Dr. Emilia Molimpakis is the co-founder and CEO of thymia, a company that uses video games based on Neuropsychology along with analysis of speech and facial micro expressions to quickly, accurately, and objectively diagnosis mental health issues, including depression. In 2020/2021 she won the Young Innovators Award.
Emilia has a PhD in Neuroscience and Linguistics, a Master’s Degree in Language Sciences with specialisation in Linguistics with Neuroscience.
Emilia shares how she came to start thymia and how her work in neuroscience and linguistics came together in a very personal way when a friend of hers attempted suicide. The gap in the ability for clinicians to objectively analyze depression and warning signs led Emilia to use her skillset and time spent consulting in a scientific area of gaming to start thymia.
Emilia shares her experience taking her idea, finding a co-founder to work with, starting thymia, securing venture capital and the challenges, hurdles, and successes she faced along the way. We talk quite a bit about the world of venture capital (VC) and how toxic and challenging it is for female founders. Emilia talks about the Entrepreneur First and how she met her co-founder there and they’re experience working together after they found their “match” – yep, it’s a bit like blind dating.
Music used in the podcast: Higher Up, Silverman Sound Studio
Acronyms, Definitions, and Fact Check
thymia – We use video games based on Neuropsychology together with analyses of facial microexpressions & speech patterns to make mental health assessments faster, more accurate and objective. (https://thymia.ai)
Suicide Rates – United States – 16.1 per 100k; United Kingdom – 7.9 per 100k (https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/suicide-rate-by-country
Entrepreneur First – Entrepreneur First isn’t an accelerator. We don’t invest in pre-existing companies or teams. We select individuals we recognise to have huge founder potential, from all walks of life, and bring them together to find their co-founders. We allow them to find co-founders they wouldn’t normally meet, but that make the best partner for them. Every one of our founders is hand-chosen for their skills, behaviour and potential, and committed to building company now. We create the ideal environment for you to trial partnerships, and test ideas at a rapid pace. We’ll cover your living costs while you do it. We’ll give you access to a global network of founders, advisors and investors. If we believe the company you build has the potential to succeed at scale, we’ll invest. It’s intense, it’s challenging, it’ll be the fastest you ever build in your life. But our most successful founders create $1M a week in value – so if you succeed, it’s worth it. (https://www.joinef.com)
Hicksposum ParticleA quantitative analyst or “quant” is a specialist who applies mathematical and statistical methods to financial and risk management problems. S/he develops and implements complex models used by firms to make financial and business decisions about issues such as investments, pricing and so on. (https://www.topuniversities.com/student-info/careers-advice/4-reasons-why-you-should-become-quantitative-analyst)
If you think that men make better leaders, not only do we disagree, but we have the data to back it up! The 32 companies that have women as CEOs have significantly outperformed the companies run by men. Over the past 10 years, the difference in returns is 384% from female-led companies vs. 261% from male-led companies. A few notable companies with women CEOs are GM, UPS, Citigroup, and CVS. (https://www.personalfinanceclub.com/are-female-ceos-better-than-male-ceos/)
Venture Capital (VC) – a form of private equity financing that is provided by venture capital firms or funds to startups, early-stage, and emerging companies that have been deemed to have high growth potential or which have demonstrated high growth. (Wikipedia)
A 2022 survey of video game developers in the US found that 76.3 percent of workers were male and just 23.7 percent female, meaning women represent less than a quarter of this workforce. (https://www.thegamer.com/game-devs-women-half-of-gamers/)
In 2022, women accounted for 48 percent of gamers in the United States, up from 45 percent of U.S. gamers identifying as women during the previous year. (https://www.statista.com/statistics/232383/gender-split-of-us-computer-and-video-gamers/)
A backend engineer is responsible for designing, building, and maintaining the server-side of web applications. In other words, a backend engineer’s primary responsibility is to build the structure of a software application. They set the software team’s foundations of what they need to do to achieve the main goals. (https://distantjob.com/blog/backend-engineer-backend-developer/)
The frontend engineer makes websites user-friendly by creating rich and exciting features such as animations, text boxes, games, forums and even navigation. They often coordinate their efforts with the backend engineers who then process the data. (https://hired.com/salaries/frontend-engineer)