Backyard Brains has been chugging along for years, making a nice little business out of neuroscience testing kits with cockroaches. After five years it has hit $500,000 in revenue, but has its sights set on a much bigger number.
"We want that to increase to $1 million," says Tim Marzullo, co-founder & chief science officer of Backyard Brains
The Ann Arbor-based company is getting ready to embark on a national marketing campaign to close that gap. Marzullo likes to say that when he or members of his sales team show off the company's insect neuroscience kits for grade-school education products, like the RoboRoach
, they become instantly popular with teachers and students to the point orders are placed on the spot.
"It shocks us when we go to a neuroscience conference and people haven't heard of us," Marzullo says.
Which is a bit surprising because Backyard Brains is an international firm with a growing office in Chile. It has made five hires over the last year and now employs a team of about a dozen people. Marzullo hopes that team will be able to really make a name for itself this year.
"We want to expand beyond word of mouth," Marzullo says. "We're selling every day but not the numbers we need to be selling."
Source: Tim Marzullo, co-founder & chief science officer of Backyard Brains
Writer: Jon Zemke
Read more about Metro Detroit's growing entrepreneurial ecosystem at SEMichiganStartup.com.
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