Newolo targets the opposite side of fitness compared to many workout apps as it provides an online self-coaching service to help with mental fitness and emotional behavior.
The concept of Newolo was born when Juho Juutilainen was in the middle of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in northern Spain.
“It was a classical mid-life crisis with a divorce, a fight against the cancer, a work identity crisis and the re-evaluation of personal values,” said Juutilainen. He realized that people should have the chance to stop, think and reflect, and that experience could be achieved vertically.
Together with Philippe Santraine, who had been wrestling with similar thoughts and emotions, they transfered the idea into a business perspective and founded Newolo in 2011 to work on Virtual Mind Coach, an online personalized tool for managing your emotions.
Newolo started this month acceleration programme at new Finnish health accelerator Vertical, which already in its first programme late 2015 had a successful mental health team Heimo. Through equity crowdfunding on Invesdor platform Heimo raised 170,357 euros earlier this year.
“It was a classical mid-life crisis with a divorce, fight against the cancer, work identity crisis…”
“The human nature is that you don’t want to get out of your comfort zone. But changes are a big part of life, and whatever changes come to you, the mind processes do not change. You face fears, emotions and all kinds of though,” says Juutilainen and highlights the importance of mental health.
The process of using Newolo is simple. The user will be guided in a tailor-made programme and he or she is expected to complete ten-stage course in around 10 weeks. The purpose is to improve mental fitness and help one to adapt to a new habit – or get rid of old one. “You will get small, quick improvements along the way, but when talking about long-term path, especially with your mind, there is no instant thing,” explains Juutilainen.
Mental fitness is a booming industry today, and the market is largely uncultivated. “There is a huge potential out there for this kind of service and we are even lacking a word to describe it,” says Juutilainen. He emphasizes that the existing services are mainly for people already suffering from burn-out, but have not many tools to help preventing it.
The next step for the company is to set a strong base in Finland before thinking about global market.