Vaibhav Madhav SHARMA
CoffeeCat was founded to destigmatize the stigma of mental wellbeing by providing a safe environment to talk about mental health and create awareness. There was a lack of communication and the lack of ability to discuss this kind of issues freely. There was a pressing need to identify ways to help people cope with overwhelming stress and reduce the stigma attached to discussing mental health.
CoffeeCat is meant to be a safe, non-judgmental environment for people to meet and share personal stories, encouraging people to talk about mental health and break that major barrier of silence. The goal is to inspire healthy communities by giving them a place to have healthy conversations over a cup of coffee.
Mental wellbeing often takes a backseat compared to other issues in society. It has become more important than ever since the pandemic hit us.
Coffee shops are important in empowering people to talk about how they experience their own mental health in an environment where they feel supported.
Prevention starts with a conversation and it's about time we initiate that in our routine.
We bootstrapped this startup with assistance from my friends and as someone who has suffered from mental health challenges, viewed the coffee shop as a space for individuals to interact, grow, and share. We view the availability of similar shops to be a tool for empowering all partners within the coffee supply chain and as self-reliance in my otherwise small country that depends on imports from India. We work with local dealers so that they will have a place to sell their products. When we are able to buy a coffee roaster, we will be working closing with local farmers to help them increase their income. We work closely with a baseball club to encourage girls to come to play and help them develop confidence, skills, and gender equality on the field. We try to use reusable products to reduce waste production. We advocate the importance of mental health importance and spread health awareness.
Youth Co:Lab Cohort
"The Youth Co:Lab workshop has allowed me to continue what I am doing as a social entrepreneur. Having made friends with similar interests and knowing that we are all in this together has kept my team moving forward. It is not only friendship and relationships. Youth Co:Lab has equipped us with skills via online workshops that have made us more confident. We know we have a place to transform society and we can make a difference."