Tell us about yourself?
I’m Eliott, co-founder, and CEO of Head Habitat.
My background is a little unusual in that I’m actually a licensed veterinarian.
During my studies, I started my first company in the digital publishing space and went on to work in a number of different industries. My experience in both business and science opened up interesting opportunities for me and ultimately led me to start Head Habitat.
What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?
I think many people underestimate the sheer effort and time it takes to get a new startup off the ground. There are many ups, but even more downs, so without support, it can be extremely challenging. I’m very lucky to have the support of my wife, family, and friends.
If you could go back in time to any moment from your journey, and give yourself one tip, what would it be?
A good tip to my younger self would be to nurture my network. Throughout my career and personal life, I’ve met incredible people, but I didn’t put a lot of effort into keeping in touch with them or nurturing relationships with them. Today I know that having a somewhat close network can be a great asset as a startup founder, and also for life in general.
What makes you stand out as an entrepreneur?
I try to keep a positive mindset – especially in the light of failure. Keeping a positive mindset helps create new opportunities, which in turn helps increase the chance of success.
What are some of the best working habits you’ve gained over the past couple of years?
In the past few years, I got better at observing myself and analysing what improves my productivity, and what doesn’t. By doing this I got a better insight into all kinds of aspects that improve my productivity, from the food that I eat to the times I schedule my meetings. Simple A/B testing and analysing the outcomes will help you find out what works for you.
Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I was working in the medical affairs team of the pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca. There, I realised how many people do not have access to life-saving drugs, simply due to bureaucracy, costs, or lacking insurance coverage.
Simultaneously the pandemic was having a detrimental impact on many people’s mental health, so the idea to create an accessible, affordable solution to improve one’s mental wellbeing was born.
After some research, we realised that gen z and millennials are not going to their family physician to get a referral to see a psychologist.
Instead, they look for tips on how to deal with their mental health challenge in places like Youtube or look for support in online communities like Reddit.
That’s when the idea of Head Habitat started to become more concrete and we set out on a mission to make mental healthcare accessible to all.
Where do you see your business in five years?
Currently, the digital mental health space is very crowded, with users constantly switching between providers.
I expect the market to mature in the coming years, with companies consolidating to offer better treatment solutions throughout the patient journey of their customers.
Head Habitat is well-positioned to become a leader in the direct-to-consumer mental health space. By scaling up our growth and reaching our milestones I expect us to be a key player in five years.
What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you in getting there?
In light of the strong competition in the market, the biggest challenge will be to stay creative in order to find innovative ways to help and reach our customers.
Talk to us about your biggest success story so far?
As of today we are still bootstrapped and together with my co-founder Lior, our team, and our partners, we were able to build a product that already helps thousands of users improve their mental wellbeing every day.
How do clients and customers find you? Are you much of a salesperson for yourself?
We are a very consumer-centric company, so as such, direct-to-consumer marketing is our main growth strategy.
Currently, we are increasingly exploring collaborations with companies that are interested in offering our platform to their employees, as well as with stakeholders in the healthcare and insurance industries that want to improve their offerings for their clients.
I think we’re all salespeople in one way or another. If I’m not selling to a prospective customer, then I’m probably selling our vision to our team, partners, investors, etc.
What one tip would you give to fellow startup founders?
Work on the things that you believe in. If you don’t, then you’re wasting your time and energy on something that doesn’t mean much to you and will most likely not succeed.
And finally, what do you hope the future brings both you personally, and your business?
I hope the future brings growth, both for Head Habitat and for me personally, while not losing track of the things that really matter in life.