Please provide a personal bio for other members to get to know you
TL;DR: Hi, I'm a mad scientist that just quit his job to start a mental health company. My goal is to get 65M people to join a mental fitness studio by 2040. I'm super excited to join this community. A successful 12 week period for Rise looks like 1) 75+ members in RiseGroup 2) A commitment or actually rolling out a pilot program for an organization of 50+ 3) financial runway for the next three months
This is a huge period of change in my life and I'm excited to dig in with all here! I'm currently transitioning into my first period of not earning a regular income since I started working 14 years ago.
I'm originally from a small town called Loveland Ohio with a twin brother and 4 sisters across 4 marriages. We had a lot of ups and downs including a bankruptcy early on in my life and switching through four schools.
In high school, I was privileged to participate in a 2 year biotechnology program enabled by the Third Frontier Fund focused on making product oriented & entrepreneurial biotechnologists. I got exposure to training and equipment that many PhDs don't receive and started independent research as a junior. I started to take regular shots at starting businesses from ideas I had during that program around 2011 and have learned a lot about what not to do!
At OSU, I was intensely involved in organizing the communities I became a part of, in research making electricity via the bioremediation of waste streams (I worked in 5 different labs), and didn't really go to class:the_horns:.
I've spent the last three years as the lead scientist at ProteoSense creating and maintaining their technology & product roadmaps, hiring plan, and technical communications. We started with about $50k funding, raised $1.7M and I oversaw 25 positions. I left that job at the beginning of May to pursue my greatest passion.
In 2013, I started a social movement called Mental Health Matters. It was a highly collaborative group of students spanning a lot of the diversity at the college. We created MHMweek, a week of events where we create awareness about mental health, certify peers in mental health first aid, and have a mental health festival. In April 2016, we had the largest MHMweek where we had over 750 volunteers and handed out 35,000 pieces of collateral that pointed people towards the resources that were free and the ones they could pay for.
Please provide an overview of the project(s) you'll be focusing on for the next 12 weeks as part of Unreal Collective.
The ideas for Rise came to me around February 2016 when I realized how big our campaign to #StopTheStigma at OSU was going to be.
We envision a world with a mental health system that is proactive, sustainable, and equitable for all; where everyone can improve their mental fitness and mental illness treatment is a RIGHT not a privilege. Our mission is to provide our members with world-class opportunities to improve and maintain their emotional and behavioral strength and flexibility regardless of socioeconomic status. I'm shifting my strategy to focus on college students and developing pilot programs with organizations. By 2040, 65M people will have a membership to a mental fitness studio and their employers will pay for it.
I started RiseGroup in March which is a weekly videochat with a group of peers and a facilitator where we talk about our emotional climates. I've been mostly marketing towards young freelancers, entrepreneurs and the like! It's like a mastermind group for your mental health. HMU if you would like to join! We are currently enrolling more members.
I'm super excited to be joining Unreal to have my own support system/acountability and to be able to "think out loud" with a group of motivated peers. I've been feeling pretty isolated by being around the least amount of people I have been in my life as I have made this transition. I also hope to be able to dramatically refine the messaging for Rise