May 29, 2020 @ 14:47 by Richard Dawson
A mental health and wellness platform set up by two North East entrepreneurs has laid down plans for UK growth after being awarded £300,000 in backing from the Government’s Innovate UK programme.
Based in Newcastle and set up by North East Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Lizzy Hodcroft and Emma Reilly, founder of The Brave and The Bold clothing line, Myndr is a digital learning and support platform that helps business leaders and their employees battle common mental health issues in a peer-to-peer environment.
Lizzy and Emma beat 1800 other applicants for the Innovate UK funding programme and will use the £300,000 to roll out Myndr to those across the country who need mental health support.
The AI-assisted app was developed by Komodo and will launch in the next 12 months.
In the meantime, Myndr will further develop its online technology, invest in new staff and strike up partnerships with like-minded businesses.
There are high hopes for the company following its recognition as Startup of the Year 2020 by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
Emma and Lizzy are confident Myndr can fill a gap in mental health care and both have spoken openly about their struggles with mental illness and their frustration with the lack of options currently available.
Speaking about Myndr’s investment and its plans for the future, Lizzy said: “We’re incredibly honoured and proud to have received this grant.
“Most of the funds will be used towards further development and content for the app as we have high expectations to deliver a platform that is contextually smart as well as impactful with practical, actionable steps and content.
“We have already recruited new members of staff that will help us drive the service forward. They’re helping to get data into the system fast.
“We have also recently recruited a new COO and we’re reaching out to experienced content writers to help us deliver insightful personal stories to connect with our audience.”
Emma added: “Apart from the obvious benefit to our users in terms of support and action plans for their mental health, we are also very proud that we can offer a helping hand to many that have found themselves without a job or income during this time.
“Because of the Innovate Grant and its timing, we have been able to reach out to professionals, freelancers, doctors, peers and so many others to help to provide Myndr with courses, content and suggestions and in turn pay these amazing individuals for their service.
“Although we aren’t able to completely solve any financial issues for people, we are very proud that we can support in some way.”
Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government.
It drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas, including those from the UK’s world-class research base.
Since 2007, it has invested around £2.5 billion to help businesses across the country to innovate, with match funding from industry taking the total value of projects above £4.3 billion.