This week on Start-Up Spotlight, I spoke with Aimée-Louise Carton, the co-founder of social enterprise KeepAppy, an app which puts wellness in peoples’ pockets. Aimée-Louise is also an award-winning entrepreneur, international mental health activist, advocate for tech-based social enterprise and outspoken feminist. She studied Sociology for her undergrad and followed this up with an MSc in Entrepreneurship in Trinity Business School. She told me about the business, her background, future aspirations and a whole range of other topics.
Along with her co-founder Will Ben Sims, the duo have brought the KeepAppy app to beta-phase. Users can download the app and use many of its features, on both free and paid plans, and begin mood-tracking, journaling, setting mindfulness goals and writing a gratitude diary, amongst other things. Whilst not fully-developed just yet, what you get in the beta version is hugely impressive. Many of the tools and practices which we wish we had time for are now available at the touch of a button; there really is no excuse anymore not to actively work on our mindfulness and mental health. Another great aspect of the app is how diverse the options are; there is something for everyone to benefit from. Lastly, it is evident that the team have a keen eye for design. KeepAppy is a joy to use, is very ergonomic and has a pleasant flow to using it.
All of this, paired with the passion and real-life experiences which have shaped the foundation of the app, culminate in an experience which is as fun as it is rewarding. I personally wouldn’t typically use an app of this nature. But, when testing it out for this article, I found myself enjoying and grasping exactly why so many people find strength and resolve in using the features offered by KeepAppy.
If you ask Aimée-Louise about what the future is for KeepAppy, she’s likely to take out her phone and open the app. No, she’s not being rude. She’s demonstrating the ‘Keepies’, the app’s newest addition. Keepies are Artificial Reality-based gamifications, which aim to encourage users to document their emotions more regularly by adding some fun to the process. When you open this feature, your phone’s camera displays your surroundings on your screen, whilst some clever AR adds a virtual pet to the mix. The goal is to look after the Keepie, which in turn means looking after yourself, as you find yourself logging on more frequently to check the Keepie’s status. Think Tamagochis for the 21st century, with the added benefit of taking care of yourself
I was curious to ascertain how she had managed to get this far so rapidly. The answer? Time management. “Being able to prioritise tasks, identifying time required and managing all that needs to be done are highly valuable skills.” This has been a common tip in the Start-Up Series column, one which I hope is being taken on-board by aspiring entrepreneurs.
When reading this piece, try bear in mind that the co-founders are merely in their mid 20s. The company is developing at a rapid pace and is certainly on route to putting the tools for an improved mindfulness in peoples’ pockets. What’s more, they match every paid subscription with an anonymous donation to someone who is struggling. KeepAppy is a wonderful example that young people can build their own businesses and act in a socially-conscious manner simultaneously.
Alex Lohier – Deputy Editor