"ON THE PRECIPICE TO LEAD MULTIBILLION DOLLAR TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS IN WEARABLE TEXTILES FOR THE FITNESS, DEFENSE AND MEDICAL INDUSTRIES."- DENNIS SCHMITT, FOUNDER & CEO OF NUROTECH CORP
It is hard for me to accept being a visionary leader, as it is difficult for me to reconcile where I am now, with where I was 15 years ago. I didn’t envision a future where I’m the CEO/Founder of a multi-million dollar Biotech company on the precipice to lead multibillion-dollar technological advancements in wearable textiles for the fitness, defense and medical industries, especially while then, I was in a desert in the Middle East. I spent the majority of my adult life serving my country, first as US Marine, assigned to 2nd Force Recon Co. then, working for OGA’s (Other Government Agencies) responsible for low profile high threat security in Southwest Asia. This work brought me both pride and pain as I suffered two severe injuries and was separated from my service with 50% disability. However, it also brought me love from a wife whom I met on base in Iraq, while assigned to her protective detail and a son who is my reason for being.
After years of serial entrepreneurship and a successful exit from the ISP company I built in Afghanistan, the severity of my injuries prevented me from enjoying a functional lifestyle with my family. We decided that it would be best for me to retire. We left Tampa for a second act in Mallorca, Spain, where I planned to open a small café and live the rest of my years as best as I could, avoiding opioids and playing with my son whenever pain was bearable. The pain grew worse each day, causing limited physical
activity and I gained weight. Having spent my life in peak physical condition, the inactivity caused depression, and I became determined to change my health.
I travelled the world to try alternative medicine. I tried traditional physical therapy, but facing another surgery, I became despondent. One value remained, I refused to take pain medication. Mental clarity is as important as physical performance for a Tier One Operator, and I was not going to lessen my mind as a husband and father. Luckily, I discovered the therapeutic benefits of electro-muscle stimulation. In Europe, EMS is a
billion-dollar industry, mostly utilized for physical fitness.
With improved health, I worked for EMS companies, building their brand and learning everything I could about EMS. Humanity has always tried to explore the healing benefits of electricity, which makes sense since the human body is a superconductor of electrical impulses. The problem is that electrical stimulation was misused. Only when TENS units became standard of care for physical rehabilitation did it become accepted practice. However, the technology was severely limited. Now, electricity is ready to be harnessed by technological capacity. My mission was clear, I needed to bring EMS to my brothers and sisters at the VA, I just needed to design a delivery system that was practical and more efficient than its predecessors.
I moved back to Tampa, built a team of thought leaders, designed the FITR System, opened Nurotech, and eventually demoed for the VA. The Chief of Staff of the largest VA network stated, “you have a revolutionary product.”
We were off to the races. Since then our MVP was tested thousands of times and improved. Now, we have a wireless, wearable, washable, electrical stimulation technology that does not only read the body but delivers the therapeutic intervention and we are on the cusp of designing other wearable textiles to enhance human performance. In fact, there is even a term for it- Transhumanism, the ability to exceed human capability through assistive technology.
So here I am, a “jarhead” looking to change humanity through the textiles we wear. Some people call me “visionary,” I speak to boards, advise companies, and am even writing a passage on leadership. I understand the humility from the lessons of war, the gratitude from the love of family and friends, and the hope that even a person faced with devastating injuries can have a third act when dedicated to a higher mission. I assume if you’re reading this, you’re interested in technology or leadership. I hope that you find the transformative power that technology can have for good, as it has for me, and I wish you well as you lead to that end.