Photo Credits: Zoe Norfolk
A South London app developer has won the prestigious £30,000 Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs, run in conjunction with Leonard Cheshire Disability, after creating a video diary app that supports people managing their mental health.
Hannah Chamberlain is the founder of MentalSnapp (www.mentalsnapp.com), a video diary app that helps people proactively manage their mental health. On the app users can record short video diaries, rate their mood and name their feelings.
Hannah plans to develop a new version of MentalSnapp with the prize money, which will launch in January 2018. She said:
“I am overjoyed. We’ll take this money and use it for good. Being the overall winner means we can make MentalSnapp even better – we’ve got plans for intelligent responses to the videos, tailored to what our users want, all designed to help people actively and confidently manage their mental health with private video diaries.”
Hannah wins in the eleventh year of this annual award. Competition was particularly tough following a record number of 72 applications.
easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou chose Hannah as the overall winner, and said:
“After careful deliberation, the judging panel has decided to go with Hannah Chamberlain. Using an app is a very modern, high tech way to deal with a very old but very topical problem. I think this app has excellent growth prospects using the freemium business model. We will be looking forward to reports about future great success.
“For far too long mental health issues, which are a form of disability, have been virtually ignored and swept under the carpet. I hope this award will go some small way to helping.”
Leonard Cheshire Disability chief executive Neil Heslop said:
“MentalSnapp is an exceptional example of innovation from a disabled entrepreneur in the UK. Sir Stelios and Leonard Cheshire know the contribution of disabled people in business is too often ignored so we are delighted that this year’s finalists again shine a light on the fantastic calibre of untapped talent out there. We hope this year’s Stelios Awards inspire ever more disabled people to become entrepreneurs.”
The four finalist businesses to join Hannah at the awards ceremony included a wheelchair review website, an accessible specialist online job board, a ceramic home-ware company, and a mobile toilet and changing facility for disabled people. All take home £10,000 for their business ideas.
The award, jointly run by the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation (www.stelios.org ) and the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, (www.LeonardCheshire.org), recognises the achievements of disabled entrepreneurs in the UK.
Past winners have been drawn from the travel agency, building and IT sectors as well as businesses specialising in disability/mobility aids and services.