Young Innovators Success Stories: Cornelius Palm, Happyr Health, London
Revolutionising migraine management for young people
Chronic pain sufferer Cornelius Palm has long been frustrated with the continuous and often complex self-management required for chronic conditions. He started Happyr Health to help other young people like himself.
Happyr Health offers easy-to-use treatment plans, supports lifestyle changes and provides tailored behavioural exercises to help people living with migraines to manage their pain and realise their full potential in life.
Success after success
Before winning the Young Innovators Award, Cornelius already had one venture under his belt and had gained experience as Chief Operating Officer (COO) in another successful high-growth startup.
Upon joining the programme, Cornelius hoped to generate his first sales and acquire more funding. A year on, he has achieved so much more than that.
He’s developed a new wellbeing app to complement the existing headache and mood journaling app, and secured a clinical trial with the NHS. Over 60 wellbeing and behavioural exercises have been completed and are now available in the app, and Cornelius and co-founder Nicola have been invited to speak at the Spanish paediatric pain conference.
Cornelius also won two new grants for Happyr Health, which will support the progress of medical device certification and fund the opportunity to design a digital health clinic.
Ups and downs
Cornelius’s time with the Young Innovators programme has been extremely productive, having launched new products, generated sales and secured funding for further innovation. So what’s next?
“With our existing parts of Happyr Health, we are moving from exploration to exploitation. We want to grow our revenue-generating pathways, while exploring new high-potential avenues, such as a digital health clinic with the Design Foundation Grant,” Cornelius says.
Since joining the programme, he explains that he’s become much more self-aware which has helped with his decision making. 2022 was a challenging year for Cornelius, with business setbacks and personal tragedies, but he has grown a lot in terms of resilience.
“I really understood that startups and life have many ups and downs. The most important thing is to allow feelings and to have the right systems in place. I always want to maintain the serenity and aliveness that gives me so much joy when I work on Happyr Health,” he adds.
The value of mentorship
Winning the Award has had a massive impact on Happyr’s progress. It gave Cornelius the opportunity to work on the business full time and the programme’s mentoring has proved invaluable.
“My innovation champion, Heather, helped me a lot on a human level to process and make the sometimes difficult decisions. I am very grateful for her professional and humane support and experience,” he says.
He also speaks highly of the programme in terms of how it accepts and supports “authenticity, vulnerability and weakness” with such empathy.
“I particularly liked that I didn’t have to commit to topics if they didn’t fit with Happyr Health’s goals, and that individualisation was possible.”
Support and opportunities
Cornelius believes the Young Innovators programme can benefit any business that is just starting out. He adds that prospective applicants shouldn’t put too much pressure on themselves and should focus on what their business needs.
“No matter what point you are at in your entrepreneurial journey, the Young Innovators programme will provide the right support and opportunities for you,” he says.
“You probably can’t allow yourself the time and energy to get to know everyone and learn and perceive everything. Explore what your needs are and how they can be met in a focused way, then take action.”
Join us and become part of the Young Innovators community. Find out more about the programme here.
Read the other Young Innovators’ success stories here.
The Young Innovators Awards are an annual competition from Innovate UK that finds, supports and celebrates young people with great business ideas.