The seeds for Colorful Zone were planted in 2011, when Negar Yaghoobi founded her first startup, RangiRangi, in Iran.
“My goal was to improve the mental well-being of women, and the results showed me that I could take my vision further,” she tells ventureLAB. More than 700,000 women used our products including an award-winning mobile app to enhance positive feelings, helping them respond to stressful life events. The experience inspired Negar to reach further and to launch Colorful Zone in 2017.
“I wanted to continue the same vision, but this time, I wanted to add integrating behaviour science and AI to our solutions to make them more effective,” she says.
At the tool’s core is the belief that there are five jars that hold the ingredients to creating more joyful moments in life. “We believe - and scientific findings back us on this - that by keeping these jars full or, in other words, investing in our togetherness, curiosity, health, meaningfulness and mindfulness, we can achieve a more joyful life over time.”
People using the app are invited to read content, play games and take part in activities that help them build resilience in these areas over time. When the balls in one jar start to drop, activities prompt them to spend some time honing that skill. Everything is customized to a user’s unique state of being.
“Our technology makes us unique; we have created a personalized solution instead of one that is one-size-fits-all,” Negar tells us. It’s based in science, she notes, adding the project is now a case study in more than 10 universities across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom for the way it can effectively impact and measure resilience.
It’s also been recognized by ventureLAB and was selected to join the organization’s 2022-23 Tech Undivided cohort, something Negar says has helped propel Colorful Zone’s growth forward.
“As a startup, we needed advice on many aspects of our work, and consistent support in our go-to-market stage. ventureLab has a great structure for that, and so far, they have played a game-changing role in our project,” she says. “We have a great advisor who is in touch with me almost every day, and she connects us to the organizations and experts we need.”
Leaning on the advice and support of a great team is critical to starting a business, she notes, saying she’s learned many things as both a person and entrepreneur over the years. She tells anyone who wants to launch a startup to use every chance or failure to build their dream and says you have to work on your vision “persistently, positively and patiently.”
She also believes that having the growth mindset of a scientist is key. “You should always remember that your idea is not perfect, and might not work the way you want it to in the real world,” she says.
“In fact, once you create a startup, you should stick to your vision, but you should also know that you can change the means of reaching your goal to make the most effective solutions in the real world.”
That’s how you’ll make an impact for your end-user.
“We have always tried to learn and move forward,” Negar says about what makes her current work on Colorful Zone special. “We have worked immensely hard on our craft and have created numerous products that actually work… [we are helping people be] happier, more resilient [versions of themselves].”
ventureLAB’s Tech Undivided initiative is creating an inclusive tech ecosystem that increases representation by removing barriers and reducing unconscious bias to give women founders an equitable opportunity to raise capital and generate revenue. Funded in part by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, as part of the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, Tech Undivided leverages a merit-based, gender-balanced Strategic Mentor Network of entrepreneurs and business experts and a growing network of industry partners, enabling women founders to grow and scale locally, and compete globally.
ventureLAB is a leading global founder community for hardware technology and enterprise software companies in Canada. Located at the heart of Ontario’s innovation corridor in York Region, ventureLAB is part of one of the biggest and most diverse tech communities in Canada. Our initiatives focused on raising capital, talent retention, commercializing technology and IP, and customer acquisition have enabled thousands of companies to create over 4,000 jobs and raise more than $200 million in investment capital. At ventureLAB, we grow globally competitive tech titans that build-to-scale in Canada, for global markets.