Brain Power, LLC, is a mission-based neuroscience technology company based in Cambridge, MA, with strong ties to MIT, Harvard, and Stanford.
Its flagship product suite, called Empowered Brain, includes apps that help children (or adults) on the autism spectrum learn what other people feel; offer a training similar to that of a video game with a look directed to the face; reading and conversation skills tutor; help users reduce repetitive motor behaviors and underlying stress; give teachers and parents numerical progress reports; and much more.
Brain Power, the market leader in augmented reality educational tools, needed to quickly scale up its software development team to meet market demand, but the job market in the Cambridge, MA area was tight, with runaway salary inflation, limited availability of talent and long recruitment lead times. It was taking 4 months and over $45,000 in recruitment fees and staff time to source, screen, interview, onboard and train every new engineer, yet after that huge investment in time and resources, many of these engineers didn’t work out.
Brain Power also wanted to ensure that they were building a true team as they rapidly expanded their workforce, including not just developers but also QA, DevOps and agile project managers who could all work well together.
Founder and CEO Dr. Ned Sahin, PhD then decided on a bold move. To offshore the whole development team, but keep product management and senior engineering in-house.
“It was certainly a big and sudden change, and there were many risks, but as a founder I’m comfortable with risks so long as they are properly managed. We started slowly and expanded only after building trust and a track record.” said Dr. Sahin.
Brain Power started by tapping INNOVANT for a team of full-stack web developers and Android developers to be managed directly by senior developers working at their headquarters. Brain Power management developed processes and implemented tools to effectively manage a team that is globally distributed. INNOVANT’s engineers participated in daily Scrum stand-up meetings over video, managed their workflow in JIRA and conducted code reviews over GitHub. The INNOVANT team quickly came up to speed with the help of video pair-programming sessions.
“The effectiveness of the work is so high and also, because it’s particularly difficult to find good outsourced engineering firms, there’s way too many, how are you gonna know who’s good. Well, I’m certain that the experience that fellow entrepreneurs would have is great and its solutions oriented, it’s client oriented that has that amazing ELASTIC WORKFORCE capability.
So I think it will serve very well for anyone else who has this need.”