In a recent episode of the Dealmakers’ Podcast, Alejandro welcomes Dr. David Mou, a distinguished figure in the mental health and entrepreneurship space.
The conversation delves into David’s personal journey, insights into mental health for entrepreneurs, the intersection of academia and startups, and his vision for the future of mental healthcare. His company, Cerebral, has attracted funding from top-tier investors like Access Industries, Prysm Capital, Artis Ventures, and WestCap.
In this episode, you will learn:
- Mental health is a critical aspect of any successful entrepreneur’s journey. All founders can benefit from support.
- Empowerment through therapy enables individuals to understand and navigate their unique challenges for personal growth.
- Startups need to remain agile in strategy and decisive in tactics; these are crucial advantages in a dynamic market.
- The future of mental healthcare lies in adaptable, data-driven systems tailored to individual needs.
- Combining the rigor of academia with the speed of entrepreneurship can revolutionize healthcare delivery.
- Building a company with a strong sense of purpose sustains motivation even through the toughest times.
- Patient-centered care and accessibility are pivotal in transforming mental healthcare for the better.
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HealthBird is also a sponsor of this episode. They are the ultimate platform for healthcare coverage. Get started today by heading over to HealthBird.
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About David Mou:
David is combining the speed of entrepreneurship with the rigor of data science to reinvent mental healthcare delivery. David is the Chief Executive Officer of Cerebral, a leading tele-mental health company committed to improving access to high-quality care.
Cerebral has improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans across all 50 states. Previously, David was President, Co-founder, and Chief Medical Officer of Valera Health, a tele-mental health service that was able to reduce hospitalizations for patients with serious mental illness.
David is on the faculty at Harvard Medical School, and he is the Director of the Innovations Council for Massachusetts General Hospital’s Psychiatry Department.
He has conducted research on how technology can help better predict and prevent suicidal behaviors. David has been named ‘Top 10 under 35 for Healthcare’ by LinkedIn, as well as ’40 under 40′ for healthcare innovation by MedTech Boston.
David is a Soros Fellow, a Gates Scholar, a Horatio Alger National Scholar, and a member of World Economic Forum Global Shapers and the Academy of Achievement.
He graduated from Harvard College with a degree in neurobiology and earned his MD MBA from Harvard Medical School and Harvard Business School. His writings have appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine and Stat.
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Read the Full Transcription of the Interview:
Alejandro Cremades: Alrighty hello everyone and welcome to the dealmakerr show. So today. We have a really incredible founder. You know I think that the some of the topics that we’re gonna be talking about are going to resonate with many of you. You know I think that the mental health you know is something that. It’s really top of mind I personally believe that entrepreneurship. Unfortunately it involves a depression. You know it’s a lonely journey and I think that really having access to the right tools can be very very beneficial I find that the um founder that we have today you know he’s going to be telling us you know about everything you know and what they’re up to and. Why it’s important and then also some of the ah previous companies that he’s done. You know we say the last one actually you know like is is really making a killing so he’s now in a rocket ship that he’s leading and again you know, very inspiring journey so without further ado. Let’s welcome. Our guest today. David Moe welcome to the show.
David Mou: Thank you Alejandro and and really ah, appreciate your insight there mental health is really important specifically for entrepreneurs who put everything on the line to to realize a vision so looking forward to the discussion. Thanks for having me.
Alejandro Cremades: Absolutely and we’ll dig deep into that you know, just in a little bit so you were born and raised in Cincinnati with an identical twin tell us about life growing up.
David Mou: Yeah, it’s ah it’s really Fascinating. You know as a Chinese American my parents immigrated here My brother and I were the only two Asian kids in our entire high school and it was ah it was like it was a great childhood. Ah, we Ah, both went to harvard for college and I studied neuroscience and continued ah to med school and business school um eventually became a psychiatrist so became very interested in talking to people and understanding what makes them tick and what makes them not tick. And that a fascination has led me ah to become a psychiatrist and a mental health professional and along the way I started a number of companies and became very interested in the speed of entrepreneurship I felt that startups are a fantastic way to take a vision and. Take the rigor of science in clinical medicine and then accelerate that as quickly as possible so that you could spread the the goodness of that so to speak for for the for people at large.
