Pictured: KeepAppy CEO and Founder: Aimee-Louise Carton, with her dog Aura and Co-Founder Will Ben Sims.
In our Ones to Watch section, we highlight some of the top up and coming businesses in Ireland. This week we feature mental wellness app KeepAppy.
What is it?
KeepAppy is a personalised mental wellness app. It’s designed to empower users to take control of their mental wellbeing by enabling people to track eight vitals that most impact an individual’s wellbeing, increase self-awareness and engage in positive behaviour practices.
The app focuses on being functional, approachable and accessible for everyone. KeepAppy founder Aimee-Louise Carton says,
We don’t expect users to need or want to use every single feature available, as not every feature suits every individual. However, anyone who wants to improve or maintain their mental wellbeing can access whatever they need in one safe space. We’re on a mission to “Put wellness in people’s pockets everywhere”. At its core, KeepAppy is a holistic wellbeing app created to help users maintain their mental wellness.”
The app has eight features in its toolkit, based on KeepAppy’s three central pillars of prevention, growth and care. The features include everything from journaling and goal-setting, to mindfulness, period trackers, and gratitude diaries. Every feature has been proven by different psychological studies to have a positive impact on mood and wellbeing.
“We’re strong believers in the #TechforGood movement, dedicated to making a positive social impact. We’ve introduced a 1-for-1 subscription-based model, meaning users who subscribe to the full version of KeepAppy will automatically “gift” a lifetime subscription free of charge to someone in need, chosen by one of our partnered helplines,” adds Ms Carton.
Who’s behind it?
Founder Aimee-Louise Carton and co-founderWill Ben Sims started working on KeepAppy in 2018 after meeting on the MSc in Entrepreneurship in Trinity College Dublin. The founding partnership come together from two very different perspectives and experiences but with a joint genuine intention to make a difference in mental wellness and create something suitable for every user.
Ms Carton reveals:
I have experienced mental illness firsthand. From Borderline Personality Disorder to PTSD, I have suffered extreme suicidal ideation and almost attempted to take my own life. During my recovery, as a millennial, I wanted to practice different wellness techniques on my phone, however the only options that I could find were meditation-focused, which went against the doctor’s advice as mediation isn’t suitable for my personality or condition. I identified a gap in the market for alternative digital preventative wellness techniques to meditation, as it’s often mismarketed as the only wellness tool available to individuals.”
Hailing from Kansas City, Co-Founder Will Ben studied business at Trinity before going on to undertake the same Masters in Entrepreneurship as Ms Carton. He started the Masters in Entrepreneurship to learn the skills and tools to prepare himself for when he found his entrepreneurial calling. “He partnered with me for one of our first projects of the Masters’ and we’ve continued working together since,” says Ms Carton.
She continues, “Like everyone throughout life, Will Ben has experienced periods of highs, lows, and mental unwellness. Growing up, mental health wasn’t something that Will Ben saw as being talked about much. He never gave much thought to the importance of mental health until his uncle’s suicide in 2013. Will Ben loved the mission that I had embarked on, to create a wellness app and help to remove the stigma of mental ‘unwellness’.”
How is it funded?
KeepAppy is currently being crowd-funded on Kickstarter until the 16th of August. Those pledging €10 or more will enjoy exclusive early bird access to the complete premium version of the app, and up to 50% off the purchase of a full subscription when the full version of the app launches.
The team hope to launch the first beta version of the app at the end of August 2019, and the full version of in January 2020.
Ms Carton says, “We have plans for new features and the inclusion of our gamification feature, Keepies! Keepies were inspired by my dog Aura, and games from my childhood like Nintendogs and Tamagotchis. Keepies are little avatars users can care for, we’re hoping to encourage people to engage in their wellbeing techniques every day. The more our users interact with the app, the more points they’ll receive to play with and care for their Keepies.”