Increasing Mindfulness with Student Startup Mind

It can be overwhelming to discuss a week’s worth of events in a one-hour therapy session, so many therapy patients resort to jotting down notes of events over the course of a week. For student startup founder Joel Hochman, this tactic was just not cutting it.

“I was walking to therapy one afternoon almost two years ago,” Hochman said, “and I just thought, ‘what if I could track my mood?’” Hence, the birth of Mind, a mental health app that allows patients to visualize, rate and share their moods securely with their therapists.

Mood tracking itself is not a new concept, but Mind is unique in that patients’ moods are shared with their therapists in real time. This helps to remove recency bias, the tendency to place greater emphasis on events that have occurred recently.

“What we’re trying to do with Mind is remove that recency bias and allow for a more holistic view of someone’s mental health to improve the quality of the interactions that they have with their therapist,” Hochman said.

The process for creating Mind was not as simple as it may seem. While studying abroad in Lisbon, Hochman decided it was time to go all in, and he started coding a beta version of the app.

“I was like I’m going to do this; I want this business to exist. I’ve been told it’s a good idea, and I’m going to figure it out,” he said. So after coming back to Tulane, he used his beta version to compete in Lepage Center’s Pizza Pitch competition. Hochman tied for first place with another student startup, and used his earnings to hire a freelancer who helped him finish that beta version.

Joel Hochman, standing with Professor Rob Lalka and alumni judges at Lepage Center’s Pizza Pitch competition

Although the beta version was not as pretty as he would have liked, it did give the Mind team new insights into the app. Besides Pizza Pitch, Hochman says he learned so much from Professor Rob Lalka’s Student Venture Accelerator Course and meeting with the Lepage Innovators-in-Residence.

“The ability to meet with people who have a lot of experience has been immensely helpful in refining my business idea,” he said.

As for the future, Hochman hopes that Mind will generate enough revenue so he can pay himself to continue working on the project full time. The Mind team ideally wants to put out a working prototype by the end of the year so they can get the app in the hands of clients and therapists.

On Friday, October 18, Hochman competed once again in Lepage Center’s Pizza Pitch, and this time he won the whole thing!

To learn more about Mind, you can subscribe to their mental health app newsletter at

Article by Neera Kennedy (Tulane, class of 2023)