FreshMynd Founder Story: Determined to reduce exposure to harmful chemicals
Posted on Jan 04, 2018
ADHD affects 100M children globally. Bringing together more than 20 years of marketing leadership experience, FreshMynd’s founder, Seema Lindskog, is on a mission to provide a natural therapy alternative to children diagnosed with ADHD. Seema tells us about how a scientific report on harmful chemicals inspired her to build a company that promotes natural health and wellness for children across the country.
What is your business, and what problem you are solving?
At FreshMynd, our goal is to transform the ADHD care market through innovation. FreshMynd’s first product, True Clarity supplement, a science-based natural alternative to medication, is the first and only natural supplement on the market whose ingredients are shown in 20+ independent clinical studies to significantly reduce the symptoms of ADHD without the side effects of medication.
With our supplement, we harness the opportunity to improve the lives of many. ADHD is a huge problem: it affects more than a 100M kids worldwide and is one of the fastest growing therapeutic categories in the world. One in five high school boys in the US are diagnosed with ADHD. We are motivated to provide these children with effective alternatives that allow them to lead happier, healthier lives.
What inspired you to start your company?
For me, this is personal. A child in my family was recently diagnosed with ADHD. With very little knowledge about little about the condition, I dove head first into trying to understand what a life with ADHD meant. I read extensively about ADHD, talked to pediatricians and psychologists who specialize in ADHD, and joined numerous ADHD support groups to talk with parents of children with ADHD.
I’ve always been passionate about wellness and living a natural life, free of harmful chemicals. However, I was disappointed with the natural solutions available for ADHD patients. While there are many natural supplements on the market, most of them don’t detail the science behind their formula and are not based on results from clinical studies.
After some research, I found 20+ independent clinical studies that found 12 natural ingredients shown to significantly reduce the symptoms of ADHD. Despite their positive impact on ADHD patients, however, no one had ever put them together into a single supplement.
And from that, FreshMynd was born. With these clinical findings as our backbone, we set out to offer a safer and healthier natural alternative to children with ADHD.
Who is in your core team? How did your team come together?
Our core team is myself, Devesh, our co-founder and COO, and Sujata, our VP of Operations. My own experience draws from more than 20 years of marketing leadership at companies such as Kraft Foods, Western Digital, Roku, and Evernote.
Devesh is my brother. It is a fantastic experience to work side-by-side with family because there is implicit trust and deep familiarity already in place. His 30 year background in finance also makes him an amazing asset to the company.
Sujata is a dear friend. She previously managed commerce operations at bebe and Mervyn’s. I am so grateful to have her expertise in forecasting and planning, as well as her passion for FreshMynd’s mission.
Please explain your edge over your competition?
We have three major points of difference:
- We are not an anonymous corporation. We are parents looking to help kids like ours. In that way, we operate from a passion to make a high quality, effective supplement that our own families can take. We are all in it together.
- We believe in science. We’ve chosen all the ingredients and dosages based on results of independent clinical studies. We’ve also chosen a manufacturer that is Good Manufacturing Practice-certified by the FDA and follows the highest standards in manufacturing.
- We are a community. We designed the supplement with input from parents and kids. We will continue to grow our community to refine the supplement, create new solutions, and support each other on this journey.
If you were given 50k and a year to do whatever you want, what would you do? Why?
Right now, my focus is entirely on getting our True Clarity supplement to market as soon as possible.
I’d invest the $50K on getting the supplement manufactured and obtaining distribution deals with major retailers. The formula is critical for success and we’ve gone through painstaking effort to get it right. On our advisory board, we have Naina Shah, a food scientist at one of the biggest food companies in the world. We’ve got the science covered, and now Naina is working with us to make sure our supplement is appealing to children.
After we wrap up the manufacturing process, we can start to fulfill pre-orders and distribute the supplement through both major online retailers like Amazon and brick and mortar stores like Whole Foods and Target.
Ever experienced a “life changing moment?”
I read an article about 10 years ago that completely changed my perspective on life. A scientist discovered that babies already have over 200 chemicals in their bodies on the day they are born, including harmful chemicals like BPA. It blew my mind.
I started to pay attention to the chemicals we are exposed to in our everyday lives. I realized they are everywhere — in the food we eat, the sofa we sit on, the laundry detergent we use on our clothes, the plastic food container, the skincare lotion we slather on ourselves and our kids, and on and on. We are literally surrounded with toxic chemicals in everything we touch, ingest, and wear.
I became determined to change the little things wherever possible to reduce my family’s exposure to harmful chemicals and that determination is channeled into FreshMynd. While we’re nowhere near living a life free of harmful chemicals, we’ve come a long way in 10 years.
If you had $1M to invest, where would you put it (you can’t invest in your own company)?
Being part of Republic’s family of startups, I’ve discovered many amazing startups doing incredible, innovative things that will impact the world in a positive way. I’d invest in a few of these startups, such as Coding Autism and mlQroTech, to give them the opportunity to fulfill their potential.
I’d also invest in B Corporations — innovative companies that are hugely successful while still prioritizing human wellness. Companies like Warby Parker, Patagonia, Seventh Generation, and King Arthur Flour inspire me to join the global movement for social good by getting FreshMynd certified as a B corporation.
Last, I’d diversity my portfolio by investing in cool emerging trends like cryptocurrency and renewable energy. I’m fascinated by bold innovation that has the power to change our world for the better.
Why equity crowdfunding?
Equity crowdfunding allows us to connect directly with our potential customers and create a community of like-minded parents who give them the opportunity to share in our success.
Working with Republic in particular is a huge benefit for any startup. They offer so much support beyond the crowdfunding part. The team at Republic is made up of entrepreneurs, so they understand the journey and how best to enable startups to succeed. They have helped us refine our pitch, connect with valuable resources, and complete legal and accounting requirements. It’s been a big boost.
Recruiting smart, sensible team members with a strong work ethic guarantees they’ll build teams in their image and create a high-performing organization.
What three skills make a good leader?
A clear vision, the ability to recruit good people, and trusted communication.
A clear vision rallies everyone on the team to work towards a common goal and to be motivated by the same values. It gives everyone a blueprint for making the right choices for the company, which is essential, because in a small startup, everyone has a lot of responsibility and autonomy to make decisions on behalf of the company.
Recruiting good people is critical to the success of a startup. They set the culture of the company. Recruiting smart, sensible team members with a strong work ethic guarantees they’ll build teams in their image and create a high-performing organization.
Trusted communication is the bedrock of a strong company. Team members need to feel that you are honest and trustworthy in your communications with them and that you are communicating everything they need to know to excel in their role.
What are your interests and passions outside of your company?
I am mom to a 10 year old boy and he is my greatest passion. He’s funny, clever, kind, innocent, exuberant, talkative, and loving. When I’m with him, I consciously try to be in the moment and just enjoy our time together. It’s hard to unplug from the daily to-do lists that run continuously in your head as an adult!
I’m also obsessed with tech gadgets. I made my home into a smart home 10 years ago and I absolutely love it. Our setup has connected speakers, connected streamers, and connected light bulbs.
I believe that your actions create an endless ripple of resulting actions which impact you and the people you interact with.
What’s the thing you believe to be true that no one else agrees with?
I believe in karma, even though my husband makes fun of me for it. I believe that your actions create an endless ripple of resulting actions which impact you and the people you interact with, both known friends and family and strangers you encounter.
If you act in a positive manner, most people react by doing the same and if you behave negatively, it prompts others to act negatively, which in turn impacts others and on and on. As John Donne said “No man is an island, entire of itself.” I truly believe that to be the case.