Nurau believes in mental health for all. By combining micro-training and social connection, Nurau is a revolutionary technology has the power to reduce employee turnover, improve employee wellbeing, and productivity in companies everywhere. The goal is to create healthier and more productive corporate environments by investing in innovative frontline management training. Offered to companies as an employee wellness program, Nurau reduces the number of health insurance claims – 80% of which are caused by mental health issues.
Tell us about yourself?
Justin’s drive to innovate in mental health came at a young age when he began his research career at the age of 17. His first startup, Clarity Tech Lab, democratized the latest tools in neuroimaging to aid researchers get answers more efficiently. Still to this day, Justin continues to do medical research as a mental health researcher and neuroscientist at McGill University.
Moreover, he co-directs Mindstrong, the largest fundraising event in North America. Among his many entrepreneurial implications, Justin created Neuropresse in 2016, the first French-language newspaper dedicated to destigmatizing mental health in Quebec. Key players in the field of research have been project mentors, including Dr. Sonia Lupien, Director of the Research Center on Human Stress and Dr. Rémi Quirion, Chief Scientist of Quebec.
In recognition of his many contributions to society, Justin Lessard-Wajcer was named Top Youth Innovator of Canada in 2016, Young Canadian Philanthropist of the Year in 2020, was named one of the 30 inspiring personalities of the city of Montreal by the Journal Métro in 2021 and is now considered a pioneering entrepreneur by C2 Montreal, McGill Dobson and Les Affaires magazine (2022).
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Keep persevering and trust your instincts, they will serve you well.
What problem does your business solve?
Nurau provides managers with unparalleled access to cutting-edge live mental health & wellness social micro-training to make teams stronger, safer, and more equipped to face the growing mental health challenges of our time.
Nurau experiences are evidence-based 15-minute, impactful, live micro-trainings with certified mental health experts proven to reduce stigma, increase awareness and reduce burnout.
By combining learning and wellbeing, we seek to push the frontiers of human-centric computing to equip frontline managers with skills to optimally address everyday issues in their industry-specific roles.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
At age 17, at Université de Montréal, I first imaged the interior architecture of the brain and attempted to unravel the mysteries that lie within. Now, as a Doctoral student and Vanier Scholar at McGill University, I hope to become a leading researcher in neuroscience and to use the leadership skills instilled in me throughout my life to affect positive change that could help cure many debilitating diseases.
My dream is to see a world without mental health stigma, where research can be streamlined, shared and cost-efficient and to contribute to life-saving science.
When I first started studying neuroscience, I felt compelled to improve on imaging technology that would finally work and allow researchers a window to the brain. By trial and error, teamwork and determination – My team and I succeeded in revolutionizing a machine that worked and enhanced 3D brain visualization. This discovery merited Top Prize during the 2015 Sanofi Biogenius competition.
The same year, I was named one of Canada’s leading young innovators & scientists and was invited by the Canadian government to serve as a delegate at the World Science Conference in Israel.
Feeling discouraged by the lack of access to technology and lack of time, I focused on creating a startup aimed to make technologies more accessible and efficient for labs. Our concept of a cost-efficient centralized laboratory attracted the attention of investors, governments and the CBC who named me one of ‘Canada’s leading innovators’ and filmed a documentary of my work.
Building on all of these experiences, I founded Neuropresse, an international online community platform to combat the stigma surrounding mental health. The Neuropresse team is now 40 people strong and growing.
I also took on a leadership role in philanthropy, serving as the Jewish General Hospital’s youngest Co-Chair for Mindstrong, the largest mental health fundraiser in the Americas. As of 2021, I was chosen as Director and will be tasked to expand the movement throughout the year.
In 2018, I was named one of the Top 50 Extraordinary Canadians by Urbania Magazine and in 2020, I became Canada’s Top Youth Philanthropist by the AFP.
I earned my B.Sc. from the Université de Montréal, making the Dean’s list for academic excellence. I was honored with an Extraordinary Achievement and Leadership Award.
Most recently, winning the Vanier award enabled me to better make my dream come true of contributing to brain research, fighting the stigma of mental health and improving patient care.
What is your magic sauce?
Our technology is based on AI-enabled nano training technology that customizes the content of our live microtraining based on the needs of each manager.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
We will be developing new markets, notable the USA. Our goal is to be present worldwide and enable the world to work healthier, together.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Our biggest challenge is defining and implementing our sales strategy.
How can people get involved?
For potential customers: please e-mail: [email protected]
For investor relations: please e-mail: [email protected]
To find out more please visit our website: www.nurau.com