The two founders of Mellow: Manuel Mai and Mareike Pfennig.

Mellow helps find and book coaching

Whether stress, relationship problems or a real life crisis – Mellow steps up to find a suitable coach for everyone. With intelligent matching, the startup wants to help avoid wasting time looking for the right coach. In an interview, the two Mellow founders Manuel Mai and Mareike Pfennig explain exactly how the platform works.

Munich Startup: What does your startup do? What problem are you solving?  

Mellow: In Germany, 18 million people suffer from psychological stress every year. Of these, only 19 percent seek professional help. The topic of mental health is still marked by numerous stigmas. Those who dare to seek help face the next problem. In one of the richest countries in the world, you can’t take for granted that you will receive professional support for mental problems quickly and easily. Coaching therefore plays an important role. It has been scientifically proven that coaching helps to reduce psychological stress and tackle problems preventively.  

This is where Mellow comes into play. We are an innovative online platform for coaching. We finally make finding and booking coaching easy. Instead of using the search engine to go on the tedious search for the right coach, you can use Mellow to find the right coach quickly and easily. An intelligent matching ensures the perfect match between coachee and coach. 

Easy access to coaching 

Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!  

Mellow: So far, no one has managed to establish a modern and innovative platform like Mellow in the B2C market. Existing solutions are only available in the B2B market and thus exclude a large part of society from easy access to coaching. 

We stand out with easy booking, an all-in-one offer and especially our coach matching. The combination is unique and what makes Mellow so innovative. 

Munich Startup: What’s your founding story?  

Mellow: We both come from the startup environment and were able to gain valuable experience and impressions there, some already in the platform and health sector. This is how our fascination for entrepreneurship was born. In 2021, we were privately faced with the problem of wanting to use a coach ourselves. Finding a coach was more difficult than expected, finding the right one was almost impossible. We stopped the process several times and quickly came to the conclusion: There has to be a better way! That’s how we came up with the idea for Mellow. 

We want to make access to coaching as easy as possible and thereby strengthen the mental health of the population. We founded Mellow in mid-2022 and our platform has been online since the end of 2022. 

Munich Startup: What have been your biggest challenges so far?  

Mellow: Despite our start-up experience, founding the company keeps presenting us with new challenges. Since there are only two of us, resources are very limited and the right prioritization is crucial. We try to automate a large part of the processes, which creates room for further growth and allows us to become a little better every day. 

First round of funding underway 

Munich Startup: Where would you like to be in one year, and where in five years?  

Mellow: We have big plans for 2023. We want to further improve the Mellow platform and at the same time we are working on collaborations with exciting companies. In the coming months, we also want to complete a first round of financing. It helps us that we are eligible for investment funding. 

Currently, our focus is on German-speaking countries and the B2C sector. We want to become the leading provider of coaching in this segment. In addition, we are carrying out our first pilot projects in the B2B sector. It is becoming increasingly important for companies to promote the mental health of their employees. Our platform can be used worldwide and we want to position ourselves internationally in the coming years. 

Munich Startup: How have you experienced Munich as a startup location so far?  

Mellow: In recent years, Munich has developed into a great location for startups. There are numerous programs and platforms to promote startups and founders. We have strong universities and there are many events and opportunities to exchange ideas. Today, there is a unique network of founders, investors and supporters in Munich. All in all, the perfect prerequisite for young startups. 

“Strong potential to become a shooting star” 

Munich Startup: Hidden champion or shooting star? 

Mellow: Strong potential to become a shooting star: With our innovative solution for coaching, we entered a fast-growing market in 2022. All studies and analyses show that acceptance and willingness to invest in mental health will continue to rise sharply in the coming years. At the same time, many coaches, coachees and companies are already gladly using our platform. It’s an exciting time and we’re looking forward to the next few years. 

Regina Bruckschlögl

Nach eigenen Startup-Erfahrungen blickt sie als Redakteurin von Munich Startup nun aus einer anderen Perspektive auf die Münchner Startup-Szene – und entdeckt dabei jeden Tag, wie vielfältig das Münchner Ökosystem ist. Startup Stories, die erzählt werden wollen!

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