European impact demo day sparks mental health discussions

ULTRA.VC, an EU-based impact accelerator and early-stage investor, released the second cohort of purpose-driven startups at the Demo Day, held in Warsaw on June 27.

The event brought together tech entrepreneurs, investors, and representatives of the local startup ecosystem to display new impact-driven tech solutions from across Europe and provide a platform for founders and investors to discuss the mental health climate within the industry.

Nine investment-ready ULTRA.VC portfolio startups from Poland, Lithuania, France, the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands displayed their technological solutions, providing tangible impact in the following sectors: Personal & Mental Wellbeing, Education and Lifelong Learning, Future of Work, New Governance, Impact-focused FinTech, and Ethical Use of AI.

Voda: the UK-based LGBTQIA+ mental health app designed by leading LGBTQIA+ psychotherapists. The app was launched in response to rising anti-LGBTQIA+ sentiments globally and currently serves 13k+ queer people globally. By that date, Voda has raised £270k in pre-seed funding from Freiraum Ventures, Lightbulb Trust, and ULTRA.VC.

GIFTD: the ultimate stock clearance solution from Germany. GIFTD offers a delivery/subscription model for exclusive brand giveaways, providing a 5-10x better clickthrough rate for brands compared to influencer marketing.

iHairium: a US-based online healthcare ecosystem providing help for people who suffer from hair and scalp-related problems with diagnosis and treatment.

Kano: an online men’s health clinic based in France. It provides convenient, discreet, and safe care to men with intimate health issues, millions of whom are underserved today.

Thera: a Lithuania-based personal mental health tracker and diary that helps people better understand the nature of their feelings and eventually improve their emotional wellbeing. Over 27,000 users actively use the solution monthly.

You are a Legend: a closed international club with Medical Doctor's Competitions for healthcare stakeholders.

Maramora: a Poland-based startup offering a digital healing space, where one can relax and minimise negative emotions through art practices and knowledge. Maramora is the first technological solution uniting the power of art and psychology. 

Stry: a digital platform for sports enthusiasts that connects US users with professional Europe-based personal coaches, providing personalised workout plans adjusted in accordance with the feedback and unlimited support for the price of a single offline session with a personal coach.   

Fandy: a platform that helps EU-based businesses integrate microdonations to local charities into their checkout flow to make meaningful contributions while boosting customer retention by 30% and average check by 26%.

Additionally, the Demo Day became a platform for founders and investors to discuss how founders and VCs can talk about mental health. Eugene Valuev, founding partner at ULTRA.VC, Borys Musielak, founding partner at SMOK Ventures, Kris Jack, Co-Founder of VODA, and Justyna Grzywaczyk-Krysztofiak, Head of Culture and People at Mindgram, discussed the relations between startup founders and investors and whether there is place for openness and vulnerability.

Borys Musielak thinks startup founders and investors are like a family. “Sometimes in the family, no one talks to each other and blames each other, but it’s family. And it’s up to you to make it a proper family.” Both startups and investors should take it as a personal responsibility to learn to discuss uncomfortable and vulnerable situations in a healthy way. The discussion panel was moderated by Zosia Wanat, a CEE reporter at Sifted