Alejandro Cremades: I will go through through all of that in in just a little I mean 1 thing that I want to ask you is obviously you know you have the entrepreneurial spirit and as as you were alluding to I mean with your twin I mean you guys went to the same school right to harvard I mean and I know that. You know you and I have talked you know that there were areas where he was you know exceeding you know others where you were the one exceeding. How do you think that developed the competitive nature in you guys.
David Mou: Yeah, yeah, this goes to the idea that therapy is so powerful as well because it’s so empowering I should say you know if you look at yourself every one of us have had childhood experiences or relationships with people whether it’s our siblings or friends or our parents that define us today. And that dictate how we react to situations and the one that you bring up competitiveness is built into I tackle twins. Can you imagine every day you wake up, you go to school and you have someone who looks exactly like you who’s interfacing with the world just like you. You’re going to be competitive. You want to be better and we’re going to push each other to be better and you know competitiveness I should say here that all the listeners here all your entrepreneurs here are very very competitive. It could be a good thing and a bad thing. Right on the good side. It could help you create. It could be very Generative. You could come up with new ideas and realize visions that are very important create new things on the other side. It could be ah it could be negative as well, right? So if you lose out on a deal or maybe your company does not work out and you’re thinking. I I should be better I need to be better. It’s preventing you from sleeping right? So it can cause a lot of anxiety and even depression on the other side of this right? So ah, but knowing this I do my best to channel. Ah my identical twinness the the competitiveness that’s built innately within me. Ah.
David Mou: To the positive and try to try to steer away from the negative but being aware of that is very much a product of therapy. Yeah is something that I’ve undergone myself and I think it’s very very important. Um, but realizing that is actually as empowering as as anything else as going to the gym. You know the the other thing I’ll say here is it’s really interesting right? we. Get a gym Pass. We talk about mind and body. Everyone knows getting a gym pass is a good thing going running. Ah you know fit being fit is a really positive thing but we don’t have that same orientation for being the same for the mental side of things as much right? And that’s something that I think is a cultural shift that is already underway. And will be very important and in unlocking a lot of potential for for entrepreneurs.
Alejandro Cremades: Know a hundred percent now in your case, you know you ended up going to Harvard to get the ah not only they the college degree but then also you did the ah doctor of medicine degree there too I guess the question here that comes to mind is what got you so interested into how the brain works.
David Mou: Yeah, it’s fascinating. It probably has to do with the fact that I was an identical twin and I grew up with a doppelganger throughout my life and I should also say that you know my parents did not have an easy life ah moving from China to the states. And they had a lot of challenges. We did not grow up with a lot of resources and so it was just very interesting to see how you have to imagine these two you know 2 people from China who didn’t speak a lot of english coming to the middle of the country and trying to integrate within a society and that now they have kids who are americans um. There were a lot of challenges about that right along multiple different dimensions. So I became very interested in. Well how do people believe what they believe. Ah, how do they become who they are what are the challenges that they face and how do they deal with that in a ah, really? Ah, ah, you know I was a functional and helpful way.
Alejandro Cremades: Um.
David Mou: And that got me really interested in mental Health and how can we improve mental health and performance of the people that are suffering unduly from from care and so I became interested in Psychiatry. Just absolutely love my rotation talking to people. Ah, you know at their lowest points at their most challenging points. And being able to help them. Ah then it was just a fascinating journey and for me as soon as I did my rotation in in med school in psychiatry I Knew that I was I was going to go down that that field.
Alejandro Cremades: Yeah, because in in medical training. That’s where you started to um to do your your you know in parallel startups I mean you did basically 2 of them scholar locker and then also you did Valera Health so what got you really into startups I mean it’s it’s a little bit different than maybe like the typical stuff that you would see in medical training and some of your colleagues do at Harvard you know they would maybe join and go to hospitals and things like that so out of all things startups. How do? How does the whole venture world. You know come knocking. For you.
