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A Swedish couple launches the Inner Foundation to fund mental health-focused startups

Annika Sten Pärson and Pär-Jörgen Pärson have launched the Inner Foundation, a non-profit organization devoted to inner health, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to contribute to startups with mental health technology for the next 20 years. The foundation will invest €100 million in inner health services with a focus on young adults. To date, they have already invested in over six organizations which include Meela Health, Strong Minds, 1825 Therapy Center, First Close Partners, BlueCall, Ment, NudgeLabs, and Unconventional Ventures.

Launching The Inner Foundation

The Inner Foundation announces a commitment of €100m over the next 20 years to invest in mental health. Created by Annika Sten Pärson and Pär-Jörgen Pärson, the foundation has made more than 6 investments to date.

Annika Sten Pärson and Pär-Jörgen Pärson are launching today The Inner Foundation with a commitment to invest in both for-profit and non-profit organizations that are ready to scale to improve the inner health for the many. The foundation will focus particularly on young adults.

The Inner Foundation, Annika Sten Pärson“With our backgrounds, we know the strong impact entrepreneurs can have in changing society and our belief systems for the better. We recognize the need for more investments and scaling solutions for mental health, inclusion and diversity. The cost of doing nothing is just too high”, comments Annika Sten Pärson, Co-founder and Partner.

In 2020, $9.5 trillion was spent on health globally but only 1% was used on addressing mental health, according to WHO’s mental health report. “It is about time that we recognize there is a global social crisis and people all over the world feel increasingly lost, lonely, disconnected and excluded with deteriorating health as a result. But, there are solutions ready to scale, driven by innovative social entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and changemakers holding the potential to contribute to real and sustainable change” , Annika Sten Pärson continues.

The Inner Foundation, therefore, will operate as both enabler, and activist, uniting public, private and non-profit efforts that cultivate healthy human development. The Inner Foundation will invest in innovative solutions, building community and context understanding, and will contribute to increased diversity, equity, and inclusion in our society. The Foundation believes that there is massive funding required to finance a multitude of initiatives, from many funding sources and stakeholders, in order to create sustainable and impactful change and therefore welcomes opportunities to partner with like-minded organizations and individuals.

The Inner Foundation, Pär-Jörgen Pärson“The Inner Foundation aims to attract as many as possible who share our sense of urgency to address these issues. Our role is to find and partner with strong changemakers so they can scale faster to realise their visions – there’s a mental health emergency and it is indeed the right time to put serious capital to work”, comments Pär-Jörgen Pärson, co- founder and Non-Executive Board Member.

The Foundation has, to date, invested in more than six organizations including Strong Minds – a non-profit that treats depression in women and adolescents in low-income communities in sub-Saharan Africa, Meela, a software company significantly improving health outcomes by achieving better matching between clients and therapists – and First Close Partners, an investment vehicle investing in funds owned by underrepresented venture fund managers to help them get to a “first close.”

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Nurcin Metingil
Nurcin Metingil
A permanent student, a passionate first reader and nowadays doing master’s degree in Publishing Management. Beside these, I am up for games! I have been playing games since I was 6. Now, I am whispering "Business. Business. Numbers. Is this working?"

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