Chattanooga health care startup WeCounsel gains $600,000 for video counseling

Chattanooga health care startup WeCounsel gains $600,000 for video counseling

August 14th, 2013 by Shelly Bradbury in Business Around the Region

Harrison Tyner, CEO of Chattanooga health care technology startup WeCounsel, talks about the company's tele-counseling services during the Gig Tank Demo Day at the Chattanooga Theater Center in Chattanooga.

Photo by Doug Strickland/Times Free Press.

A local health care company has committed $600,000 to a Chattanooga startup and Gig Tank graduate to fully fund the startup's first year.

WeCounsel, a startup that facilitates online video counseling sessions, will use the funding from UltraGroup Healthcare, a Chattanooga-based company that specialies in behavioral health programs, to hire two new full-time developers and expand their part-time staff, co-founder Harrison Tyner said.

WeCounsel's online platform allows therapists to take notes, coordinate scheduling, share documents, store client records and interact with colleagues. Clients can use the site to maintain continuity of care, avoid the stigma of walking into a therapist's office, or recieve specialized care in a rural area without a long commute.

UltraGroup facilitates outpatient care in 40 rural hospitals across eight states. UltraGroup President Kelly McBryde said he was impressed by WeCounsel.

"We were immediately impressed with WeCounsel's founders, the product they have developed, and the broad array of applications it will bring to the fast growing behavioral health industry," McBryde said. "We look forward to working with the team in improving access to high quality care for counseling and other mental health needs."

Tyner said forming a partnership with the 15-year-old company seemed like a natural fit. WeCounsel finished the Co.Lab's Gig Tank business incubator Aug. 6 after spending the summer hammering out the product and business plan.

"This is a really great hurdle for us to get over," Tyner said.

The WeCounsel team will continue to work out of the Co.Lab for the next month, then move into their own offices, he added. All three of WeCounsel's cofounders, Tyner, Riley Draper and Joshua Goldberg, hail from the Chattanooga region.

In a year, Tyner expects the company to be self-sustaining, and is aiming to have 800 providers using the online platform, with 15,000 total users and approximately 100,000 facilitated sessions.

Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at sbradbury@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6525.