David Mou: It’s a great question I would argue that medicine and academia in general so research has many features that are very very similar to the startup world. The entrepreneurship world and and vcs. Um and then they are critically different in another way. So how are they similar. If you think about when you do research or medicine. Ah you are trying to research new questions and you try to get funding for that through. Let’s say the national institute of health grants from the federal government or from the local governments or from philanthropy and um, it’s. Ah, of course entrepreneurs are as your audience knows you you try to raise money for Bcs and what not and try to build on your vision. The metrics are slightly different, but that’s largely the same The critical difference is this. It’s speed and so if you look at academia there was this one site that showed that. When there is a medical study that comes out and says this treatment is you know treatment x is better than treatment y it could take over ten years for that to actually influence care at a white scale right? There is. It’s much much slower, but it’s very very rigorous, right? So it. Um. There’s ah, definitely a great space for that. But startups are particularly good at accelerating things as quickly as possible. Let me give you an example, you know people say covid nineteen that pandemic is what caused telehealth to become more popular and that’s absolutely true. You know that the month before covid happened.
David Mou: 90% of psychiatrists have never used telehealth and ah a few months after ah, the covid started ah 90% of psychiatrists were using telehealth so that’s absolutely true, but here’s a piece that people forget there was evidence that telehealth and mental health specifically. Was just as effective as in-person health ten years ago that was already out there. However, the field just takes a lot of time to change. It’s a naturally conservative and incremental field and I think that’s actually a good thing. However, if you marry the rigor of Academia In Medicine with the speed of entrepreneurship. That’s how you can change the world. That’s how you can really change the field and that’s what that’s why I thought if we can just harness the the positive things of each of these different spaces. We can really do things that that really change revolutionize the way that the center of care is for patients.
Alejandro Cremades: So let’s talk about the first rodeo that you did in in in startups. Let’s talk about scholar locker. You know you raised some Vc there I mean how was that experience.
David Mou: Yeah, it was a tough one I’m not going to lie. It was a great learning experience. We were um, one thing I learned that from that rodeo first rodie as you put it is that ah don’t be a Vc backed Ceo while you’re in medical school. Not a good idea. Um, and um, but we learned a lot. We’re raised some money. It was a education platform for medical students and we were able to get quite a bit of traction and we sold it for not nothing to write home about but it definitely wetted my appetite for startups and. The next rodeo was ah Valera Health um it’s 1 of the first telepsyatry ah like ah first tele ppssychiatry companies and we were able to get insurance plans online and the big innovation. There was a access getting people to quick access to care so they don’t have to wait in line for mental health. And the second piece is quality measuring the outcomes there and that company is ah doing quite well ah today and um after that um I was asked to be the chief medical officer of cerebral which is ah one of the largest telemental health companies today. And um I joined that about two and a half years ago and now a year and a half ago I stepped in on the Ceo role.
Alejandro Cremades: So at what point do you realize because I mean with Valera you know they’re they’re doing pretty well too. You know they the the previous company that you founded I mean we’re talking about a company that has raised you know past the um past the series b I believe that the total amount is about 71000000 so at what point that’s you know the idea of hey you know maybe you know like I got to switch gears here I mean at what point that comes knocking because I mean obviously here you are the first rodeo. You know you did the full cycle so like give you really nice visibility you know with a company. Um, that you did there with scholar locker but with Valera now you know you were really experiencing something that you know had turned around the corner and that was ramping up really nicely why switching gears.
David Mou: Yeah, it’s a good question. You know I would say it’s it’s a couple things and first and foremost I like to do what’s really exciting in that time cerebral was the fastest growing healthcare company ever not just in mental health but in healthcare in general and so was it. It was a really interesting mandate ah to. Come in and build out the clinical system and build out a quality and safety system at scale that you know eventually will affect. You know we’ve treated close to 800000 patients. Um, so that scale was certainly very very very interesting and then the other thing I would say that was really fascinating is that cerebral at cerebral. We built our own. Yeah, emr our own electronic medical record system and that’s extraordinarily powerful and the reason for that and this is by the way this is for those of your listeners who are not in healthcare this is how clinicians document their notes. This is where clinical outcomes are posted if you own that infrastructure that. Allows you to do much more interesting things. For example, you know we eventually built a machine learning system that detected if someone’s at risk of suicidal thinking and if they are we pushed them resource. We gave them resources so that they can they can call 9 8 8 they could have. Educational resources around that that’s something you can’t do unless you own your own infrastructure you own your own emr and that was one piece that was very very attractive. So for for those reasons I moved over ah to cerebral icmo.
