How Next Founders alumni venture Nymi found an unexpected, but lucrative niche

Feb 26, 2018

Nymi (Next Founders, 2013) made a big splash five years ago when it first unveiled a wristband that uses people's heartbeats to wirelessly log them into iPhones, iPads and other devices – no passwords needed. 

There was just one problem.

“For a person to not just buy it, but wear it all day, it would have to – out of the box – work immediately with everything they owned,” says Karl Martin, Next Founders alumnus who is Nymi’s CEO and co-founder. 

While that might be possible for a consumer electronics giant like Apple, selling everything from watches to computers, Martin and his team soon realized it was a significant hill to climb for their startup. So they turned their attention to business customers and soon stumbled upon a potentially vast market as unexpected as it was underserved: Big Pharma – and regulated industrial environments, more broadly.

Martin says pharmaceutical manufacturers need to track what their employees are doing on the production line at all times. It’s not so much an issue of security, he says, as it is a need to create an audit trail for regulators in case something goes wrong.

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