fda Protein Clean eating

The Boston, Massachusetts-based startup has progressed in leaps and bounds since officially launching in November 2017 on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.

The purportedly ‘first-of-its-kind’ RTE (ready-to-eat) brain food snack was developed by Harvard neuroscience undergraduate Will Nitze to assist the growing number of Americans who experience ‘brain fog.’

According to IQ Bar, 76% of US workers suffer from short-term cognitive fatigue daily.

More alarmingly, a study published in Neurology contends there is one new case of Alzheimer’s – a progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills – every 68 seconds, forecast to affect over 14 million Americans by 2050.

 “I spent months researching what nutrients have the most scientific backing saying they’re good for the brain,”​ said Nitze.

The original Kickstarter goal was to sell $10,000 worth of bars, but instead harvested over $70,000, security IQ BAR a position for the inaugural class of Pepsi’s Greenhouse Nutrition Accelerator.

Funding boost

The company recently announced its $1 million fundraise – the largest to date – led by a group of Boston-based angel investors.

It has also released a revised line of bars with several nutritional advancements and two new flavors: Banana Nut and Blueberry.

“Raising new funds allowed us to drive major product R&D advancement, better serve our customers’ needs, and distribute to a much broader audience,”​ said Will Nitze, Founder and CEO of IQ BAR.

“Through extensive surveys, we’ve found our customers buy IQ BARs for four primary reasons: brain nutrition, plant protein, low sugar and clean ingredients. With the release of our latest bars, we've driven improvements across all four variables.”

More protein, less sugar

The revised IQ Bars feature a mix of six brain nutrients – including Lion’s Mane (a mushroom that is used in traditional Chinese medicine as a brain tonic), medium chain triglycerides, omega 3s, flavonoids, vitamin E and choline (a molecule known for its cognitive boosting properties) – along with 10g-11g of plant protein, 4g of carbs and less than 1g of sugar.

According to the company, the bars are also one of the few ketogenic-compliant bars on the market to incorporate real fruit and no sugar alcohols, sweetened with allulose, a naturally occurring compound recognized by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a ‘non-sugar,’ thanks to its glycemic index of zero.

The bars are also free of GMOs, grains, gluten, dairy, soy, and are vegan and kosher.

IQ Bars are available online, on Amazon and in 4,000 CVS outlets across the US. The company recently won a listing with American retail giant Kroger, which will jump its distribution to around 1800 outlets nationwide.

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