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Shai takes trauma clinic from idea to impact

Transformer Launchpad winner Shai Hipperson.

A plan to open a specialist trauma psychology clinic has won the Bond University Transformer Launchpad competition for student entrepreneurs. 

Master of Clinical Psychology student Shai Hipperson pitched the idea to the judges, telling them an estimated one million Australians suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“Medicare data shows there has been a 220 percent increase in Australians seeking mental health support in the past 10 years,” Mrs Hipperson said.

“This surge in demand for treatment has coincided with significant changes in how psychologists are trained – it takes anywhere between six to nine years.

“We can’t speed up that training, so we have to improve our treatments.”

Mrs Hipperson said some PTSD sufferers underwent treatment for decades while newer, innovative treatments could be effective in just 12 months.

“We must reduce treatment times and get people back to living life,” she said.

The clinic would take a holistic approach to the treatment of mental health, incorporating diet and exercise.

“This is a broader focus than talk therapy alone,” Mrs Hipperson said.

“I am looking to build a multi-disciplinary team with a focus on the mind and body connection.” 

The Launchpad judges said the proposal was a ‘very good-looking business’ that ‘identifies a gap in the market, addressing it with a unique proposition’.

Mrs Hipperson is due to graduate soon and will put the $2000 prize from the Transformer competition towards securing a clinic location on the northern Gold Coast.

Transformer Program Manager Jodie Siggers said Mrs Hipperson was one of the first students to complete the Transformer Startup Idea to Launch program, based on the Lean Startup Principles.

The 12-module curriculum guides students through the critical stages of startup development. 

“Participants engage in one-on-one sessions with business coaches, which sets the stage for starting a business with validated learning,” Ms Siggers said. 

“This hands-on experience is invaluable for aspiring entrepreneurs, equipping them with the practical skills and knowledge to navigate the competitive business landscape.”

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