Insight Industry: Start-up Opa Mind a World Economic Forum Top Innovator

Submitted on Monday, 11/07/2022

Mental health start-up Opa Mind has been selected as one of the winners of the Youth Mental Health Challenge of the World Economic Forum.

Opa Mind will join the UpLink Innovation Network of the World Economic Forum and will be recognised as a Top Innovator.

UpLink is the open innovation platform of the World Economic Forum. Launched at Davos 2020, in partnership with Salesforce and Deloitte, UpLink is a digital platform centred around innovation challenges and digital communities, which are dedicated to advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Speaking about the recognition by the World Economic Forum, Insight’s Prof Tomas Ward who is PI on the project said,

“This recognition by a body such as the World Economic Forum is testament to the real innovation impact that arises when entrepreneurs with vision and clarity of purpose engage with academia through the mechanisms made possible through Science Foundation Ireland.

“I am proud that the Insight SFI Research Centre for Data Analytics has matched Martin and his teams’ appetite for risk-taking with a faith in them as entrepreneurs and an ability to produce technology that can actively help Opa on the next stage of their journey. We are looking forward to the deepening of the relationship and the scientific and engineering challenges that it may bring to us.”

Martin Lawlor, CEO of Opa Mind said, “The empathy, passion and commitment shown by our Opa TEAM to deliver on our mission to help and empower people who struggle, is just outstanding. The wonderful benefits of using AI as a tool has enabled Opa Mind to offer hope to millions of people around the world who because of stigma, keep their emotional pressures internalised within and are afraid to verbalise them. The detrimental economic and societal costs of this are staggering and we need to help people to break this stigma.
“We are indebted to our academic partners in DCU and Insight and particularly Professor Tomas Ward, who’s recognition of this issue and readiness to work with Opa, demonstrates the university’s extraordinary awareness of issues that profoundly affect the citizens of the world and their willingness to try and help.”

Opa Mind was founded in 2020 by Martin Lawlor. He has over 20 years’ experience working in the wellness and emotional health space.

A collaboration with Dublin City University in 2021 saw the company working with the Insight Centre for Data Analytics under lead PI Professor Tomas Ward and his team in developing a core API element of the support platform. Opa Mind also worked with DCU’s School Of Psychology.

The company’s ‘Voice Diary’ support App software seeks to help people who feel that they cannot reach out to anyone about their emotional pressures because of mental health stigma.

It allows people privately and anonymously to speak into their own device through a therapeutically designed and informed process, it sends back a range of reflective metrics and indicators across emotional states and vocal biomarkers. Opa Mind encourages people on a supported private journey towards self-empowerment that leads to an eventual decision to reach out for support and that of their loved ones.

You can learn more here.