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UK Mental health tech start-up ‘Discova’ named as Tech Nation Rising Stars 3.0 finalist

UK mental health and wellness platform Discova (formerly Myndr) has been selected as one of twenty finalists in Tech Nation’s Rising Stars 3.0 competition.

The esteemed programme brings together some of the country’s brightest tech start-ups from across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Aiming to support early-stage companies in their scale-up efforts, the competition culminates in the top twenty companies showcasing their work to an audience of investors, influencers and the wider tech community. Just ten of these companies will be selected as the year’s ‘Rising Stars’.

After being shortlisted for the regional finals, Lizzy Hodcroft pitched her company to a panel of expert judges for the nationwide selection process. Impressed by the company’s innovative concept, passionate team and impressive growth throughout 2020, the panel chose Discova as one of the twenty companies that “stood out”.

Discova CEO, Lizzy Hodcroft, said today: “To be accepted this year and then make it to the finals is amazing. It certainly means that we are on the right track with our business, moving in the direction that we should be. It’s also a great time to take stock of how far we have come and celebrate the success.”

Founded in 2018 by Lizzy Hodcroft and fellow entrepreneur, Emma Reilly, Discova is a digital platform that promotes wellbeing and helps companies and its employees battle common mental health issues via peer-to-peer support.

Designed for both personal and corporate use, the soon to launch platform utilises the power of data and machine learning to deliver personalised support and guidance to suit different personality traits, learning styles and life experiences. A unique feature of the app is the steps Discova have taken to make the product accessible; representative to different cultures and backgrounds as well as tackling unconscious bias.

The idea behind Discova stems from Ms Hodcroft and Ms Reilly’s personal mental health struggles and frustrations accessing mental health support through the NHS. With the isolation and loneliness of the pandemic having a crippling effect on the nation’s mental health, Discova’s platform is more important now than ever.

Building a business that is seeking to bring positive change into the daily lives of people at home is something a lot of people connect with at the moment,” continues Lizzy.

Mental health and wellbeing are being given a lot more attention in recent years. Covid-19 has helped to highlight this.

The pandemic has radically accelerated efforts to promote work-life balance, raise mental health awareness and provide emotional support to those that need it.

Mental health and wellness support can no longer be location-dependent and I believe there has been a shift from treatment to prevention. We are all dealing with so much right now, trying to balance our lives at home while also planning for a future that, at times, seems non-existent.

Discova is important because we are helping people to gain the coping skills they need to get through this tough period.”

This isn’t the first time that the company has applied for the Tech Nation programme. Last year the founding duo applied for the competition without success, however they remained undeterred.

Over the following year, in the middle of a global pandemic, Emma and Lizzy propelled the business forward. In April 2020, the company was awarded a £300,000 grant from the Innovate UK fund. With over 1600 applications and only a 4% chance of success, the company wrestled out strong competition with one of the highest-graded scores in the grant round.

Crowned Startup of the Year for 2020 by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), the company has since grown its team and solidified partnerships with the likes of Home Group and the RAF’s innovation hub, RAFX.

Its shortlisting for the Rising Stars competition comes at an exciting time for the company as it kicks off the year with an investment round, aiming to raise £500,000 by April 2021.

Discova will also begin a number of high-profile contracts and is set to host the Newcastle’s first mental health conference of its kind, Discova X Con on Thursday August 12th 2021, with panellists that includes Ex-Premier League football star Clarke Carlisle. The event will also give Discova the chance to reveal its fully formed application.

Strict government Covid-19 guidelines will be adhered to and details of which will be published in due course.

With proud roots in the North East of England, Discova’s founders have a passion for the region and its burgeoning tech community.

Lizzy adds: “I’m proud to be able to wake up each morning and commit my focus, time and energy to something that is bringing good into the world.”

To do this while representing the North East makes me even prouder. The North East is all too often overlooked when it comes to start-ups and tech so I am really happy that I can do my bit to bring attention to this region.”

For more information about Discova, please visit: https://discovahealth.com/

For more information about Tech Nation Rising Stars 3:0 visit: https://technation.io/programmes/rising-stars/

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