Sometimes, the right series of events is what it takes to get a business idea to bloom. For Elizabeth Russell of St. Louis, those events came as an attendee to the 2013 Coulter Biomedical Design Conference in Seattle and dialogue in St. Louis about the need to improve mental health care for veterans. The problem that presented itself was two-fold: veterans are unable to access the necessary resources for their health needs and smartphone apps didn’t engage directly with the user. “What’s needed is a solution that will engage with the user at a critical time,” explains Elizabeth. This became the combination that would implement her bioengineering education plus the need to improve mental health. By 2014, Elizabeth and co-founder Ravi Chacko established Mindset, a device that would predict stress events and introduce interventions to help the client.
Once they began the process, the obstacles rolled in. “Fundraising and choosing a go-to-market strategy were our big challenges.” Their process began by examining current expenditures in mental health, which led them to corporate health programs. “The health, well-being and productivity of employees were their top priorities, which tied in with our goals.”
Through the entrepreneurial resources in St. Louis, Prosper Women Entrepreneurs and Washington University, the Mindset team established a pilot program with university students. Developing for 2017 is a pilot for veterans and increased outreach to corporations.
While financing a business is a common concern for many startups, the Mindset team has received positive feedback and outcomes from program participants. The advice Elizabeth shares comes from her co-founder Ravi. “Founding a company is stressful and high-risk. Self-care is vital to remaining productive so it’s critical to have a good time. If you have a mission you believe in, make it enjoyable. Your clients and customers will see this and will also respond positively.”
Jumpstart your Missouri Business
Check out our business calendar for upcoming workshops and classes all things business growth or sign up for our calendar newsletter, sent straight to your inbox.
For more resources to start or grow your business, check out our Resource Navigator, our interactive database that will connect you to the right resources your challenge, industry and business stage. Looking for more hands-on assistance—or just like talking to real folk? Give us a call at 866.870.6500 and we’ll guide you to the right resources for your business.
Post provided by Kris Edens, a copywriting and blogging resource for small business. She resides in Festus, Missouri and enjoys networking, writing and the entrepreneurial community.