Alejandro Cremades: And you joined us you know different cmo that the people you know it startups you know would identify as Chief a marketing officer in this case Chief Medical officer. What does a chief medical officer do at a startup.
David Mou: Yeah, good question. It really is about the number of things that was the 2 major pieces 1 is you own the clinical service. So everything that happens in the clinical service. You’re you’re overlooking those programs and on the other side. It’s helping the executives come up with the next thing right? so. Give them the strategy help guide the strategy and the vision of where the company is supposed to go right and on the first part it is really important because ah you know, especially in mental health care and you know people find this ah surprising um but mental health care I’ll say on behalf of psychiatrists. We’ve. Failed collectively we have failed because not only is access terrible people often wait months before they see a psychiatrist but most mental health clinicians do not follow clinical guidelines. This is something and they’re not their feet are not held to the fire and there are number of reasons for that. But. As a field we would not accept this again if you’re a cardiologist if you’re a surgeon um you would if they did the same thing that psychiatrist did today you would not accept that so there is such a great piece of value to be added by following clinical guidelines by making sure we’re delivering high quality care. Um, and um and ensuring that our clinicians have the tools to deliver that care efficiently and effectively that um, there’s just a lot of excitement there so you might ask well you know, moving backwards. Why is the market for that. Why did that explode. It was not just covid. It was also because the current quality of care.
David Mou: Of Mental Health was so lagging that these technologies telehealth with some major major catalyst for us to to make a change.
Alejandro Cremades: No. So Cerebral. So for the people that are listening. How do you guys? What’s the business model. How do you guys make money.
David Mou: Yeah we’re a direct-to-consumer a health care company. So a subscription you can ah go to cerebral.com and sign up for let’s say talk therapy which you know weekly talk therapy as you imagine it and or medication management. So if let’s say you need an antidepressant or other. Ah, medication that may be appropriate for your ah diagnosis and people sign up and they get the care. It’s purely virtual meaning they can get the care through their smartphone or their computer. This is really powerful. Um, because I’ll give you an example. We had a patient who we were ah talking to and he was getting therapy from his pickup truck. He would pull to the side of the road and be on his phone and his therapist eventually asked why you know make up a name John you know why are you on your phone. You know she? Why are you out, not at home or in an office. He paused for a second and he said look I don’t make enough money to have a private office at work and I’m not ready to tell my wife and my kids that I have depression so you’re going to have to meet me where I am because I’m sick and tired of meeting doctors where they are. And I think that was really emblematic. It became me a calling card for us which is that the healthcare system is very much built for the doctors for the clinicians. It’s clinicians and care. It’s not patient-centered care and so that’s a major piece of what we do which is providing telehealth to people who otherwise.
Alejandro Cremades: Um.
David Mou: Ah, for a number of reasons would not be able to access that care.
Alejandro Cremades: Now in your case, you know you started as you were saying you know in 2021 as a chief medical officer and literally within you know a little bit over a year you became the Ceo so tell us about that transition stepping up.
David Mou: Yeah, it was um, a challenging transition. Certainly ah the the scoping of a company of this size is is very significant and the remit is is significantly larger. Um, but it was ah a great opportunity to further. Ah.
