Focus@Will started in Los Angeles in 2011 when founders Will Henshall and John Vitale became interested in why people like to listen to music while at work and studying.
Research showed 2 out of 3 of people like to listen to music while they work or study, but it’s difficult to find and manage sounds that consistently work well. So we created a new neuroscience based music service that helps increase your focus by reducing distractions, energizing you and helping you hit those critical deadlines.
We’d like to introduce you to the members of our core team, the board members, our board of advisors and our science advisory board.
Will has achieved notable global success both as a musical/visual artist and as a technical inventor. In 1987, he founded the British pop soul band Londonbeat and had two Billboard #1 hit records, “I’ve Been Thinking About You” (91) and “Come Back” (95). He founded Rocket Network, a Paul Allen/Cisco-funded San Francisco company, in 1995 and created the professional audio media transfer system, DigiDelivery. He sold the company to Avid/Digidesign in 2003.
John has 25 years experience in music, sound, and film production as supervisor, producer, engineer, and remixer. He has worked for Warner Bros, Sony, BMG, and Universal Music, The B52ʼs, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Filter, Eminem, KD Lang, George Clinton, and The Romantics. He has directed major corporate product launches, live press events, and broadcast campaigns for GM, Toyota, Xbox, Fisker, Mercedes, and Lexus.
Graham started his career working with secure banking server systems with Nat West in London. He has known and worked with Will since 1995 when he was the Chief Architect at Rocket Network. When the company was acquired by Avid, he was hired as a Senior Principal Developer to integrate the DigiDelivery technology into ProTools, where he continued to work for the next seven years.
Julia uses behavior and physiology to examine time perception and the impact of audio on mood and cognition. She received post-doctoral funding from NIH at Northwestern University, where she completed her Ph.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She holds a B.A. and a M.A. in neuroscience (Oberlin College; UC San Francisco). She is also the Director of the Innovation Lab at the Institute of Noetic Sciences.
Emin runs our marketing and keeps everything humming perfectly. He has several years experience working with complex marketing automation and analytics tools. If Google Analytics was an instrument, his guitar would be gently weeping right now.
Chelsea came to Focus@Will in 2014 after several years of experience in Silicon Valley customer support/tech. With a BA in psychology and as an electronica based musician, she intuitively understands how people use music and sound to fine tune their focus states, and why things don’t always go exactly as expected. Before Focus@Will, she practiced as an Applied Behavioral Therapist with kids on the Autism Spectrum and has been working with people with disabilities since 2003.
Paul brings his management and testing experience from Avid and Nortel Networks. He provides the team with top-level QA and Project Management. He is responsible for project coordination between Marketing, Design, Development and Customer Service. He is also responsible for Quality Assurance with the emphasis on delivering a product of the utmost performance and reliability. Not only is he the oil to our machine, but the technician who makes sure all pistons are firing.
Dennis has nearly 20 years experience working in Information Technology and holds a degree in Philosophy. He's owned and operated small businesses, toured the country in rock bands and surfed some of the best waves in California. His strong sense of aesthetics and function combined with his music engineering background make him a critical member of the tech team.
Kristi joined the Focus@Will team with over 30 years in Customer Service. She has been a virtual assistant, copywriter and proofreader since 2012. Kristi is dedicated to quickly solving problems with the utmost attention to detail, always ensuring the customer has the information they need (and often providing additional helpful tips to optimize their focus experience). We know anyone who comes into contact with her will be inspired by her positive attitude and communication skills!
Peter has produced or engineered many award winning artists such as Macy Gray, Jennifer Lopez and Katie Melua over the past 25 years. He has deep technical knowledge of the pyscho-acoustic side of the music mastering process and how things sound, or should sound, on various consumer devices.
Rich is a core part of the Music studio team. He is a Composer, Sound Producer, and a Synth Genius. He has tinkered with music and technology since the mid-eighties. Rich started piano lessons at five years-old and continued on to Berklee College of Music and UCLA’s Film Scoring program.
Jonathan has known Founder/CEO Will Henshall for 19 years and was an investor and non-exec Chairman of Rocket Network. He was previously CEO of Barnes and Noble.com and is currently Founder/Chief Investment Officer of Blue Square Capital Management. He sits on the Board of Directors of Spark Networks, Pictage, Excelsior Funds. He serves on the advisory boards of Arkadium, The Jordan Edmiston Group in New York, Elderstreet Capital Partners in London and Jerusalem Global Venture Partners.
Rob is the CEO and Associate founder of Singularity University and is an investor in focus@will. He co-founded Velocity11 in 1999, building automation equipment and robotics for cancer research and drug discovery. The company was acquired by Agilent Technologies in 2007. He is also a co-founder of Alite Designs, is an active angel investor, and holds degrees in Mechanical, Materials Science and Manufacturing Engineering from UC Davis and Stanford University.
