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Grief Coach PBC

Grief Coach is a Delaware public benefit corporation. The company was founded by Emma Payne, a seasoned technology entrepreneur and MIT graduate who started building online communities before Netscape was born. Since launching Grief Coach in 2018, Emma has built a diverse team of business advisors and expert contributors, with skills including mobile delivery, childhood bereavement, sibling loss, and mental health. Advisors include hospice leaders and therapists. Expert contributors are listed here:

We also have a committed, part-time, passionate and talented development and customer support team with expertise in mobile development, social engagement and bereavement care.
Our vision is of a world where no-one ever has to grieve alone.

Our mission is to reduce the negative health outcomes associated with grief by delivering affordable, personal, accessible grief support, at scale, both to grieving people and to the people who love them.
Type of Organization
Startup - Newly established businesses, investable
Size of Organization
Organization Mailing Address

1204 Minor Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
United States

Grief Coach
Grief Coach delivers personalized grief support via SMS. We send content, tips and reminders to people who are grieving, as well as to the friends and family who want to support them, but often aren't sure how. In this way we support caregivers as well as grievers, and have seen how impactful this community approach can be. Text messages are delivered all year long, and are customized based on age, cause of death, relationship to the deceased and more.

Grief Coach is purchased by individuals, as well as by organizations such as hospices and other organizations who need new ways to deliver bereavement care at scale.
Category of Innovation
Digital Health - A digital health solution is a technology-based solution whose user is caring for or providing care for themselves (think of a personal app) or another individual (such as a doctor using a tool to help their patient)
Intended End User
Patient - Individuals who receive health care
Provider - Individuals or organizations responsible for providing care to patients (e.g. doctors, nurses, hospital/clinic administrators, etc.)
Purchaser - Organizations responsible for purchasing health benefits for a population of people (e.g. employers or government entities)
Impactful Innovation Stage (Click Here for Details)
Problem (i.e. barrier, issue, complication, etc.) being solved for the end user
The negative health outcomes associated with unsupported grief are well-documented, and include anxiety, depression and lost income, however grief support remains inaccessible for many Americans. At the same time, most people have friends and family members who want to help. Having support from even one or two people after the death of a loved one, improves outcomes for individuals, as well as for their families and communities over time. There's an immediate opportunity to use technology to deliver support at scale, and to also engage caregivers in the delivery of thoughtful, accessible bereavement care.

Even before COVID-19 took away in-person therapy, support groups, and hugs from friends, funding cuts were leaving vast numbers of Americans without access to the bereavement care they need. People report long waiting lists for therapy, cancelled support groups and summer camps, and often a discomfort speaking to strangers as well. Grief organizations, hospices, OPOs, tissue banks and other bereavement care providers, are struggling to keep up with demand while also looking for new ways to deliver bereavement care.

What is desperately needed is scalable, affordable and accessible grief support, that can be delivered safely, and from a distance. Health outcomes improve when people have support after a death, and those improved health outcomes translate into healthier individuals, families and communities over time.
Idea/solution to the problem, if applicable
Grief Coach delivers grief support all year long, without any installations or integrations. Our B2C product has been purchased by individuals in 6 countries so far, and our B2B offering makes it easy and affordable for hospices and other organizations to deliver bereavement care at scale.

As an example, Grief Coach is delivering bereavement care to families served by Hospice of the Western Reserve in Ohio. President and CEO, Bill Finn, has this to say about Grief Coach. “More than ever, it is critical that we find innovative new ways to care for people after a loss. The texting capabilities provided by Grief Coach are particularly meaningful during the COVID crisis, a time when many of the more traditional ways of providing in-person grief support are on hold. Our bereavement team will now have the ability to oer personalized, text-based support to the thousands of hospice families we care for each year.”

Coaching and supporting caregivers is the best way to deliver grief support at scale. There simply aren't enough therapists and support groups to meet the growing need for bereavement care, and even if there were, not everyone can access or afford these supports. What everyone wants, though, is the patience and care of the people around them. The disruption we need is a human one, and Grief Coach's text messages provide a practical and immediate way to help grievers, as well as their friends and family, work together to improve outcomes.
Level of adoption (i.e. list of customers/users, testimonials, etc.), if applicable
We launched our DTC service in 2019 and have paying subscribers in 6 countries so far. You can see customer testimonials here:

In the Spring we launched our B2B offering for hospices, and are now working with 3 hospices who are delivering Grief Coach subscriptions to their bereaved family members. After national coverage as the cover story for Employee Benefit News, we also launched an EAP offering for employers who want to support grieving employees. We have our first paying EAP client up & running now, as well as some non-profit organizations (i.e. Heal Grief and Experience Camps) who are delivering text-based support to their clients.

Also in the Spring, we launched a B2B2C program which allows support group providers, therapists and others to offer discounted Grief Coach subscriptions to their clients We have 23 affiliates onboard so far.
Impact (i.e. measurable outcomes), if applicable
We hear all the time from subscribers who are feel less isolated, and better supported, because of their Grief Coach subscriptions. By delivering personalized support, to both grievers and the people who care about them, we are positively impacting outcomes. Consider the subscriber who says that our messages are helping her process her Mom's death, but that she really appreciates the tips & suggestions we're sending to her husband, because he's able to understand more of what she's going through and be patient with her process.

While these anecdotal outcomes are helpful, we're looking forward to measuring outcomes as part of our new contracts with hospices who will allow us to begin surveying bereaved family members.
Funding Stage
Not Applicable
List of Funding Sources (if applicable)
Grief Coach is HIPAA compliant
Has your company attested to any codes of conduct?