Doctor Mario: The video games made for mental health

Small Steps Vol. 51: Games that are good for the soul; the rise of impact term sheets; and the human element of authentic impact measurement.
March 24, 2022
Giant Leap

"How human humans are”

— Molly Wood, journalist turned impact VC

What we’re thinking about

🕹️ Games for the soul. Back in 2017, researchers found that playing Tetris helped people process car crash trauma. Now, gaming startup, Deepwell, has come out of incubation with two goals: Creating clinically-recognised games to tackle depression, anxiety and hypertension, and providing a platform for other video game creators to do the same. Australian startup Lumi Interactive is already on the case, being recently backed by Galileo Ventures to create games that improve mental wellbeing.

💃 Impact terms go Broadway. Blackbird released its Impact & ESG policy, led by their Head of Impact, Kate Glazebrook (Co-Founder of Applied), committing amongst other things to compulsory sustainability and diversity riders in term sheets. Embedded impact terms becoming the norm is a new high tidemark for impact VC going mainstream. We see the next phase being defined by authenticity through transparency and sharing lessons and tools to accelerate the transition. Blackbird gets great marks here too, releasing a sustainability policy action plan with Rewild to help startups take the first steps.

🔊 Authentic ambitions. Impact authenticity is clearly in the zeitgeist, with the SEC considering a rule that would require public US companies to report the GHG impact of their businesses. Emily Kirsch, Managing Partner of climate tech investor Powerhouse VC, takes this a step further with their investments, measuring not just GHG emissions reductions, but also human aspects like climate resiliency and adaptation to get a fuller picture on progress towards humans co-existing with the environment.

🌎 A human environment. This is echoed by climate VC Molly Wood, who explored the negative human impacts of the lithium and battery supply chain, meeting indigenous people who would rather die than let a dirty mine on their land. It underlines the importance of innovation towards the best solutions for both people and planet - and Australia is leading the charge with innovations like lithium-sulphur batteries that have longer lives, require less lithium, and don’t use other rare earth metals with their own dirty supply chains.

New paths

🧠 Seer Medical is searching for a Senior Product Manager

👗 Glam Corner is on the hunt for an SEO Lead

🐛 Goterra is after a Farm Hand

👩‍⚕️ Coviu is on the lookout for a Product Owner

🔥 Check out our Giant Leap Fund jobs board for over 100+ available positions. There’s even more jobs at ethical companies on the global B-Work job board.

Giant Leaps

🤸‍♀️  Gemma Lloyd from Work180 featured on a panel examining the “third shift”, a trend where women are asked to take on more duties in the workplace than their usual roles.

🧀 Change Foods launched a new video showcasing their cheesy story.

👩‍⚕️ Coviu’s cofounder and CEO Silvia Pfeiffer featured on the Day One podcast, discussing the origins and future of telehealth.

🧠 Seer Medical took part in Epiminder’s $16 million raise as it continues to develop technology to monitor epilepsy.

⭐  Giant Leap Partner, Rachel Yang, received the Rising Star Award for Young Alumni, in the Faculty of Business and Economics, The University of Melbourne's 2022 Business and Economics Alumni of Distinction Award.

💭 Another partner, Adam Milgrom shared thoughts on the state of Australia’s impact venture capital sector in The Australian.

Connect with us

👩‍💻 Rachel will feature on a panel at The Commons this week for the Anyone Can Launch event, promoting entrepreneurs identifying as Bla(c)k Women and Women of Colour. You can also listen to her on the Day One podcast discussing diversity and social issues in the startup sector.

For the road

⌚ People suck at self-care, which makes the passive health insights offered by the new IOS update and Australian startups like Andi Health, which provides a suite of wearables with healthcare analytics, all the more important.

👩‍⚕️ Women control more than 80% of healthcare spending, which is one of the reasons why Deena Shakir, Partner at Lux Capital, is so excited about the women’s health space.

🤖 Practise what you preach. A gender pay gap bot took some companies to task on International Women’s Day, posting the mean hourly pay difference between men and women at the organisation in response to their social media posts.

🌳 Can we eat the climate crisis? Scientists in Vienna are using an ancient microbe called Archaea to transform CO2 into the building blocks for a carbon-negative protein that can be crafted into plant-based alternative meats and dairy products. Their startup Arkeon Biotechnologies launches its first production facility in a few weeks.

🔬 Biotech bonanza. Lanzatech, which turns CO2 into Lululemon leggings, just went public via a SPAC at a $2.2b valuation.

✨ Founder, CEO, or both? Check out this panel with founders who’ve navigated the question at the Startup Vic success series.

🚀 Looking to launch the next climate tech unicorn? You might be interested in Elemental Excelerator’s 11th cohort, AWS’ Sustainable Cities program, or Western Australia’s LET’s Pitch competition for funding

🏃 No small steps when you’re pavement racing

🌟 And the James Webb telescope’s first remarkable photo of an “unremarkable” star

Further Reading

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