Veterinarian-turned-researcher aims to help healthtech founders communicate the science behind their startups – Startland News

Veterinarian-turned-researcher aims to help healthtech founders communicate the science behind their startups  Startland News
“startups when:1d” – Google News

Lili Nabs Another $15M for its Banking App for Freelancers to Stay on Top of their Finances

There has been explosive growth in the number of freelancers as a result of the pandemic. Lili, is the all-in-one banking platform along with real-time expense tracking, tax tools, and financial insights that are tailored specifically for the needs of freelancers. AlleyWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Lilac Bar David to learn more about the pain points of freelancing that Lili addresses, the company’s impressive growth during the pandemic, and recent funding round from investors that include Group 11, AltaIR Capital, Primary Venture Partners, Torch Capital, and Zeev Ventures. This is the company’s second funding this year as the company just raised its seed round in June!

Why Business Leaders Should Talk About Their Mental Health

For those of a certain age, I’m sure that being transparent about your mental health was taboo. Take my friends’ father, who’s a boomer, as an example. He never opened up about how he was feeling until one day he lost it. The stress, and the emotional and physical toll it took on him, finally came to head. And, he just started crying. I was floored. I mean I was always told that boys don’t cry. Here is why business leaders should talk about their mental health.

There’s been a sea of change when talking about mental health, and we can all learn from the shift.

Take Gen Z. They are more likely to seek help then other generations. Unfortunately, that figure is still low with only 37% reporting that they’ve received help from a psychologist or mental health professional.

Considering that some 450 million people suffer from a mental disorder, we still have a long way to go. And, this is particularly true for those in a leadership role.

For starters, as noted by the World Health Organization, “mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.” As a consequence, this can affect people’s behaviorally, emotionally, and physically, such as:

The Link Between Mental Health and Work

Economically, mental health costs the global economy $ 1 trillion per year in lost productivity! Aetna Behavioral Health has also found that employee mental health costs rise twice as fast as other medical costs.

More specifically, mental health can be negatively affected by businesses:

What’s more, via the CDC, “Depression interferes with a person’s ability to complete physical job tasks about 20% of the time and reduces cognitive performance about 35% of the time.”

Besides impacting your bottom line, there’s another reason why you need to prioritize mental health at your company; employees demand it.

One study has found that 62% of employees want leadership to speak openly about mental health. But, other research has found this to be higher.

“Mental health is becoming the next frontier of diversity and inclusion, and employees want their companies to address it, write Kelly Greenwood, Vivek Bapat, and Mike Maughan over at HBR. “Eighty-six percent of our respondents thought that a company’s culture should support mental health.” However, it “was even higher for Millennials and Gen Zers, who have higher turnover rates and are the largest demographic in the workforce.”

“Half of Millennials and 75% of Gen Zers had left roles in the past for mental health reasons, both voluntarily and involuntarily, compared with 34% of respondents overall — a finding that speaks to a generational shift in awareness,” add the authors. “It is not surprising then that providing employees with the support they need improves not only engagement but also recruitment and retention, whereas doing nothing reinforces an outdated and damaging stigma.”

How to Promote Mental Health Wellness in Your Workplace

So, yeah. Mental health needs to become a priority for your business. By being transparent and removing the stigma around mental health, you’ll improve every facet of your organization. And, to get started, here are the steps you should take.

Change the culture.

Changing the culture is a top-down process,” writes Greenwood, Bapat, and Maughan. “It starts with transforming leaders into allies. Encourage executive teams, managers, and senior employees to share their experiences (or those of close family members or friends) at all-staff meetings or in other interactions with their teams.”

“Modeling disclosure and vulnerability as strengths, not weaknesses, goes a long way toward reducing the stigma and setting the tone for transparency,” they add.

Considering that almost half of entrepreneurs have experienced at least one form of mental health condition during their lifetime, you probably already have first-hand knowledge of this struggle. The challenge is to be open up about your experience. Once you do, this will help remove the stigma and encourage others to be more open about their struggles.

Additionally, if you want to change the culture, then you need to walk the walk. That means setting an example by showing others that you are addressing your well-being. For example, take breaks throughout the day and eat a healthy lunch. Most importantly, offer suggestions on how you addressed your mental health. If you spoke with a counselor, then refer an employee to that mental health professional.

Create an employee wellness program.

