This article is part of a series on Women in Tech. Read the series here.
The story of how Brenda Ahenkorah founded My Well Self is an incredibly personal one.
“I went through some health issues and decided to turn to the wellness space to cure what I was going through,” she says, adding she was on the hunt for services that would complement the traditional therapies she was already undergoing.
What Brenda found was disorienting: there was no centralized location to source trusted, credible health and wellness providers in and around Toronto, which meant people were left with the daunting task of finding wellness treatments on their own. After one too many Google searches and scouring Facebook groups for recommendations, a frustrated Brenda decided to take on the task of building one herself.
“My Well Self is an online wellness marketplace that helps Canadians and corporations find personalized health and mental wellness providers with live wellness matchers and integrated scheduling solutions,” she says.
People can visit the website and have someone walk them through their wellness needs so they find the perfect provider given their lived experiences. A website visitor can then book an appointment in real-time with a provider of their choice.
All of the providers on the platform are fully accredited and screened, so visitors can feel assured whoever they engage with is reputable and trusted, and almost all providers are covered under insurance so corporations can use the website as a resource for their employees as part of their benefits plan.
Having started the business right before the pandemic, Brenda says she learned that as an entrepreneur you have to trust your gut, especially if the idea you have is scalable or tangible. She realized the importance of speaking to the right people about the idea right off the bat.
“You’re going to speak to a lot of people who don’t get what you’re doing, but you have to align yourself with cheerleaders - those people who see value in your idea right away and help you out.”
One of those mentors for Brenda was Danielle Graham, a growth advisor with ventureLAB and venture capitalist. Danielle introduced Brenda to the organization’s Tech Undivided program, an initiative for women tech founders to grow and scale their business. Another mentor was Colin Hung who helped Brenda see the big vision of her business.
“The Tech Undivided program highlights that there are challenges specific to women-led, tech-based companies. I’m glad to affiliate myself with the program and to be among an amazing cohort of women who are all doing really cool, interesting things.”
Up next for Brenda and My Well Self is the launch of the organization’s official platform.
“Really, what we want to do, our mission, is to highlight the financial profits and health benefits that come with wellness, not only to the individual but also for corporations and the government,” she says. “We want to be a space where people come to find trusted wellness care and know that it will have an impact on them as an individual and on the Canadian landscape.”
Brenda adds: “It's an ambitious and big goal, but I truly believe in it and believe that we need to start talking about wellness complementing other traditional therapies out there.”
ventureLAB’s Tech Undivided offers a comprehensive 6-month program to enable women-led tech companies to scale their businesses. The program creates a support ecosystem of resources and networking opportunities for women founders focused on key pillars of raising capital, commercializing technology and IP, attracting talent, and acquiring customers. Applications for Tech Undivided are open now! Apply today to access mentorship, peer-to-peer support, strategically aligned partners, and opportunities to pitch.
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 4,500 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.