- 1 September 2022
- Posted by: Canberra Innovation Network
- Categories: Coworking, Feature, GRIFFIN Accelerator, Startup Stories & Profiles
The GRIFFIN Accelerator is a three-month intensive program that gets startups moving fast and achieving sustainable business success. This year we have welcomed seven startups to participate, including AtOne Australia. Meet Edwina Griffin, Founder and CEO.
Tell us about your company. When and why was it founded?
The AtOne concept began in 2019 with the first prototype released and the company being registered in February 2020 with our first angel investor.
The concept of AtOne started in 2012 when I collapsed in a workplace from stress and was taken away in an ambulance. When returning to the job for a week or two before leaving, I was told to sit in the ‘relaxation room’ if I felt I needed time-out which was a flourescent lit room with a small window with views of the neighbouring property, a couple of magazines on the table and a plant in the corner. I found this environment only resulted in further rumination of the negative thoughts and felt more isolated and stressed. Having come from working in my own business, with constant access to beaches and parks, I was shocked at this environment which is one many may have spent their whole working lives in.
As I was working in a different state from my family and friends, I was very isolated with this job and so while I worked out my exit strategy, I tried to relax myself as best I could as I had never experienced this type of emotional and mental stress before. Although I had meditated for over 10 years, I found I could not meditate when under these high levels of stress. This is when I discovered a multi-sensory approach to meditation. At the time, I used LED lights and the flicker effect to incorporate the visual part of the brain, I bought essential oils and listened to guided meditations with music to help me relax. I found this was the only way I could get into a deep state of relaxation at this time.
I started to look into EEG measurement bands and did some testing to see the reliability of this and I began exploring virtual reality. Virtual reality was too expensive at this time so the concept was put on hold.
When presenting to a corporate group in 2019, running an off-site workshop on meditation, I found the younger generations in the room were more interested in their mobile phones than trying meditation. I decided that I needed to speak their language more and tech was their language, so I looked into virtual reality again and discovered the price had dropped significantly and was now financially viable for people to purchase.
I explored many environments both virtual and real and AtOne aims to bring nature into any environment, we incorporate scents, music and guided visualisations. AtOne will continue to develop beautiful, immersive experiences to help people get into a relaxed space faster.
What products and services do you provide?
AtOne is a mind fitness trainer that targets stress and improves performance using virtual reality, biometrics and meditation to take people into a deep state of relaxation faster. AtOne is a software subscription model that works on virtual reality headsets and we measure and track 5 areas of mind fitness with our individual and group reporting. The 5 areas we report on include recovery, focus, engagement, clarity and emotions.
Tell us about the skillsets and dynamics of your team
I am the solo founder, and we have partnered with Nakatomi to lead our development.
About Edwina Griffin
AtOne’s Founder and CEO has worked in the fitness and wellness industry for over 25 years and has taught meditation for over 20 years and is a clinical hypnotherapist. She has run successful gyms for 18 years and has been in national operations roles for national and international fitness franchises.
Edwina has consulted for the Australian Government at local, state and national levels in sport, recreation, strategy and negotiation roles. Edwina’s passion for wellness has led her to run projects to get people active and support diabetes prevention programs.Edwina sits on the AusActive (formerly Fitness Australia) Board of Directors to advise the direction of Australia’s fitness and wellness industry.
Andy Timms – Nakatomi -Product Design – VR Development Partner
Andy is the Head of Product Design at Nakatomi. Andy’s background in visual effects and design, combined with engineering, strategy. Andy studied at Massey University, New Zealand and has worked in virtual reality and product design for the past 15 years Andy has judged the Best Design Awards, AWARD CFE Awards and is part of the team that has won two D&AD Black Pencils in innovation for The Most Powerful Arm in 2014 and for Project Revoice in 2018 as well as Cannes Lions Grand Prix for Good for Project Revoice in 2018.
Andy will be leading the virtual reality programming team and working with Edwina on the product development.’
Benjamin Bray – Nakatomi- Executive Producer- VR Development Partner
Ben is the exectutive producer of Nakatomi. Ben drives innovation in applied and interactive technology; developing experiences, products, and services that exist at the cutting edge of technology. He has a Bachelor of Creative Technology and has worked in interactive technology for the past 8 years.
What advice do you have for startups in your industry?
Taking part in Accelerator programs is something I see as essential to survive. We have access to brilliant mentors who ask great questions, connect us with potential customers, partners and help us move to the next level. I have also loved meeting other startups and I find that piece essential to keep me sane on those long days and we also support one another where we can. Being a Founder can be a lonely journey without programs like this and I am so grateful for the people I have met so far and will continue to meet through the Griffin Program
What great shift/change would you like to see in your industry?
The virtual reality space I would like to shift faster! Our industry- health and wellness is moving forward at a fast pace since Covid however the uptake of technology is slower in Australia than in other areas of the world. All predictions are that VR and AR will grow exponentially over the coming years, of course as a startup, I want it to happen today!
What are you most proud of so far?
I am proud of our ability to network into large organisations in mining, Defence and sport. As a startup, we are small but our vision is big and we are getting there.
I am also proud of our current product, it is easy to use, a high quality experience and now we are ready to expand on that. We partnered with experts in their field so that the quality of our experiences is high.
What quote or philosophy do you stand by?
Jeff Bezos “The keys to success are patience, persistence, and obsessive attention to detail.”
Why do think Canberra is a great place to do business?
There are so many leading organisations in Canberra and the business community from AtOne’s experience is very supportive . We have the Australian Institute of Sport, Defence , national government offices, national and international corporate offices so there are plenty of customers for us to work with and they are all within very close proximity.. now to go and meet some more of them!
If you have engaged with CBRIN, other than with GRIFFIN, how have they helped you along the way?
I have only just been introduced to CBRIN.. I love the working space!
What are you most looking forward to in the GRIFFIN Accelerator?
I am looking forward to being challenged in my way of thinking with mentors and to see what new ideas may evolve. The program structure will give AtOne the opportunity to question and test our current processes and direction and confirm, build on or change the future direction based on what we explore and learn.
It has already been fantastic to network with the other startups and support one another each week and the mentors are fantastic experts in various fields so we look forward to learning more.. sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know until it is pointed out.
Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us about AtOne Australia, we can’t wait to see your progress through the program!
GRIFFIN Accelerator applications are currently closed, the next round will open mid-2023. To find out more visit https://cbrin.com.au/griffinaccelerator