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Case-connected startup brings neuro-fitness training to the fight game

When Evan Holyfield squared off against his opponent December 12 in Atlanta, the 23-year-old boxer maybe enjoyed a couple of advantages that lead to his first-round TKO. 

He had his father, former four-time world heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield, cheering him on at ringside. 

And he had trained on the cognitive tracking device developed by Reflexion Interactive Technologies, a Case-connected startup whose CEO, Matt Campagna ’19, was also at the bout. 

The evening featured an interactive demonstration of the Reflexion sports cognition technology service for fighters and trainers, a group that represents an enticing market for the young company. 

According to World Boxing News, Evan Holyfield has incorporated Reflexion’s neuro-fitness training system into his workout regimen. 

“He is the first professional fighter to utilize cognitive acceleration technology as Reflexion looks to expand its involvement in boxing, martial arts and MMA,” the magazine reported. 

That’s welcome news to Campagna, who co-founded the company with two high school friends and developed its technology while studying computer engineering at Case. 

With the support of the university’s startup ecosystem, including Sears think[box] and CWRU LaunchNet, the founders developed a large touch-screen device that syncs with software to read a person’s reaction times and hand-eye coordination. Initially, the Reflexion Edge was meant for concussion screening and monitoring. But athletes soon saw a tool to quicken response times, helping them perform faster and smarter in competition. 

“Evan showed the type of reaction time and decision making in the ring that our technology is designed to strengthen,” Campagna told World Boxing News. “Boxing is one of the best examples of a speed-element sport where athletes can gain a competitive edge with cognitive training, and we’re obviously excited about Evan’s potential using the Reflexion system.” 

No doubt he’ll be attending more boxing bouts.

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