If you’re unfamiliar, an employee wellness program simply encourages healthy habits within the workplace. More importantly, it helps create a culture where health and wellness is a top priority.

To get started though, Howie Jones in a previous Calendar piece suggests using a Health Risk Appraisal (HRA) to assess your needs. “This is a questionnaire that reviews lifestyle practices like smoking and exercise,” explains Howie. “You could also conduct an interest survey and have your team rank what they would want the program to include.”

With this information, you can then design a program that works best for your company. For example, if a majority of your employees have admitted to dealing with a mental illness, then you may want to select a health insurance plan that covers mental health. You could also offer gym memberships, support services, or training to help them combat stress.

Focus on early intervention/prevention.

Let’s say that your bathroom faucet has a drip. You keep ignoring it thinking that it’s no big deal. Eventually, you may have to replace your sink because of water stains. Leaky faucets may also deteriorate caulk, grout, and damage ceilings and floorboards.

In short, don’t wait to solve this problem before it gets any worse.

The same is true with mental health. Educate your team on how they can cope with stress and anxiety. Provide support services, even if it’s paying for an app like Headspace. And, don’t punish them if they need to take a mental health day or leave early to speak with a therapist.

Enforce working hours.

Promote a healthy work-life balance by establishing boundaries. For instance, limit communication outside of office hours. That means not emailing an employee at midnight asking them a question that could wait until the morning.

You should also encourage them to set an out-of-office message in their calendar. Google and Outlook calendars have this feature. And, it’s a simple way to automatically reject event invites when you’re not available.

Cultivate a healthy and positive work environment.

Besides boosting productivity, healthy and positive work environments can improve morale and decrease turnover. Best of all, it’s not all that complicated to implement if you do the following:

  • Establish organizational guidelines that prevent bullying and harassment.
  • Show your gratitude and appreciation to your team members by recognizing their hard work.
  • Invest in your team’s well-being by investing in ergonomic furniture, providing healthy snacks, and placing plants throughout the workplace.
  • Help your employees curb vices and unhealthy habits.
  • Never motivate your team using fear.
  • Celebrate milestones and have fun through games and volunteering.

Frequently check-in with your employees.

Yes. You’ve got a million things to do. But, spend quality time with each team member. Get to know them better and ask how they’re doing. You don’t want to pry into their personal lives. But, checking-in with them builds trust. That means if they do have a mental health concern, they won’t be afraid to come to you for assistance.

Grant autonomy and flexible schedules.

Don’t micromanage your employees. Even better, provide flexible schedules and working arrangements so that they have opportunities to attend to their well-being.

Help them solve their time management problems.

Finally, help your team members improve their time management. That may not sound like much. But, if they’re struggling in this area, then don’t have the time to attend to their mental health. For example, help them prioritize their time so that they aren’t taking their work home with them. In turn, they’ll have more availability to work with a mental health professional or engage in healthy habits like exercising or meditating.

Why Business Leaders Should Talk About Their Mental Health was originally published on Calendar by .

The post Why Business Leaders Should Talk About Their Mental Health appeared first on KillerStartups.


Shotcall picks up $2.2 million to let fans game with their favorite streamers

The pandemic has resulted in a growth spurt for gaming, an industry that was already growing on the backs of esports and Twitch streaming. So it makes sense that startups big and small are flocking to the industry to find their own place in the ecosystem.

One such company is Shotcall, founded by Thomas Gentle, Gordon Li and Riley Auten, which aims to increase engagement for streamers by giving their fans what they really want: a chance to play alongside their favorite content creator.

The company today announced the close of a $ 2.2 million seed round led by Initial Capital, New Stack and Lerer Hippeau .

As it stands now, viewers who tune in to a Twitch stream only have so many ways of interacting with their favorite streamer, whether it’s gifting subscriptions to the channel or cheering with bits, Twitch’s virtual currency. Streamers with a smaller audience are often pretty engaged with their chat, but as they grow their audiences, it’s harder for viewers to stand out in the crowd.

And even if you do manage to stand out and get a shout-out, that’s all it is. The streamer says thanks and reads your message and that’s that. Some streamers host games with their subscribers, but organizing them can be tedious at best, and monetizing them is nearly impossible.

With Shotcall, streamers can engage with their fans in a way that not only gives that fan a chance to really connect with them, but that also creates more high-quality, shareable content.

