We all have mental health, in the same way that we all have physical health, and there is a complex range of factors - biological, psychological, environmental and social - that affect it. The current high-profile crisis in mental and emotional health is due to not enough good solutions to help people improve their own health, or to enable professionals to support individuals needing specialist support.
Our approach to mental and emotional health is multifactorial and integrative, grounded in the need to understand the problem and users in context. The result is that our emerging Zinc businesses are approaching this problem from a diverse range of angles (including transport, finance, social care, sexual wellbeing, contraception, long-term conditions, stress, and loneliness) and across a range of user groups (from teenage years to old age).
Over 800 people applied for our first programme from which 55 highly talented individuals have been recruited to be Zinc Mission 1 Founders. The Founders have backgrounds in computer science, entrepreneurship, consulting, medicine, UX/UI design, and more.
Our cohort has an equal mix of women and men, they represent more than 19 countries, over half of them have experience within early stage start-ups, with an average age of 33 and with over a third above the age of 35.
Over the course of the 6 months the Founders have formed 17 companies, ranging across various sectors such as transportation, the workplace, fintech, digital health, perinatal support, the elderly, digital screen time, outdoor experiences, all of which are designed to improve women's and girls' mental and emotional health.
From 800 applications, we selected 55 brilliant and diverse Founders to join our first company builder programme in October 2017. With the support of leading experts and advisors, these Founders built 17 new mission-led companies which are tackling women’s and girl’s mental and emotional health in exciting and innovative ways. Here are some of their stories.
Femtech is a growing industry, and one in which female founders are often influenced by their own experiences. Lina Chan is no different. Her story of a difficult road to motherhood is as honest and true as her desire to help women who are facing the same struggles.
For co-founders, Billie and Anna, Ferly emerged from their own stories of sexual assault. Realising they were not alone, they decided to speak up about their experiences and use this as the foundation of Ferly - a guide to feeling confident, healthy and sexually empowered.
After 10 years of designing and delivering active lifestyle experiences including fun runs, half marathons, obstacle courses and corporate team challenges, Onigo Founder Alex is setting out to positively impact mental and physical health through mobile adventure games which enable physical activity and social connection.
The Fellows are leaders in their respective fields who are actively engaged with Zinc’s Mission1. They help the Zinc team to drive the programme and support the founders on their journey of building an impactful, ambitious and successful business. The Fellows are also joined by over 120 especially selected mentors and experts.
There are lots of ways to get involved with Zinc, find out the one that suits you below.
Fellows are experts and advisors from across business, academia, design, technology and the public sector. Fellows support Founders and their newly created companies by offering expertise in the form of talks, workshops, office hours and access to research and partners.
Executive coaches are certified or officially trained coaches who work with Founders and/or teams on the company builder programme. You will help them with their personal development and support the journeys of co-founders and teams.
Partners are individuals and organisations who help Founders and their newly created businesses to gain traction with users and partners to drive growth.
Interested in working in the Zinc team or one of the Portfolio Companies?