IVY Members Andrew Herr and Tiffany Newenhouse are paving the way in the development of cutting-edge human performance enhancement. Their company, Helicase, specializes in combining the newest science and technology to elevate mental and physical performance. Helicase provides individualized nutrition plans for business professionals, athletes, and the military that produce optimal results for each individual.
IVY Magazine spoke with Andrew and Tiffany to hear about how Helicase is leading the charge in this innovative field, the benefits of human performance enhancement, and the programs that Helicase offers.
What is the history of Helicase?
AH: Prior to founding Helicase, I ran studies on the future of human performance and biotechnology for the Department of Defense. I saw how much impact enhancing human performance could have and that there were huge opportunities primed for the taking. At the same time, I saw a wave of new science and technology emerging, and I decided it was time to move from helping people think about this field to helping them take advantage of enhancement opportunities.
What are some of the benefits of human performance enhancement that Helicase provides to its clients?
AH: Companies that implement human performance programs not only improve their employees’ performance, but also let their team members know that they value their work and are ready to invest in them. This can be an extremely useful tool to retain key personnel and recruit the best candidates.
Through our holistic enhancement programs, we can help people heighten their performance across the board — cognitive, emotional, team-oriented, and physical performance. Our customers’ favorite effects are having more energy, better focus, a reduction in stress, increased muscle mass, and decreased fat. Athletes, in particular, appreciate the endurance, strength, and recovery gains. Everything we do is backed by research and by our clients’ experiences, so we can confidently say how extensive and long-lasting the benefits are.
We also have a unique system to enable clients to beat jet lag. For clients who use it, they do not have to deal with sleep disruption, daytime sleepiness, achy joints, and other effects of intercontinental travel. This enables them to perform at their peak whether they are negotiating deals, creating new relationships, enjoying a vacation, or putting a maximum effort on the field or court.
What are the responsibilities of dietitians at Helicase?
TN: As the Lead Dietitian, I wear many hats. I conduct research, design client programs, and identify new market opportunities. My favorite part of the job is the one-on-one client interviews we do to kickoff programs. Since I have the ability to go so far in depth, I learn the client’s story and tailor the program recommendations so they will work for that specific client. This is extremely helpful in improving their next chapter.
I am also very excited to be leading an expansion into new markets, including launching a campaign to reach couples getting ready for their wedding. In my experience, many people try to slim down for the big day, but information provided to the public can be confusing and even counterproductive. My job is to help by informing couples about the proper way to use food to feel and look the best on their big day and beyond!
Lead Dietitian, Tiffany Newenhouse (Left), and Marketing Team Member, Cindy Kang (Right).
What programs does Helicase offer its clients?
TN: We have three programs depending on a client’s need. Our individual enhancement programs give you tailored nutrition, supplementation, sleep tools, and cognitive programs based on your unique performance needs and physiological profile.
Our jet lag system enables businesspeople, athletes, newlyweds, and really anyone to hit the ground running and to sleep well their first night in-country. It is especially unique because clients do not have to disrupt their normal schedule days before travel to get these benefits.
For organizations looking to enhance the performance of large groups, we also offer team performance training. We provide a three-session program that gives team members individual tools they can implement at home or at work and insights into how to structure the office environment for maximum performance. For example, there are times in the day you should never schedule an important meeting!
How can human performance enhancements help in the office? How about for families? Sports teams? The military?
TN: In addition to the benefits we described earlier, human performance knowledge and a human performance mindset can make your work more efficient and effective. There is human performance research that shows how to schedule negotiations to get a better outcome. Why not take advantage of that?
Human performance programs in the office environment can also enable more cohesion in a group and encourage better workplace relationships. It also provides knowledge and a way to frame decisions that people otherwise would not have. And of course, by investing in employees, they are also more motivated to perform for the company.
AH: We see a wide range of benefits. Take families for example. When parents have more energy, they come home from work ready to spend quality time, play with their kids, and to engage with each other more. Research also shows that performance nutrition can decrease anger between spouses, and of course, starting habits young can set children up for a healthy and productive life.
Military units and sports teams are always looking for a competitive edge. Skill development and conditioning require a solid human performance foundation, and nutrition and cognitive program can increase effectiveness, decrease the risk of injuries, and help people recover faster. In a recent discussion with a 4-star General, he pointed out that some of our potential adversaries are developing high-tech weapons, but that our people are far and away better. If that is the case, we should extend that advantage!
What are both of your best general leadership tips for IVY Members out there?
AH: Focus on trust. When people on a team trust each other, they perform at a much higher level, especially when it matters most and the stress levels are elevated. We can even measure this effect in peoples’ blood!
TN: On your most challenging projects, work with team leads to set interim goals. The human brain is not wired to focus for long periods of time on things that don’t give it any reward. This eventually leads to burnout, but if you set interim goals and people can see the progress, it will help them stay engaged. It is also a nice management tool, although don’t use it to micromanage!
What were the biggest challenges you faced starting Helicase?
AH: While we have deep scientific backgrounds and know what works, there is a lot of incorrect and contradictory information out there, and many people assume no one has the answers. You might be surprised to know that even doctors get very little training in human performance areas, especially nutrition!
What skills/attributes have you found most useful in starting your business?
AH: Our day-to-day work is at the intersection of science, product development, and B2B/B2C relationships, and we have had to solve problems others haven’t, to sift through what works and what doesn’t, and to translate all that into a language that individuals and companies can engage with. To accomplish this, we have relied on design thinking, problem solving, a fluency in business and science, effective communication, resourcefulness, creativity, and the ability to laugh about whatever happens next.
What can the IVY community do to support you?
TN: One of the nice things about our programs is that we can work with clients in-person, via-Skype/video chat, or over the phone. So, please pass our name along to people who you think would like to invest in their performance or your HR team if you think your company would benefit from our training! From Washington, DC to San Francisco, New York, or Bangkok, we can give you the focus, energy, body, and mind you are looking for! As members of IVY, we love to support other business in the community, so we can provide discounts to your customers and to your team as well (check out our IVY Perk)!