WEconnect are a healthcare technology company designed to assist recovery in those who are suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.
WEconnect co-founder Murphy Jensen was one of the hottest tennis pros of the early ’90s. After winning the French Open alongside his brother Luke in 1993, Murphy Jensen found himself catapulted into a life of fame, fortune and inevitable excess. Throughout the remaining decade, Jensen’s addiction increased, deeply affecting his professional and personal life.
Following an intervention in 1999, Jensen got his life back on track and, as he recovered, he envisioned a way in which others could benefit from his first hand experiences.
It was when Jensen met Daniela Luzi Tudor that things really began to change, and the combination of their visions began to manifest. Tudor was a West Coast based entrepreneur, who has had her own struggles with addiction. It was during the formation of an early startup in California that her then-business partner confronted her about her substance abuse. “I tried to stop on my own,” Tudor told The Seattle Times, “For every few days I could put together, there was a next binge. That’s pretty typical because recovery doesn’t work alone.”
During her recovery, Tudor was startled by the high relapse rate which she witnessed. Writing diaries throughout her progress in a rehab centre, she realised how beneficial a technological assistant would be in terms of adding objectivity to the whole ordeal. Something that monitored progress, provided motivation and tangible goals, but also acted as a way in which to reach out for help when needed.
This vision would become WEconnect.
“WEconnect helps prevent relapse the moment recovering individuals leave inpatient care or enter sober living and outpatient programs. The WEconnect platform automatically manages and verifies completion of recovery activities, keeps users connected in real time to support groups and provides rewards at key milestones in recovery. Rewards include fitness classes and coffee shop credits, both of which enhance connection to oneself, their support community, and recovery.”
Along with CPO and third co-founder Jen Mallory, WEconnect has managed to raise over $6 million in development funding. After an initial funding drive generated over $2 million, the option to invest was extended after heightened interest. WEconnect now intend to develop the app and their team, to ensure that users get the best help they can.
Using a gamification model which rewards app users for reaching certain goals, WEconnect allows the charting and timetabling of even basic tasks and chores, to allow a sense of normalcy and routine to return to those whose lives may have been somewhat more chaotic in the past. The reward scheme acts an incentive to move forward in a positive direction; something Tudor emphasises with.
“When I got out of treatment, I was not in the best position financially, so any small kind of help was really meaningful,” she added.
With 1,000s of users, WEconnect has now recruited some significant support. IN a follow up article, The Seattle Times outlined that ‘investors in the financing round include Fred Luddy, founder of California cloud company Service Now, and Andrew Wilkinson, founder of Metalab in Canada, as well as other tech executives.’