Anthony Gonzales is chief executive and co-founder of Force Impact Technologies Inc. In 2013, armed with his experience as an athlete and an MBA from Arizona State University, he and his business partner sought out to create a piece of wearable technology to protect student athletes from head injuries. The company’s signature FITGuard contains an accelerometer to measure forces on the brain and is designed to identify impacts that have the potential to cause brain injuries for athletes ages 12 to 25.

What inspired you to start your business?

I played multiple sports. At the same time, I practiced Brazilian jiu jitsu and I played rugby. When I was in university, I was doing those consecutively, so during the same season I was going from rugby on one day to jitsu the next. And my first job during my graduate school was selling sensors, other components, semiconductors, hardware, gizmos and gadgets for a very large distributor. So I had a general understanding of what all these things could do. And I had a very personal problem, which was keeping track of how hard and how often I was getting hit in the head playing all these different sports. And I thought, “Why don’t I take the sensors that I sell at work, and put them into the only piece of equipment that I use in all my sports — my mouthguard?” That was the original inspiration and what that developed into is an entire platform in which that mouthguard can collect the data and send it over to a mobile application that has like a cloud interface where you can use that data. And it really morphed into a platform for monitoring head health.

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