Startup Interview with Josh Herst, Joon Care Co-Founder and CEO by@chrisc

Startup Interview with Josh Herst, Joon Care Co-Founder and CEO

Joon Care is a teletherapy practice for teens and young adults, providing quality mental health care from the convenience of home.

HackerNoon Reporter: Please tell us briefly about your background.

I've spent the past 20 plus years in a variety of business and product leadership roles at Microsoft, Expedia, and multiple startups, including as CEO of Walk Score, which was acquired by Redfin. Before founding Joon Care, I was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Pioneer Square Labs.

What's your startup called? And in a sentence or two, what does it do?

Our company, Joon Care, provides mental health care for teens and young adults ages 13-24. Our personalized, evidence-based, and skills-focused approach includes one-on-one therapy sessions with skilled providers, a mobile app-based experience, and support and resources for parents and guardians.

What is the origin story?

Well before the COVID pandemic, the U.S. was facing a heartbreaking mental health crisis, particularly among teenagers and young adults. After learning about the overwhelming need for mental health care for youth while volunteering with Seattle area nonprofits, I began studying the problem and potential solutions. In the fall of 2019, I had the great good fortune to be introduced to Dr. Amy Mezulis, our co-founder and Chief Clinical Officer. Amy and I came together around a shared vision for how to deliver a new model for mental health care. We spun the company, Joon Care, out of Pioneer Square Labs, a Seattle-based startup studio, and began serving our first clients in April 2020.

What do you love about your team, and why are you the ones to solve this problem?

I do love our team! To begin, everyone on our team believes in and is dedicated to our mission to make high-quality mental health care accessible and engaging for teens and young adults. Our clinical leadership team, led by Dr. Amy Mezulis, has deep clinical and research expertise in adolescent mental health and evidence-based treatment. We have a diverse, compassionate, and skilled team of therapists who work with clients to help them achieve their mental health goals. And supporting all of this clinical work is a talented team of engineers, designers, and operators with experience shipping and scaling market-leading products and services at companies like Convoy, Microsoft, Redfin, and Uber.

At the moment, how do you measure success? What are your core metrics?

We measure success by client engagement, the accessibility of our service, and, of course, the effectiveness of our care. There are a variety of ways to measure client engagement, including the number of individuals under our care, retention through treatment, and use of the Joon Care app. Similarly, we measure accessibility in several ways, including geographic reach, the scope of care provided, and affordability to clients. Importantly, we track client symptoms so we can continue to tailor our treatment to each client's individual needs and confirm the effectiveness of our care.

What’s most exciting about your traction to date?

In addition to building and having the opportunity to work with a world-class team, the most rewarding part of the startup journey is seeing a product or service you envisioned come to life and have a positive impact on people's lives. More than half of our clients meet the criteria for a depression or anxiety disorder when they begin with Joon Care. After treatment, more than 50% have recovered from anxiety, and more than 45% have recovered from depression. While we believe we can continue to do better, these effectiveness rates meet or exceed industry standards for outpatient therapy for adolescent depression and anxiety. It is exciting to know that we are helping teens, young adults, and their families.

Vote for Joon Care for Startup of the Year, Seattle!

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