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Meet HiBoop!, the new mental health startup founded by one of Victoria’s most successful entrepreneurs

Meet HiBoop!, the new mental health startup founded by one of Victoria’s most successful entrepreneurs

Technology Sector Entrepreneurship Product Launch

Jason Morehouse was retired for one day. Last fall, he stepped away from Checkfront, the Victoria-based tourism software development company he co-founded. He had helped orchestrate a 13-year run that saw Checkfront emerge from humble beginnings (Morehouse quips that the company started in an unfinished basement with toddlers crawling around like spiders) to become one of the city’s grandest, complete with more than $10 million in funding and a three-way merger with similarly focused tourism startups Regiondo (based in Germany) and Rezdy (based in Australia).

He did all this despite navigating undiagnosed mental health struggles for the majority of his time leading Checkfront. Fittingly, 24 hours after he removed himself from the day-to-day operations of the company (Morehouse remains on its board), he launched another venture: mental health care startup HiBoop! It all came to a head during the tail end of his Checkfront tenure.

“It was quite exhausting,” Morehouse admits. “My anxiety was through the roof. I was still dealing with COVID stress and the [pressure] of managing 100 people. I found a company here on the Island that will do a full assessment, connect you with a doctor and give you all these recommendations. So, I spent a shitload of money to do that.”

He also recalls being surprised that the company used defunct software—he was, after all, still a tech entrepreneur. Innovative or legacy technology notwithstanding, the data it had spit out could not be ignored. Morehouse had scored immensely high for ADHD, complex PTSD and general anxiety disorder. “Well, that only took 40 years,” he remembers thinking as he read a lifetime of mental health struggles spelled out in a few dozen words.

Buoyed by the diagnosis, Morehouse returned to Checkfront and continued to carry out some entrepreneurial heavy lifting. He spent most of the next year orchestrating the company’s three-pronged merger in a much better headspace. Once that merger was done, Morehouse felt the urge to create. The nearly year-long experience of working to understand his own mental health gave him the idea for what would become HiBoop! Now, Morehouse had the time to launch it.

The startup aims to simplify access to mental health care. It takes a more holistic approach to psychometrics, the field of study the psychologists used to get Morehouse those diagnoses. Users sign up and then fill out a questionnaire. The platform promises a prompt response—weeks, not months. A far cry from the time it took him to receive his own results.

“If you have pink eye and you go to your doctor, your doctor says, ‘You have pink eye. Here’s a prescription,’” says Morehouse. “If you are trying to get mental health help, you end up lost in the abyss.” HiBoop! is building an algorithm to bridge that gap further. It will connect to other online health providers—Telus Health, Cognito Health, Maple—and use automation and machine learning to better understand disorders and symptoms.

The startup, which is scheduled to fully launch this year and has plans to become a certified B Corp, also boasts an all-star assembly of advisors to support certain facets, such as the digital health landscape, specific mental health diagnoses and legal intricacies.

The market it’ll serve is already there. According to the World Health Organization, some 264 million people worldwide suffer from depression while an estimated 284 million suffer from anxiety.

Considering HiBoop!’s market and mission, it doesn’t seem like Morehouse will be retiring again any time soon. ­

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