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Valley woman competing for entrepreneurial prize

PHOENIX — A Valley woman is battling two California-based startups in an online voting contest.

Brend McCaffrey is the creator of the Via Heartbeat Bracelet, a device that lets people know when they have hit their target heart rate while exercising.

The device comes in two parts: a chest strap and a bracelet. The two are paired via Bluetooth. When the target heart rate is reached, the bracelet will blink.

McCaffrey said she designed the product after her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and she wanted to cut down her own risk. Studies have shown that exercising for 15 minutes four times per week at a target heart rate can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by 50 percent.

McCaffrey said the device is stylish compared to other heart rate monitors.

The Via Heartbeat Bracelet is currently up against two other products in the Dream Big America contest. A public vote will determine which product will move on. The winner of the contest will receive seed funding, mentoring and resources.

The public vote closes Tuesday night.