IntelliQuit Launches Kickstarter Campaign For Gamified Smoking Cessation Platform

New York-based digital health startup IntelliQuit launches a Kickstarter campaign to fund production of a smoking cessation platform that it hopes will improve success among smokers using the traditional smoking cessation program that clinicians have relied on for years. The program was designed by Matthew Bars, co-founder and CEO of IntelliQuit, and the director of the tobacco treatment program for the New York Fire Department. Under his leadership, the NYFD has seen its smoking rates drop 70 percent. Victor Marchione, MD, co-founder, and CMO of IntelliQuit is a pulmonologist with 30 years experience helping patients quit smoking.

The IntelliQuit platform is built around a biosensor that captures accurate smoking-related data from a user when they exhale into the device. This information is wirelessly transmitted via Bluetooth to a smartphone app where it is used along side manually entered data to help simplify the quitting process by giving users an honest metric to track their nicotine consumption over time. The app also captures location and event-specific data about cigarette consumption, to help users learn where and when they are most likely to smoke a cigarette, and ultimately to help them recognize and avoid those triggers.

In addition to its smoking cessation app, IntelliQuit is also developing a series of smartphone games designed to boost success rates among its users trying to quit. One game claims to increase success by 300 percent by challenging users to navigate a medieval castle and crush cigarettes found throughout the rooms. The game provides motivation and education and offers smokers something they can focus on when they are craving a cigarette. IntelliQuit is also building an SDK that will give other game developers access t0 the biometric data captured by its sensor and the supplementary data captured by its smoking cessation app.  In March, IntelliQuit won TechCrunch’s NYC Pitch Off.

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The company’s Kickstarter campaign has launched to lukewarm reception from backers, raising just $450 of its $59,000 goal in its first day of fundraising. On closer inspection, it’s not entirely surprising. The press release that IntelliQuit released in conjunction with the Kickstarter launch is bizarre, going out of its way to mention that the founders sister is a famous recording artist, and that his son was a recent contestant on “Big Brother,” neither of which have anything to do with the company or its Kickstarter campaign.  The company also chose some questionable rewards. For a $69 pledge, backers are promised a pair of yoga pants with the words “Blow on This” printed on the rear and a pair of red lips. The pants, along with most of the campaign’s other “Blow on This” rewards, provide no context to help make it clear what the message is supposed to mean, or that it’s in support of a smoking cessation program, leaving it up to onlookers to draw their own conclusions.

Despite a viable product idea, and a team of recognized experts in the field of tobacco addiction, IntelliQuit is struggling to generate momentum behind its campaign. Fortunately, in this investment climate, the company should have no trouble finding VC funding opportunities to fall back on.


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  • Team IntelliQuit

    Hi Lt. Dan,
    We appreciate the feedback and you raise valid points. We will be clearer in future communications and discussions. Our value proposition in helping 46 million American smokers and the 1.3 billion smokers worldwide quit is, and will remain, our core mission and message.
    Thanks,
    Team IntelliQuit

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