MazeEngineers Update: How We Hit $1.2M ARR

Published: August 18th, 2022
Shuhan He
Founder, MazeEngineers
from Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
started March 2013
market size
avg revenue (monthly)
starting costs
gross margin
time to build
210 days
growth channels
best tools
Slack, Facebook Ads, MailChimp
time investment
Full time
pros & cons
39 Pros & Cons
4 Tips
Discover what tools Shuhan recommends to grow your business!
Discover what books Shuhan recommends to grow your business!

Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.

Hi, I’m Dr. Corscadden, Director of Science and Development at ConductScience, a one-stop shop for everything scientific research.

We began with our flagship product line of mazes under Maze Engineers before expanding to other unique technology-forward tools related to lab research under ConductScience, our larger umbrella brand.

Founder Dr Shuhan He on the job

Tell us about what you’ve been up to. Has the business been growing?

Business is doing very well recently. We have had an increase of 40% more requests and orders for our customizable maze products which is always fun and challenging. It’s great to see a product go from an idea to physical creation.

However, our focus lately has also been people rather than products too, and many of our new and existing services reflect this.

We have recently launched our new initiative called “Methods to ConductScience” which is a new program for scientists to help scientists disseminate their innovations and protocols. We specialize in articles and manuscripts on the topics of (but not limited to):

  • Emerging neuroscientific methods
  • Behavioral analysis, including new software methods
  • Novel apparatuses to study behavioral science
  • IoT (Internet of Things)
  • Telehealth and Mobile Healthcare
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Machine learning (ML)
  • Virtual Reality

If any readers are interested in submitting a manuscript. Please let me know here.

We think it's important that scientific audiences have a way to share their inventions and stories with our team, and our platform with millions of viewers can disseminate and share the best practices from other scientists.

A service I love working with and would also love to highlight is our technology transfer service. We have had several successful launches already with the Visual X maze and Rondi Reigg star maze.

The Visual X maze

The Rondi Reigg Star Maze

Essentially, we take an idea or prototype for a maze or scientific apparatus and create, market, and sell it on behalf of the inventor. It gives the inventor an income from their apparatus which is something that historically does not always happen (the inventor of a popular maze, the Barnes maze, was never able to monetize her invention!)

Finally, I’d love to introduce the readers to our own Stories section. This is where fellow researchers and scientists can share their career journeys and projects.

It’s a great way to get your publications to read and to increase your following while inspiring aspiring researchers. We are currently looking for more scientific stories. Please get in touch with us to tell yours.

What have been your biggest challenges in the last year?

One of our biggest challenges was refocusing on eCommerce, especially in a recession. We have never been debt/VC financed so continuing to show strong growth and consistently new innovative products in the digital scientific market is our key.

We think the incoming recession, while painful, will have benefits in that for the scientific innovation space as it will slow the pace of growth to match the real pace of science.

We also think that we can help in the recession by offering programs like our tech transfer program to help identify new revenue streams for scientists to support their work. Our services can lower the cost of business and maintain high-quality science.

What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?

We’ve learned that our technology team needs to be deeply integrated into all aspects of the organization and not cordoned off into a separate team.

Fundamentally the economy works on the production of goods and services. You should be solving some problems that people fundamentally need to solve to live happier and healthier lives.

This creates misaligned incentives and product requirement documentation that does not feed to user and customer needs.

What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?

We have several goals that we would like to achieve in the next few years.

We want to expand our journal Methods to ConductScience. Publishing in science is often restricted by costs and paywalls, this is something we are passionate about changing as science should be accessible for all. We aim to create a scientific community of researchers who publish their findings and reviews with us and we in turn support them through our journal and other services we offer at ConductScience.

We are always expanding our product lines at ConductScience and in particular, we want to expand on our VR product line. We’re rather proud of this project, essentially we first created a VR version of the Morris Water Maze, allowing the study of spatial navigation on human subjects in a similar way to rodents. We are currently expanding this to include more mazes such as the newly developed 8 arm Radial maze, T Maze, and Elevated Plus Maze.

We love hearing about the career journeys of fellow scientists so we’d love to have as many Stories as possible to tell.

What’s the best thing you read in the last year?

Dr He’s recommendations:

  • The intelligent investor: Literally praised by Warren E. Buffet as "the best book on investing ever written." the book describes why profitability is so important in generating value.
  • Hidden forces podcast by Demetri Kofinas:A very insightful podcast that details similar macro trends in the economy.
  • Manifold One: A great podcast to listen to understand large-scale statistical approaches to solving complex genomic and biological questions important in science and biotechnology

My recommendations

I’m more of a fiction reader myself but I listen to a lot of podcasts while I work including:

  • WeCrashed by Wondery: An interesting and detailed look at what happens if a start-up burns too bright too fast
  • Gamechangers by the Economist: An inspiring look at innovations we currently use or are set to us
  • Planet Money: Always providing entertaining stories on the topics of finance

Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?

Our founder Dr He has a saying “Revenue and profitability are king”.

Remember that fundamentally the economy works on the production of goods and services. You should be solving some problems that people fundamentally need to solve to live happier and healthier lives.

Often we see start-ups with extremely high valuations which sounds impressive but often does not mean much. In focusing on cash flow instead, your company has more of an advantage in an economy with rising interest rates.

Finally, make decisions on the lunch rule: does this action help me realize a gain that could help me pay for lunch today and tomorrow?

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

Currently, we are looking for:

  • Anyone with deep experience in scientific publishing
  • Anyone with electrical engineering who is passionate about applications in the scientific sector.

Where can we go to learn more?

We are currently growing our social media presence so please feel free to follow us using the following links. I would say that our Instagram is a good and fun place to start!

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!

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