David Mou: I would say inject clinical Dna into our vision going forward and so this was ah ah if you think about it. We are one of the only telehealth companies at scale 50 all 50 states that’s run by a clinician and so the idea that we want to provide a comprehensive care can be realized because of that. Um, so this meant more. Investments on the quality side more investments on the talk therapy side. Um, you know people sometimes don’t know this. But if you have depression you have many options for treatment. You can go to talk therapy or you can take medications but actually the most effective treatment is doing both. Having both talk therapy and medications and there’s a ah good research to show that that gets you better faster. Fastest I would say so um, you know it gave me the chance to come up with the vision of broken and provide comprehensive mental health care for our patients and we call it the cerebral way. And alyra this is very different than some of the competitors out there who you know some competitors even just they text with you. They never see you on telehealth and they’re willing to write you a medication and send it your way which I would know psychiatris 0% of psychiatrists would say that’s high quality care and so the idea here is how can we. Buck that trend instead of the cheapest hey detriments quickly type of service. We’re going to be a comprehensive mental health system that can be the long-term partner to patients throughout their journey.
Alejandro Cremades: So entrepreneurship and depression. What can you tell us about this.
David Mou: Yeah, what a great topic I galandro and it’s such. Ah um, important one I would say I have not met a founder a successful founder who has not suffered from into illness today. That’s that’s that’s generally true. And the reason is because um, it’s a lot. This is a lot starting a company from 0 taking something from 0 to 1 is a lot and um um I would also say that the majority of founders I know um, ah seek some sort of help whether they call it therapy. Or executive coaching or something in between ah or life counseling or whatever they want to call it fundamentally. It’s the same thing and what that is is really using talk therapy. Well it’s just call it talk and ah in general to empower themselves to realize how they can do better how they and it’s not just. For their business right? but for themselves personally, you know and you know I’ll give you an example here? Um, ah, there’s ah a well-known founder who for a while I was talking to a good friend of mine he would he gets angry pretty quickly. And so ah, what I realized was that the anger was all consuming for him. So for example, yeah, he’s he’s a founder at this company. He was at a meeting once and someone said something took credit for a little bit more credit than than than they deserved and this founder got really upset. The founder was thinking to himself that was me I did all of that.
David Mou: And I’ve got this guy trying to take credit from me and that anger was just all consuming for the remainder of the day it just consumed that he snapped at some of his employees. He was ah canceled a meeting. He was supposed to have dinner with his wife. He decided not to in the next day he was telling me about this I said wow, that’s. This is terrible and after some work that he’s done with his therapies. He’s realized where the anger’s coming from. You know it came from childhood experiences where he was um, quite you know he actually there were times where his brother would take credit for things that he was able to do and his parents maybe were not aware of this kind of thing so that. Really triggered something but being aware of that allowed him to notice that emotion the next time it came up and make sure that you know with time that it stopped taking over his life and dictating how he felt for the rest of the day destroying his product, productive hours, etc, etc. That’s just 1 example here right.
Alejandro Cremades: Um.
David Mou: It’s not necessarily that he needs to have a diagnosis but Therapy could be helpful because it helps empower. Um you to understand where your emotions are coming from where your drives are coming From. Maybe where your insecurities are coming from and just that knowledge that awareness of that can help you control things. And ways that you would like for that to happen.
Alejandro Cremades: And obviously you don’t know what you don’t know so at what point do you realize as a human being and especially all the people that are listening to us that maybe it’s the time to reach for help and maybe use you know something like zerorebral.
David Mou: Yeah, so it’s a great question. Um, you know women doubt ask that’s the way I would I would put it. Um, all of us are dealing with something ah and ah the way to think about this is not is am i. Is there something wrong with me. Do I have a diagnosis do I have you know that’s ah, let me back up for a second hou second hour hundred if ah if I may if you think about mental health it’s kind of sad that it’s trying to be forced into the medical system right? So for example, let me let me give you an example for this if you break your leg. You go to the hospital. Fixed your leg. You had a problem they fixed it and that’s it they’re done in mental health it’ when you show up, you may not have a diagnosis. You may have a diagnosis but they let’s say they fit quote unquote fix the diagnosis and you get back to standard. That’s not how mental health works. Because again, it’s like going to the gym. It takes iterative time and you get better and better at managing things. It’s a continuum that goes up so it’s not something that where you like a broken leg. It’s something that you could continually get better on being aware of your relation being aware of how your past experiences inform your current relationships. Right? And then continually improving on that over and over and over again, right? So I I see it as again. That’s why I use the word empowerment because this ties very very critically to something else I can’t tell you how many founders call me and say hey david I know I know you’re a shrink I know you’re a shoot I know you’re a psychiatrist. Um I don’t have a diagnosis but.
