This startup is helping students build mental strength to see competitive success
PeakMind has partnered with coaching institutions like Aakash Institute and Sri Chaitanya to help NEET and JEE aspirants. The platform has worked with approximately 25,000 students so far.
As parents, Neeraj Kumar, Manish Chowdhary, Sandeep Gautam, and Parth Sharma realised the need for mental health support for their children as they prepared for Boards and other competitive exams.
“Looking closely at the world around us today, we feel that not just teenagers, but children in general are under severe stress of growth, expectations, and aspirations. In terms of mental health and well-being, they are in an alarming situation,” says Neeraj Kumar, Co-founder and CEO, PeakMind.
“This becomes more pronounced for the segment which starts their competitive exam journey,” he adds.
This inspired Neeraj, Manish, Sandeep, and Parth to start, a digital platform focusing on mental health of students. Founded in 2020, the startup’s end goal is to equip students with capabilities like stress management and traits like optimism and mindfulness for competitive success.
The Bengaluru-based startup has a B2B and a B2C business model. It has partnered with coaching institutions like Aakash Institute and Sri Chaitanya to help NEET and JEE aspirants. The platform has worked with approximately 25,000 students so far.
How it works?
PeakMind has created two different programmes to meet the needs of students of different age groups.
The first one is called Compete, and as the name suggests, it caters to students who are starting or are in the middle of their competitive exams journey. The second one is called Flourish, and it targets students between classes 7 - 10.
The startup has also created a test to gauge students’ strengths and weaknesses on five parameters--productivity, mental toughness, memory and focus, social connectedness, positive outlook, and emotional wellness.
Post this assessment, students will receive their evaluation on WhatsApp. Students under the Compete program are provided with counsellors (who are trained in Behaviour Science, Applied Psychology, Positive Psychology, and Performance Coaching) to help them with any issues.
“For instance, if you look at the last decade, it has been the decade of startups, and these need certain skills, which are beyond technical skills. These include flexibility, adaptability, collaboration, stress management, anxiety, handling conflicts, and leveraging relationships. No education system teaches us these things,” explains Neeraj.
“We wanted to see what is the right age to start working towards this, and teenage is the prime age where a child starts recognising and experiencing their emotions,” he adds.
Students can get in touch with counsellors over WhatsApp, and arrange one-on-one Zoom calls. They can also attend webinars, and coaching classes where they are taught things like stress management.
Under the Flourish program, students get access to a specialised year-long knowledge and skills development program focused on ‘PRIME’ life skills–productivity, resilience, intellect, mindfulness, and emotional well-being.
This program is delivered through structured curriculum driven group live sessions, exercises, and assessments.
“The majority of issues discovered impacting the mental health of students revolve around recurring negative thoughts, continuous anxiety, anger, mood swings, tiredness, low self-worth, loneliness, depression, suicidal thoughts,” says Neeraj.
Additionally, PeakMind offers over 50 habit building tools and trackers like SMART Goals, Study Schedule, Worry Postponement, and Productivity BINGO, among others. It also provides curated guided visualisation videos around 30 day-to-day situations, which students go through.
The startup has more than 50 podcasts, instructor-led workshops, quizzes, and assessments.
While the assessment is free of cost, PeakMind charges Rs 499 per Zoom session, and Rs 249 for a seven-day coaching over WhatsApp.
According to a study by The Lancet medical journal, the COVID-19 pandemic led to 25.6% and 27.6% rise in anxiety and depression cases.
Taking note, Union Budget 2022 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1 announced the launch of the National Tele-Mental Health Programme, aimed at providing access to quality mental health counselling and care services across the country.
The past few years have seen a rise in mental health startups. PeakMind faces direct and indirect competition from the likes of Mom's Belief, Wysa, AUMHUM, Work in Progress, Emotionally.in, and Lissun, among others.
The startup raised an angel round of $300K in 2021. It is now looking to raise another round over the next year.
PeakMind is now looking to expand its presence both in India and the Middle East, and is looking to enter Singapore. It is also looking at expanding its partnerships with schools.
Edited by Megha Reddy