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This family physician started Inkblot, a company that makes mental health care more accessible

This family physician started Inkblot, a company that makes mental health care more accessible

Company HQ: Yorkville Founded: 2015 Employees: 16

How it works: “Inkblot matches people experiencing mental health problems with certified health care professionals. Customers connect with their counsellor via secure video. The first session is free, and after that, it costs $75 an hour.”

Eureka moment: “I’m a family physician, and I run a clinic in Brantford. Two of my patients died by suicide while they were waiting to see me. I also had patients travelling really long distances for their appointments. No matter how hard I worked, I couldn’t meet demand, so I started Inkblot as a way of combining technology and modern psychology to provide high-quality care.”

How much you spent initially: “It cost $100,000 to build the initial prototype. My co-founder, Luke Vigeant, and I didn’t pay ourselves salaries, so we worked other full-time jobs to make it happen.”

Your turning point: “After a few months, hundreds of family physicians started using Inkblot and recommending it to their patients. We clearly tapped into a need for more accessible mental health care.”

Your big-time backers: “Amplify Capital invested $500,000 last year.”

The best advice you’ve received: “ ‘Ask yourself who you want to be.’ It makes the decision-making process much easier when you’re operating based on your principles—even if the decision seems bad for business.”

The worst advice you’ve received: “ ‘Don’t look for investors at an early stage.’ There are many different types of investors. Some will put their money in early because they’re passionate about the project.”

Tech jargon you use too much: “ ‘Conversion funnel.’ We look at the people who try our service, find it helpful and return for a second session.”

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Tech jargon you hate: “ ‘Scalable.’ People always confuse it with ‘growing.’ ”

Your tech role model: “Ali Parsa of Babylon Health. He wants to deliver the best health care possible to every person in the world.”

Your go-to office attire: “A sweater, jeans and dress shoes. I’m trying to be business casual while comfortable.”

Coolest thing in your office: “A whiteboard full of equations. It’s ridiculous, but we’re trying to define the mathematical equation for human psychology.”

App you can’t live without: “Google Calendar. Other people schedule my events, so I’m always surprised to find out what I’m up to.”

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If you weren’t running a start-up: “I’d run an innovation lab, like Bell Labs in the ’60s and ’70s—a mix of science and industry.”

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