Salim is a sought-after speaker, strategist and entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley and is an investor in focus@will. He travels extensively addressing topics including breakthrough technologies and their impact on a variety of industries. He has spent the last four years building Singularity University based at NASA Ames and before that built and ran Brickhouse, Yahoo’s internal incubator. His last company, Angstro, was sold to Google in August 2010. It was his genius idea to name the company, “focus@will“!
Jeffery specializes in technology, psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, and transformative studies. He is currently director of the Transformative Technology Lab at Sofia University (transtechlab.org). Also a bestselling author and award winning educator, he has authored over 20 books and numerous publications. In 1995-1996 he directed a project to revolutionize the way broadcast commercials were created tracked for InterPublic Group. This project pioneered technologies such as video servers/LANs, digital asset management.
Cindy is the company’s digital music licensing advisor. She is an expert in both content acquisition and distribution, including negotiation of rights and drafting agreements. She spent 8 years as SVP, Law and Business Affairs and General Counsel of MediaNet Digital (formerly MusicNet) a backend provider of digitial music services, and 7 years at MTV Networks as VP, Legal and Business Affairs assisting in the development and representation of the MTV Networks internet properties, including MTV, VH1 and CMT and SonicNet.
Marc is the company’s music rights/publishing advisor. He was an angel investor in Rocket Network, and has known Will Henshall for 25 years. From 1982 to 1992, he ran Island Music Publishing and then Island Records, signing PJ Harvey, Pulp, The Cranberries, Tricky, Nine Inch Nails, the Stereo MCʼs, PM Dawn, Talvin Singh, as well managing the reinvention of U2 from Achtung Baby onwards. In 2000, he set up a music management company Terra Firma and currently is Chairman of leading UK talent management company, Crown Talent.
Tim is best known as the inventor of Rhapsody, Real Network’s PC music service. He was a core member of the MPEG (Motion Picture Experts Group) and was involved in creation of the audio specifications for the MPEG standard, commonly known as MP3. He is a named inventor on 6 US Patents that were developed in the creation of the Rhapsody music streaming service. He also created the first mass-market 16-bit PC sound card, the “Pro Audio Spectrum 16”.
Ken is the host of Business Rockstars, a daily two hour radio show syndicated to over 185 radio station & 35 million TV households (http://businessrockstars.com). He is founding member of the Streaming Media Executive Committee and on the boards of several media, entertainment and technology companies. He is a regular as a guest on KTTV-TV Fox 11 and Fox’s Good Day LA, and has created and hosted various technology programs on NPR, ABC, WLSChicago, KHOW Denver, CNET Radio San Francisco, and the BBC.
Nate has held executive positions in marketing, product, sales, business and corporate development in multiple companies from 5 person start ups to Fortune 100s. Most recently he grew Shipwire from zero revenue to a successful acquisition from Ingram Micro Commerce, where he took over marketing and corp dev. His passion is helping businesses and teams find their path to growth while nurturing the people, the customers and the culture.
Evian advises on brain habituation and flow states. He is a San Francisco based Integrative Neuroscientist with 30 years experience and 250 plus peer-reviewed scientific publications. He established the world’s largest International Brain Database (brainresource.com), which contains 400,000 datasets from a wide variety of subjects, linked by 350 scientists from 28 countries, and an average of 1 scientific paper published weekly. Measurements reflect Genetics, Brain Structure, Function and Heart Rate Variability, providing objective scores on Thinking, Focus, Feeling and Self Regulation.
Edward (Aka Ned) is a child and adult psychiatrist, a NY Times bestselling author, a world-renowned speaker and a leading authority in the field of ADHD. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Tulane Medical School. He has authored eighteen books on psychological topics, including best selling titles on attention deficit disorder. He has been featured on 20/20, 60 Minutes, Oprah, CNN, The Today Show, Dateline, Good Morning America. He has been interviewed for The New York Times, USA Today, Newsweek, Time Magazine, USA Weekend, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe and is a regular columnist for ADDitude Magazine.
Stephen advises on scientific end user trial testing. He is a Psychologist and an internationally recognized expert in behavioral medicine, optimal performance, resilience, neurofeedback and alternative approaches to stress and mental health. He is Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA’s School of Medicine, and Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Ethics. He helped establish international innovative treatment approaches in psychosomatic medicine, optimal functioning and attention deficit disorder.
Hal advises on physiological monitoring and biofeedback application testing and is an investor in the company. He is is a prolific inventor and the founder of Thought Technology, the world’s leading biofeedback and psychophysiological instrument manufacturer. His equipment is used as an essential part of many therapeutic treatments and clinical assessment protocols to treat stress related disorders as well as provide treatment for ADD, ADHD, incontinence and muscle rehabilitation (including sEMG-triggered stimulation), as well as general ergonomics, sports and educational applications.