The 2023 Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit was a dazzling display of young talent from across the globe, all united by their innovative spirit, fervor, and commitment to effecting change. Among the high-profile attendees were supermodel Kendall Jenner and reggaeton sensation Bad Bunny, who were there to champion the groundbreaking accomplishments of up-and-coming companies like Selia.
The Forbes Under 30 Latinx Pitch Competition was a standout event at the Summit, where startups battled for recognition and funding. Amidst intense competition, Selia, a mental health platform that connects Spanish-speaking individuals with licensed psychologists, emerged victorious, securing a whopping $300,000 prize. In a generous move, Bad Bunny personally contributed $100,000 to this prize fund.
Before a thrilled crowd at the Under 30 Summit, Bad Bunny, who served as a judge, declared, “While all the contenders here were deserving, we’ve chosen Selia as the winner!” His endorsement affirmed Selia’s innovative model and underscored the need for mental health support within the Latinx community.
The Judging Process and Selia’s Triumph
The pitch competition was evaluated by an esteemed panel, which included Parade founder Cami Téllez, EVERY cofounder Arturo Elizondo, and Reach Capital partner Jomayra Herrera—all of whom are Under 30 alumni.
The startups were assessed on scalability, market demand, and the unique “spark” that set them apart. Selia, presented by cofounder and chief product officer Jaime Castro, won over the judges.
A key factor that distinguished Selia was its innovative and cost-effective strategy for attracting both customers and psychologists to its platform. Castro shared, “Recruiting providers has been much simpler than finding customers; we’re not spending any money on acquiring the specialists.” This tactic ensures a consistent supply of skilled mental health professionals while keeping operational costs manageable.
Selia’s Ambitious Future Plans
Armed with the significant funding from the Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit, Selia is now focused on a grand mission: addressing the unmet mental health needs of the Latinx population across Latin America and the United States. Castro estimates that around 65 million Latinx individuals lack access to adequate mental health services, and Selia is committed to closing this gap.
The funding boost will allow Selia to broaden its reach and further refine its platform, making quality mental health care accessible to a diverse and underserved community. Their innovative approach and dedication to improving lives have earned them recognition and the backing of influential figures like Bad Bunny.