While many students come to GreenHouse to start a business venture, Manav Kainth had a different goal: simply to create an impact.
Manav arrived at GreenHouse with four distinct ideas of how he might make a difference, but the more the third year Science and Business student thought about it, the more he hoped to create a positive impact on student mental health. He thought about conversations he had had with struggling friends, recognizing that he might be able to impact only a few. He began to imagine ways he might be able to help many more students. This led him to reflect on what had been most helpful for his own mental health: meditation. While raised in a family that encouraged meditation, it wasn’t until Manav began using a meditation app that he really saw the benefits of mindfulness. He began to wonder how this might be used by a wider audience.
Being at GreenHouse was pivotal in his thinking, in three distinct ways. He says, “First, living together with other entrepreneurs in community offers emotional support and an atmosphere that makes you feel like you can be yourself. Second, mentorship has been key. I’m the one doing the work at the end of the day, but Tania and Brendan have provided direction and perspective and have helped me identify obstacles and opportunities. Finally, network. The GreenHouse brand is strong. Community members and business leaders are willing to talk with me because they recognize the bigger initiative that is GreenHouse.”
Through the support of peers, mentors and a wider network, Manav decided rather than to launch his own venture he would propose leveraging an existing marketplace solution: encouraging the university to be a leader in preventing mental health issues by providing an existing meditation app for all UWaterloo students. He will be piloting this with students in the winter term and is building a team to pitch this to the university, a project he believes could have terrific impact.