Archive: May 2019

Focusing on the Core

Announcing Spero Ventures’ latest investment in health & well-being: Core, which promises to make meditation easy and accessible for everyone.

After my fourth cycle of chemo, my anxiety was at an all-time high. Little things I had never noticed before, like the light that beamed out of the top of my television and onto the ceiling, kept me awake for hours. My anxiety got so bad that I started to see a therapist. In one of our first meetings she asked me if I was open to meditation.

Our bodies are complex and interconnected systems. Physical and mental well-being are intrinsically connected. At Spero Ventures, we invest in technology that makes life worth living. Mental well-being is an area we believe is foundational to the health of our communities. And so we are happy to announce our investment in Core.

For decades our society has focused on improving our physical well-being, but until recently, we have largely ignored our mental well-being. Just like we can train our bodies, we can train our minds. And it is important we do so because the state of our mind has a pervasive effect on all parts of our lives.

Meditation is one of the most effective ways to train the mind. The positive side effects of meditation are numerous: It helps reduce stress and anxiety; it increases our attention-spans and enhances our self-awareness; it may reduce age-related memory loss; it can help fight addiction; it can decrease our blood pressure and help reduce pain; and it can even help us sleep better.

More people are beginning to realize the positive effects of meditation. Some 14% of American adults meditated within the past year?—?a threefold increase from 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

So why aren’t all of us meditating? Because it takes real effort. When we want to change the shape of our bodies, it can take months of concerted effort working out, eating better and sleeping well. While we understand those requirements on the physical side, the same effort and focus is required for meditation. But even if people manage to find the time to meditate, focusing on something as ephemeral as the breath is hard for most people.

Core, founded by Sarah McDevitt and Brian Bolze, has developed a unique and immersive meditation experience to make it easier for everyone to meditate. At the center is the Core Meditation Trainer, a beautiful device that gently pulses as you meditate. The tactile signal allows meditators to focus on something tangible and ever-present.

The device is supplemented by a rich app experience that fades into the background as you start meditating. The device tracks your stress levels through heart rate and HRV, and the app shows you the moments when you were thinking about something else, and helps you understand your stress during a meditation session. It can also help you understand how your practice is improving your health over time.

We believe that technology can help address some of the most important problems that we face today. Core exemplifies this. We are excited to work with the expanding team at Core as they bring their vision to life.

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