The most pivotal innovations have the power to transform our cultural identity, creating rifts in the status quo that most of us did not even know we wanted, or in some cases, needed. While these innovations may seem to appear out of thin air, they are often rooted in the personal journeys of the innovators who carry with them a deep vision for positive change. In 2022, the Headstream Accelerator continued our mission to bring culturally disruptive digital technologies to life that prioritize the mental wellness of youth people, particularly girls, BIPOC, and LGBTQIA+ teens. At no point was our community louder than during the Headstream Innovation Festival.
Over the course of the year, Headstream elevated 12 innovators focused on creating digital wellness solutions for youth. Through their products, the innovators reached over 300,000 young people, impacting teenagers belonging to our most vulnerable online populations including communities of BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ youth. While the innovators worked tirelessly to drive improvements to youth well-being across education, healthcare, and social media, Headstream worked to set them up for success by providing them with critical tools, resources, and coaching, including new research, impact measurement tools, and youth-driven engagement platforms. Collectively, the 12 innovators in the Headstream Accelerator raised over $3.4 million which they combined with Headstream’s resources and our community of advisors to rapidly scale their solutions for youth well-being.
“Having professional advisors who helped guide us was a differentiator with Headstream; their network and mentorship helped us make an impact and enough money to grow sustainably. Our youth advisor, Harini is still a part of our team, we are so lucky to have her insights, they have been integrated in our product build.”
Dieumerci Christel (Enlight, 2021 Headstream Accelerator Innovator)
The power of the Headstream community was brought to life during the 2022 Headstream Innovation Festival (HIF), where we convened, in-person and virtually, over 600+ entrepreneurs, youth leaders, tech giants, policymakers, investors, and allies to connect, brainstorm, and encourage collaboration for youth digital well-being. Through a variety of inspirational panels and hands-on workshops, HIF provided space to reflect and celebrate the progress that Headstream, this cohort of innovators, and the broader community has made in the last year while putting our diverse perspectives together to identify the next steps needed to reach our collective vision. During the in-person and live-streamed event, we embedded youth at the center of every conversation and provided ground for our youth advisors to share their unique perspectives.
“With Headstream’s support and the resources I could access, This Teenage Life was able to create a new youth dialogue group with Y2I advisors, and by the end of 2022, we surpassed 1.2 million downloads.”
Molly Josephs (This Teenage Life, 2022 Headstream Accelerator Innovator)
Witnessing our community of activists and changemakers come to together and our vision come to life at the 2022 HIF left us feeling more optimistic than ever about our opportunity to shake the status quo of our digital ecosystem across the next decade. Since 2020, Headstream’s 36 innovators have reached over 2.5 million individuals across the U.S and the globe to deliver solutions to mental health problems that have been left unprioritized for far too long.. We have nothing but gratitude for our 2022 innovator cohort and cannot wait to create new programs to reach even more individuals in 2023 and beyond. Whether you are an expert in digital wellness or just interested in learning more about this growing field, we invite you to support our cause by joining the conversation and connecting with us for updates, upcoming events, and more ways that you can participate with Headstream in the new year.