David Mou: Can we talk about x or y right? Well I don’t care if there’s a diagnosis. Let’s let’s move away from that system if you’re suffering if you’re not feeling well talk about it so you know as a first step Aandra I would just say when in doubt talk about it because it at. At the worse. You just find more about ah find out more about yourself and there’s no there’s no ah downside to that.
Alejandro Cremades: Absolutely so I guess for the for the people that are listening to get an idea on the scope and size you know of share world today I mean you guys have raised a quite a bit of money and have a quite a bit of employees to what can you tell us.
David Mou: Yeah, about a thousand people clinicians and employees included and were treating ah patients in all ah 50 states and we’re really excited. Ah, you know one of the first things I did when it took over Seo. Was as you could probably tell from my excitement about this leaning into talk therapy because talk therapy is really really fundamentally important in addition to medications right? So um, you know the way I think about medications is it helps the symptoms right? So you know, take another example, there was a. There was a founder that I was talking to and she ran a pretty successful startup exited and she said I will never do a startup again and thought well why would while you were so successful you you know she said. Every day I felt like I didn’t belong I felt like I was an imposter. You know this imposter syndrome that is very calm I felt like I just didn’t belong I shouldn’t be here. Ah, the investors know it and I don’t know it but like what but the numbers are great. You know after she was able to but work on that specific piece. She found another company and did very well right? So the idea here is that again going back to being able to use ah mental healthcare as empowerment to let people become the best versions of them themselves that became my thesis when I when I took over. Ah um, a year and a half ago.
David Mou: And um, yeah, we want to be able to provide this for people. Um across the board I should say this is again going back to the stigma. So these people that I’m talking to all of them got care through telehealth because they had the same concern. Maybe a valid concern they said I don’t want to go to a therapy. Office of physical therapy office sit there and I might run into one of my neighbors or god forbid. One of my business partners or investors and they would see me and that would be terrible right? So that that just logistical concern has prevented I would say millions and millions of people from seeking help. Has forced them to suffer in silence right? So this is where I think this is not just cerebral but telehealth in general has really empowered a generation of people in a way that they have never been before.
Alejandro Cremades: Um, and how much capital has cerebral raised to date and.
David Mou: Yeah, ah about ah 400 and a little bit more than four hundred and fifty million dollars of of venture capital and ah so we have very good runway and and it’s as you can imagine helpful during a time where the macro environment is challenging. And so um, we are certainly ah ah we are certainly you know, very ah, very conscious of that and I would say in a word lucky.
Alejandro Cremades: And how do you manage through obviously the macro environment now is is pretty bumpy. So how do you manage? you know to go through a downturn and then also preserving cash.
David Mou: Yeah, runway is critical and you know, um the honest truth. It’s been challenging right? The last eighteen months we had to go through rounds of layoffs and we had to do that because we had to make sure that the cache could sustain us. Ah for for years to come. And we have an obligation here ah to our patients ah to be able to do that and so um I should say that um people who work in healthcare startups. They do have this privilege of purpose meaning that our north star our moral north are is we have to take great care of our patients. And that keeps people our best people really motivated day. Ah day-to-day even though we’re going through some of these challenges and so I’m happy to say that as we went through ah some cycles of reductions in force we were able to continually improve the quality of care during that time. So our mps scores were going up and up and up during the same ah time period. So. Um, no easy way to do that and I would say that if you looked around and look at the companies that tried to weather this storm without making major structural changes most of them are gone by now most of them have ah have been have run out of cash and had to fold and so ah, it is something that has to be done. And the second piece here is that I would say this is where the mission is so critical you know during the hardest times during the darkest times you can always say what what are we working so hard to do what are we working overdrive to do well democratizing access to high quality mental healthcare or whatever your company’s motto is.
