Joyance was established in 2017 with a clear mission: invest in the emerging science of happiness, with a focus on cultivating joy to improve the way we live.
But identifying what truly brings joy requires a widely diverse team with different experiences and backgrounds, says Joyance’s Head of Marketing Nicole Staudinger.
“We built our team to encompass many different perspectives so we can explore what joy means for the widest range of both individuals and communities," says Nicole. “We then choose the most successful companies that are innovating to create that joy, in whatever form it takes."
The Impact of Joy
Recent research has shown significant connections between mental health, physical health, and longevity. Joyance’s portfolio companies find ways to cultivate happiness, but they also do so much more: they all develop solutions that have a deep impact on overall quality of life.
“Some of our companies are developing ways to diagnose cancer earlier, or providing methods for managing chronic diseases. Conditions like these can make life so much harder, resulting in feelings of isolation and hopelessness - our companies are creating transformative solutions,” says Nicole.
In addition to addressing the emotional effects of poor physical health, Joyance also recognizes that many people feel threatened and unsettled by a global sense of uncertainty and turmoil.
“With the current state of the world, it is challenging to focus on joy,” says Nicole. “But humans are so innovative. Humanity has overcome so many challenges in the past, and we have faith that we will continue to do so. So at Joyance, we support the brilliant people, entrepreneurs, and companies that are harnessing new technology to improve people’s lives and give them a sense of increased well-being and stabilization.”
Building a Team of Joymakers
According to Nicole, due to their unique nature, Joyance’s portfolio companies experience distinctive challenges and need teams with specific talents and skills to fulfill their missions.
“Many of our companies are working with first-of-its-kind, groundbreaking technology, so the concepts behind how they work are difficult to explain; they need communications and marketing experts who are skilled in taking complicated ideas and making them accessible to the public,” says Nicole.
Likewise, many of their companies deal with “taboo” topics that have long been stigmatized. “Those companies need PR and media specialists to help break down societal biases,” she says.
Alternatively, the founders of some companies already excel in those areas; these companies need people with highly advanced technical skills and expertise to support their complicated inner systems.
But more than anything, Nicole says Joyance’s portfolio needs people who will share their founders’ dedication and passion. “For many of our startups, the CEOs and founders started their companies because of a deep personal struggle, and they are striving to improve the lives of others by leveraging that life-changing experience,” says Nicole. “They are building their dreams with an impactful intention. And so the folks they hire need to understand that, firmly believe in the mission, and be willing to work really hard to bring that mission to life.”
One of the founders that stands out to Nicole is Maya Hardigan. Maya experienced a life-threatening condition for both herself and her child during her pregnancy and found the health system for African-American women severely lacking. This inspired her to start her company Mae, connecting that community to culturally-appropriate resources, doulas, and physicians.
“Unsurfacing and addressing hidden issues like these is a truly joyful experience,” says Nicole. “To be lifted from a feeling of disconnect and isolation to a space where you can make your voice heard and connect with others navigating similar challenging circumstances - a deep sense of joy comes with that.”
Thank you to Nicole for her time and insights, as well as the entire Joyance team’s work to create more joy in our lives. If you’re interested in finding out more or want to help contribute to that mission, check out Joyance’s job board!