Joshua Haynes is the founder of Masawa, a mental wellness social impact fund. After living with mental illness for decades Joshua came to realize that his unhealthy relationship with food was linked to his poor mental health. He began to take serious steps to strengthen his own mental health, but noticed that, despite statistics that showed high rates of mental illness in the American public, many investors were not focused on funding technologies that promote mental wellness. Joshua founded Masawa in 2019 in order to invest in innovative mental wellness technologies that will fill in this gap. Joshua’s career has been anything but linear. He’s worked in international development, in software development and as a senior development technologist in addition to working in 30+ countries. Joshua attended Boston University, where he majored in business administration with a concentration in international finance and quantitative methods. He also attended Tuft University where he received a Master of International Business. Tune in to see how the zigs and zags of Joshua’s career led him to start a social impact fund to help improve mental wellness!

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT IN THIS EPISODE: 

  • How a social impact fund is different from a traditional venture fund (4:58)
  • How companies are innovating mental wellness technologies (9:06)
  • What three steps the fund takes before investing in a company (9:55)
  • Where to find the money to start a social impact fund (12:41)
  • What kinds of mental wellness products are on the market (15:25)
  • How to identify and cope with tough feelings during traumatic events like COVID-19  (21:04)
  • Where you can find mental health resources online including Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof products (23:49) 
  • How recognizing his unhealthy relationship with food kicked off Joshua’s mental health journey (25:57)
  • How working for the Peace Corps gave him perspective on his life (36:39)
  • How he remains humble, despite his career success (42:31)
  • Why getting fired was a blessing in disguise (46:13)
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