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Sevelyn wants to be the mental well-being platform for non-English speakers

Carlos Argüello started Sevelyn with the goal of bringing on-demand healthcare to patients regardless of insurance coverage or a language barrier. Initially, Argüello focused on providing primary care, but with too many logistics to navigate as a startup, he quickly pivoted to focusing on mental health.

“We started diving more into our customer discovery, went back through the 400 customer discovery interviews that we had done at that time, and started sifting through all the interviews,” said Argüello. “And we found that about 80% of our interviewees, when they were talking about their health care issues, or the pain points they have with health care, mentioned mental health.”

Sevelyn is an online marketplace bridging the gap Latinos in the US face when seeking mental health services. Through the company’s platform, Latinos are able to connect with vetted, mental health providers in Latin American, who understand the language, culture, and everyday life challenges Latinos face.

Less than 5.5% of all the therapists in the US today can speak a second language, Argüello told Clay & Milk. “That’s a big problem. Because we are a country of immigrants. And ven some people that are fully bilingual, when it comes to therapy, often prefer to speak with somebody in their first language.”

Services provides therapy sessions at a fixed rate of $50 per session. Additionally, Sevelyn offers a free 45-minute first session with each therapist to ensure you find the right one for you.

What’s next for Sevelyn?

Sevelyn is currently participating in this year’s cohort of Techstars Iowa and will be presenting at Techstars Demo Day tomorrow night at the Science Center in Downtown Des Moines. Argüello says that the company is looking to raise a seed round following Demo Day.

Argüello says he wants to take the lessons that he’s learned from trying to acquire the Latino market, and then do a rinse and repeat model to other ethnicities in the US that have the same challenges in getting access to mental health.

“We don’t want to also be known for a teletherapy platform only, or a digital mental health platform only. We want to be known for a mental well-being platform for non-English speakers,” said Argüello.

Previous coverage

Techstars Iowa Accelerator Announces 2021 Class -July 19, 2021

Sevelyn wants to be the mental well-being platform for non-English speakers | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
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