The platform allows streamers to set up a tournament, coaching session, Q&A, charity event or whatever type of event they’d like, and fans can pay to get in on the action. Shotcall organizes these community events, giving the streamer control over the length of each gaming session, how much they’d like to charge to participate and the rules of engagement (whether fans can use mics, curse on stream, etc.).

“Fans are at the center of the entire global value chain in the gaming world,” said Gentle. “They dictate what games are bought and which content creators rise and fall out of favor. They pay the bills for everything. And yet their interactions are weak. And if you take a look at the data, they have a high desire and a high willingness to pay more if you were to give them what they truly want. And that is engagement.”

The revenue split between hosts and Shotcall depends on the type of event, whether that streamer is a partner, etc., but the most Shotcall will ever take is 25%.

The company is in the process of integrating directly with Twitch and Discord (with bots) to make the process even more seamless.

Thus far, Shotcall has amassed around 350 active hosts and more than 4,500 fans have been active on the platform in the past two months.

Startups – TechCrunch

5 lessons for founders to take their startup to the next level – Business Insider – Business Insider

5 lessons for founders to take their startup to the next level – Business Insider  Business Insider
“startups when:1d” – Google News

Lunchbox raises $20M to help restaurants build their own ordering experiences

With many restaurants forced to rely entirely on the delivery and takeout business during the pandemic, there’s been a lot of discussion about the industry can survive while paying hefty fees to delivery platforms like Uber Eats and Grubhub.

Lunchbox, on the other hand, is a startup that allows restaurants to build  ordering experiences on their own websites and apps. Today, it’s announcing that it’s raised $ 20 million in Series A funding.

CEO Nabeel Alamgir knows the industry well, having served as Bareburger’s CMO — a position he rose to after starting out as a busboy at New York City chain’s first location. He told me that he isn’t expecting restaurants to abandon third-party delivery platforms — but if they can handle more and more online orders themselves, they’ll more money while also delivering personalized promotions to their most loyal customers.

“You don’t want to lose a customer to these marketplaces,” Alamgir said. “You should be on these channels, but you should also invite your customers to order from you directly.”

That’s why Alamgir founded Lunchbox with Andrew Boryk and Hadi Rashid last year. He said that it took them more than 100 days to build ordering systems for for their first customers — which put them ahead of other restaurant ordering platforms, but they’ve been working hard to reduce that on-boarding process, which is now down to 44 days.

And next year, he’s hoping to move to a self-serve model, which would make Lunchbox accessible to small, independent restaurants, not just the chains and restaurant groups (like Bareburger, Clean Juice and Fuku) that it currently works with.

The startup says that when a customers starts working with Lunchbox, it usually sees a 30% increase in sales. And the startup’s own customer base has grown 925% over the last year.

Alamgir also noted that Lunchbox allows restaurants to embrace new business models, like delivery via cloud kitchens. In fact, one of Lunchbox’s partners is Ordermark, which just raised $ 120 million as it moves to a cloud kitchen model. The startup also been experimenting with autonomous delivery through partnerships with Sodexo and Kiwibot, and it recently partnered with sbe to create a “virtual food hall” where diners can combine food from different restaurants into a single order.

Alamgir predicted that as investors look at new restaurant businesses post-pandemic, one of their key questions will be, “Can we open this on the third floor [where the rent is more affordable]? Can this be a delivery-only experience?” At the same time, he’s not suggesting that those will ever fully replace the in-person dining experience.

“The outfit and the mindset you have when go out to eat is different from when you eat at home and watch Netflix in your pajamas,” he said. “Those different kinds of dinners, and with off-premise dining, there’s an opportunity to innovate significantly.”

The round was led by Coatue, with participation from 645 and Primary Ventures, as well as chef Tom Colicchio, Behance founder Scott Belsky, former Venmo COO Michael Vaughan, HelloFresh founder Bryan Ciambella, Planet Hollywood founder Robert Earl and Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani. Coatue’s Rahul Kishore and Bennett Siegel are joining Lunchbox’s board of directors.

“Local businesses have been hard hit this year, but we think Lunchbox can help enable these businesses to move online, engage with their customers digitally, and build back stronger than ever,” Kishore said in a statement.

According to Alamgir, the new funding will allow Lunchbox to bring on more restaurants, improve its product (one of his big goals is to become agnostic next year with regards to point-of-sale systems) and to expand the team.

Startups – TechCrunch