The Thursday ceremony concluded the Columbia Chamber of Commerce Small Business Week of 2021. To be nominated, businesses had to have less than 25 full-time personnel, opened before January 2019 and be in good standing with the Columbia Chamber of Commerce.
Healium took home the award for its tech startup in what CEO and Chief Storyteller Sarah Hill called the “Silicon Prairie.” “As a reporter, you are covering rapes, murders and suicide and getting up to do it again tomorrow,” Hill said. “If you don’t have some mental health hygiene, that will give yourself the inability to sleep, to focus, and for me, that led to panic.”
Hill herself was a reporter for more than 20 years and experienced the burnout and trauma of her stories. The company experienced an increase in users during the coronavirus pandemic. As users became more trapped inside their homes, Healium offered a way to travel elsewhere synthetically.
The employees at Healium work from a place of understanding about mental health. In her speech at the ceremony, Hill said that everyone on the mostly female staff struggles with anxiety. The business uses virtual and augmented reality technology to help people manage stress and anxiety. Hill described the virtual reality experience of meditating in a park while not physically being at a park.
Sales are up more than 400% since pre-pandemic numbers, Hill said. “This is the stress Olympics right now,” Hill said. “These are portable digital tools that can bring you a walk in the park when you can’t physically take a walk.”
Source www.columbiamissourian.com “Holy cow, we have a virtual vacation to provide people around the world,” Hill said.
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- Healium Wins Columbia Small Business of the Year Award | Missouri Business
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