Hopelab recently announced an external investment initiative—Hopelab Ventures—a commitment to partner with innovators, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders who advance the well-being of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ youth. Since the social innovation lab’s founding, they’ve taken risks and looked for challenging and meaningful projects and partnerships that yield profound impact. Hopelab Ventures and their investees are passionate about the mental resilience of young people and dedicated to better serving members of their community through social impact.
I got the chance to chat with Dr. Danielle Ramo, Ph.D., Senior Director of Research at Hopelab, about Hopelab Ventures and supporting BIPOC and LGBTQ+ youth:
You recently announced Hopelab Ventures! What is that about and who are some of the companies you're working with?
Hopelab launched a small portfolio of investment ventures that address a diverse range of challenges facing BIPOC and/or LGBTQ+ youth. Each of our investees’ founding teams is passionate about the mental well-being of young people.
The Hopelab Ventures portfolio includes:
Hazel Health partners with schools to eliminate barriers to quality healthcare for all children.
Equip delivers gold-standard eating disorder care through Family-based Treatment and was created by experts in the field and people with experience.
Hurdle provides Culturally Intentional Teletherapy with a focus on serving the Black community.
Koko uses AI and machine learning to make mental health and well-being accessible to everyone, especially young adults and populations who have been traditionally underserved.
You have discussed the emphasis on supporting BIPOC and LGBTQ+ youth at Hopelab in some Psychology Today posts, why is that an important focus in this day and age?
Young people--Gen Z-ers and digital natives--are driving the innovation and technology of tomorrow. In order to create tools, interventions, and new platforms for youth, we need to meet them where they are and we also need to make sure we are focusing our investment and innovation lenses on the needs of youth that have not always been served. That’s why Hopelab Ventures is focusing on social impact investments that support mental health and well-being outcomes for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ young people.
Read a short interview with Solome on this topic in my monthly Psychology Today column.
What are some future Hopelab plans?
Hopelab is excited to support both for-profit and nonprofit teams dedicated to improving and scaling impact, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the field of social good. If your organization is aligned with our focus areas (BIPOC, LGBTQ+ youth mental health and well-being) send us an email with a brief description on the business concept, market need, backgrounds of the founders and management, and how the organization will improve the health and well-being of young people. And let us know GDBHT sent you!