Employers tackling mental health in the workplace have been boosted by the launch of a new company which raised £200,000 after taking part in a Virgin StartUp accelerator programme.

Photo of MindBerry in action

MindBerry is a digital platform allowing users to connect and work with mental health and coaching professionals online.

Its founder, Sandra de Monte, started researching the idea in 2016, with development starting a year later. But the business really got going after Sandra participated in Virgin StartUp’s CrowdBoost programme in 2019. The company has already delivered successful workshops around mental well-being for companies such as eBay, Google, Thunes and more.

CrowdBoost is a six-week accelerator for entrepreneurs who want to raise funds and awareness through an equity crowdfunding campaign. The intensive programme covers all the following critical elements of campaign preparation: set-up, investor engagement, PR and Marketing. Sometimes, participants set out with the aim to crowdfund, but often attract investment before launching a campaign due to the new skills being acquired by founders through programmes like this.

Sandra said: “During my studies at University, I realised there wasn’t an online platform available that offered an affordable, secure and professional service for people who are seeking therapy and coaching. Moreover, I realised that these services were especially needed within the workplace and other organisations.

“The CrowdBoost programme gave us years of start-up funding know-how, condensed down into a few weeks of learning. It really was incredible.

“Since the programme, we have raised the money, got our product live and have some pilots ongoing.

“Employers are certainly paying more attention to the mental health of their staff. The efforts being made to improve life at work are becoming more proactive and robust. We think it’s fantastic that people are beginning to take their mental health seriously.”

Sandra found CrowdBoost’s pitch training particularly impactful.

She added: “I liked learning how to deliver the perfect five-minute pitch and the formula for the perfect pitch deck. Two essential skills that you can use time and time again. The 30-second elevator pitch and legal training were also very useful. As a team, we feel much more prepared and knowledgeable.

“Your start-up’s story is very important because despite what investors tell you, investment decisions are in large part motivated by emotion. However, it’s good to be able to back that story up with solid business fundamentals. At the end of the day, these better predict return on investment and investors know that.

“If possible, don’t leave it too late to apply for CrowdBoost. Crowdfunding with your back to the wall is a challenging place to be. Give yourself lots of time, plan and you’ll have a much more enjoyable experience.”

To follow in the footsteps of Sandra, find out more about CrowdBoost today.