Meet the innovator: Grace Gimson

November 16, 2021


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In this edition, we caught up with Grace Gimson, Co-Founder and CEO at Holly Health; your personal health and motivation coach, in your pocket.

Pictured above: Grace Gimson

Tell us about your innovation in a sentence.

The Holly bird 🐦 becomes your personal health and motivation coach, in your pocket, providing you with the daily direction and support to feel psychologically and physically better!

What was the ‘lightbulb’ moment?

Experiencing my challenges with burnout, and struggling to keep on top of my physical and mental wellbeing through a busy career. I also saw the same thing happening to so many people around me. Luckily I found a way out, through being consistent and deliberate with daily habits like getting enough sleep, getting outside for walks, and taking time to give my brain space. Then I wanted to help others to find their way too.

What three bits of advice would you give budding innovators?

  1. Believe in yourself, everyone is making it up as they go along, it’s a tough journey but stick to your guns as your unique insights and experiences are what set you apart.
  2. Remember that you won’t be able to last the journey unless you take care of your own physical and mental health along the way. Set boundaries to avoid burnout.
  3. Take and seek help and support in the areas you’re less sure about. Even just one conversation with someone who’s been through it before can make all the difference.

What’s been your toughest obstacle?

In the early stages, with a tiny team, it’s a difficult balancing act. Some weeks I feel like I’m doing five different jobs, and I want to do them all well. But the reality is you have to prioritise, be realistic, and set really clear goals with yourself, being ruthless about things that don’t move you closer to them. I often still overfill my calendar and should say no to things more often.

What’s been your innovator journey highlight?

Hearing the stories of others finding their health and wellbeing path with the help of Holly Health. Especially receiving feedback that it’s changed people’s mindsets for good because I know personally that when you cross through that barrier, there’s no going back!

Best part of your job now?

I get to learn about psychological medicine every day. It’s so exciting combining psychological science with technology to innovate beyond what’s been possible before!

If you were in charge of the NHS and care system, what’s the one thing you’d do to speed up health innovation?

I’d use my influence to go to the school education system, to change up the curriculum. I believe the future survival and success of the NHS comes from encouraging preventive health approaches (for both physical and mental health) from the earliest point possible.

A typical day for you would include…

A bit of deeper or creative work first thing in the morning, when fresh. This could involve some product design planning, or company goal setting. Followed by lots of remote meetings, for example; a team check in, a podcast episode recording, a partnership chat with a healthcare provider, an investor conversation. Then a few hours of emails and admin. I end the working day by preparing for tomorrow!

Where can we find you?

Visit our website or follow us on LinkedIn.