Grady Hannah

Grady Hannah

CEO, NightWare

An Apple Watch app that curbs nightmares? That’s what Minneapolis-based NightWare promises, and it’s been steadily gaining traction and national attention over the last several years. The company’s platform, available by prescription only, monitors the wearer’s heart rate and body movements to determine when they are having a nightmare. Then the app gives a gentle vibrational nudge—just enough to rouse them from the nightmare but allow them to remain asleep. CEO Grady Hannah describes the process as a “micro-arousal,” something that occurs naturally throughout a regular night of sleep. The company’s technology, developed in 2015 by Tyler Skluzacek while he was a computer science student at Macalester College, hit a key regulatory milestone in November 2020, obtaining FDA clearance to begin marketing the platform. Since then, NightWare has landed its first two customers: Veterans Affairs hospitals and the U.S. Department of Defense. Hannah notes that the technology is applicable to anyone who has nightmares, “but as a small startup, we have to choose where we focus. So we chose to focus on the veteran population.” The company, which employs five people and has only recently started generating revenue, has piqued the interest of dozens of VA doctors around the country. Now, the team spends time educating as many health professionals as it can. In Hannah’s view, Minnesota’s depth of talent and resources makes it an ideal place to launch a new startup. “I’m a big believer in Minnesota startups,” he says. “Minnesota is a sleeping giant of technical excellence.”

Trend to watch:

“Covid has forced the distributed work and remote/digital health trends to the forefront, but this is still affecting a relatively small percentage of patients and workers. I expect these capabilities to continue and grow more complex and consumer friendly. People don’t want to go to five different services for their remote care; they want more integrated experiences.”

Back to main page