David Mou: Keep people excited about that. Keep people very very focused on that because your best people will continually be motivated by that and they’ll stay and they’ll help you ah reach new heights Maybe with fewer resources. So Those are the people that you want the ones who are really really really driven. By the ultimate mission of of what you want to do So. It’s definitely surround yourself with ah with operators who who have ah have an eye to mission.
Alejandro Cremades: So let’s say you go to sleep tonight David and you wake up in beautiful world. My beautiful world where the vision of cerebral is fully realized what does that world look like.
David Mou: Yeah, ah, what a great question alejandra you know I would say the future of mental health care looks very different than what it is today. So the future looks like this you sign up for care and. You get? We have this today already. But um, but you get and some of the things I’ll mention we don’t have today but ah, let’s talk about the ideal states so speak right? So you go to cerebral you sign up for care and the ai matches you with a clinician based on. Um. Your background your preferences and this is someone with whom you have a higher chance of building a good relationship with you meet with this person next week you meet with a therapist and a prescriber they’re coordinating their care meaning that they’re reading each other’s notes so they know how to provide coordinated care for you. Um.
Alejandro Cremades: Um.
David Mou: Let’s say things get bad and you get suicidal. They’re aware of that ahead of time and they are able to escalate care as need be and let’s say you get better and you don’t need to talk to your therapist weekly. They can de-escalate care. It becomes you know care every other week or care every month let’s say after seven months you’re feeling great and you feel like I want to put a pause on therapy. No problem you can pause on therapy and they keep on keep tabs on you. You know spirit will keep on sending you surveys to make sure that you’re doing well digital education information along that way. So a maintenance plan of some sort. And let’s say winter comes and your depression comes back. 1 button you’re back on your therapy as need be so the way I’m describing this this is an adaptable data-driven mental health system. Um that ah that should be there and at a price point that everyone can afford. But that’s where the future of mental health needs to be that is our north star creating that becoming the long-term partner for everyone ah throughout their mental health journey journeys and not becoming that you know the status quo which is that you know do weekly therapy or you do monthly mend management and it’s pretty rigid right? So the idea here is to. Meet the patient where they are give them objectively good data and good care and ah, again, be there at the level. Um, you know what? I like to tell my team is the right level of care for the right patient at the right time at all times.
David Mou: But that’s the that’s the thesis before we want to move towards.
Alejandro Cremades: So that sounds like a bit of a world now. We’re talking about the ah future here I want to talk about the past but doing so with a lens of reflection. Let’s say I was to put you into a time machine and I bring you back. Perhaps you know to that moment where you were doing your medical training and. And really getting excited and pumped about the world of startups. So let’s say you had the opportunity of having a chat with your younger self that younger David I’m being able to give that younger David one piece of advice for launching a company. What would that be and why given what you know now.
David Mou: Like a great question Man. There’s so many lessons learned um you know I would say probably the most important thing in stars. Especially so you have to understand the advantage of stars is that you can move very quickly and nimbly so when you make a strategic. Change make it decisively right? There’s ah and you’ve got enough data just make it decisively. Um, and you know great companies are able to pivot very quickly. Um, and that’s the advantage you have over bigger companies and you know. My last company we started off as a software company and the revenue was fine but it wasn’t growing at the level that we liked it to and then so there was ah okay, let’s add clinical services and that’s not an easy Thing. You can’t do that half-heartedly? Um, when you have to hire Clinicians start a Pc do all these different things. That’s a lot of work but when we did it We did it very very decisively and that’s what was the differentiation between you know there was a slew of startups that were Saas ah based and couldn’t really make a conversion or couldn’t tried to juice a market that frankly wasn’t as big as most people thought it was so doing that very quickly is important. And um, you know have taken that lesson onwards with cerebral and and other ventures as well.
Alejandro Cremades: Amazing. So David for the people that are listening that will love to reach out and say hi. What is the best way for them to do so.
David Mou: Yeah, send me an email I think spry the easiest way I’m ah it’s my first name David Dot M O you at cerebral.com um really appreciated the time here at all hundredra really had fun in this conversation.
Alejandro Cremades: Amazing. David will hey thank you so much for being on the deal maker show. It has been an honor to have you with us today. David.
David Mou: Thanks for having me.
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