SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Breakthrough (www.breakthrough.com), a provider of confidential online counseling and therapy, won the Vator Splash competition, held online and at the Vator Splash event in San Francisco.
Breakthrough emerged the winner out of a field of more than 100 startups that participated in the three-round competition, consisting of two popular vote rounds and one judges' vote round.
"Breakthrough is approaching a massive market with such an obviously good idea that it is going to be hard for them to lose," said Rob Hayes, a venture capitalist at First Round, and one of the judges at Vator Splash.
"Vator was an excellent way for Breakthrough.com to gain exposure. A half-dozen investors wanted to talk with us after winning and one of the Valley's highest profile angels committed to invest three days later. We are grateful because internet health care startups are under-appreciated and under-funded. Vator helped us breakthrough (no pun intended)," said Mark Goldenson, CEO and Founder of Breakthrough.
The first round of the competition consisted of an online popular vote that determined the top 25 semi-finalists, based on the number of votes cast. The semi-finalists were then vetted and rated by 15 online judges, who ranked the startups on three criteria: novelty, commercial viability and team. The combined judges' vote and popular vote determined the top 10 finalists.
As one of the top 10, Breakthrough gave a four-minute presentation to the audience of some 400 attendees, who in turn voted on their favorite startup.
"I believe the mental health services and therapy market will evolve similar to online education – the convenience, privacy, and delivery of such services online are inevitable and Breakthrough is in a great position to ride the wave," said Rajil Kapoor, Managing Director, Mayfield Fund, and one of the judges at Splash.
About Breakthrough: Breakthrough.com connects mental health providers with clients via video, phone, email, and chat. Fifty eight million Americans have a mental illness and millions more struggle with stress and relationship issues. Therapy and medications work, but are stigmatizing, hard to access, costly, and inconvenient. Telemedicine has been shown to address these issues. Clients can search for providers on a variety of criteria, be anonymous, take diagnostic tests, seek peer support in free communities, and engage in sessions via secure video, phone, email, and chat. See Breakthrough's profile: http://vator.tv/c/1185
About Vator, Inc.: Vator (short for innovator) is a community and resource for entrepreneurs. Founded and run by veteran and award-winning journalist Bambi Francisco, Vator consists of Vator.tv and VatorNews. Vator.tv has more than 50,000 members and high-tech companies, using the service to effectively communicate and learn from one another. VatorNews is Vator's video business network on entrepreneurship and innovation with 300-plus contributors. Vator Competitions is a leading startup business plan competition platform.