While social media sites often make everyone’s lives picturesque, many teens secretly suffer from mental health – that’s where MeeTwo’s platform comes in
From speaking with Suzi Godson, co-founder of social media platform MeeTwo, last December, it was clear things were set to get better and better for her social network, which is encouraging young people to open up about mental health. And merely three months into the new year, Godson and fellow co-founder Kerstyn Comley secured the London Business Award for Social Impact. “Well I really wasn’t expecting it because we were up against a really tough group of contestants but we’re delighted, absolutely delighted,” Godson says. Considering the much-needed change MeeTwo is bringing to social media, this kind of recognition should be anything but unexpected.
As a foil to titans like Facebook that often paint pretty pictures of people’s lives, MeeTwo strives to bring teens into reality and talk about things that aren’t easy to discuss. “We're working with teenagers who have mental health issues and that is a huge, huge problem,” Godson describes. That means looking at the popular networking format and turning aspects of it on its head, such as emphasising greater community interaction. “We created a model which gets away from the one-to-one model, which isn’t scalable, [that] allows teenagers to use their own experiences to help each other,” she continues.
With a background in psychology and a PHD in engineering respectively, Godson and Comley were the perfect duo to brainstorm the idea while taking their kids to a trampolining park. “It was a really random pitch,” Godson laughs. Since then they’ve accomplished so many feats – not least their London Business Award – that Godson forgets how new MeeTwo really is. She pins the quick success down to the fact it’s addressing a rarely raised yet rampant issue. “It feels like a long journey but it’s actually very short time-wise because I think what we did was meet a need that we didn’t even realise existed at the time, so it’s been incredibly rapid,” she says.
In that vein, Godson brings solid advice for anyone getting green-eyed over MeeTwo’s latest win. “I would say don’t [start a business] unless you’re completely passionate and committed,” she says. That includes seeing fundraising as a luxury for startups, not a purpose, to the point where having a full-time job to facilitate your new company should be expected. “Lots of people will offer you advice, support and mentoring but no one will give you any money,” Godson concludes. “So unless you can see a way to delivering it without any of that [except] just pure commitment and passion, don’t even bother.”This article comes courtesy of London & Partners’ Business Growth Programme. Tailored to your business growth ambitions, the programme offers free impartial business advice and support to SMEs looking to grow across London