Founder Stories: Swiss Startup Founder Helps 10,000 Therapists to Treat their Patients Online

By Grace Williams | Berlin Founders Fund

I first met Yanick and Benjamin, the co-founders of, at a Berlin Founders Fund pitch event, and I was seriously impressed. Their business idea is killer – it solves a real problem for therapists and their pitch was on point. I’m a fan of their mission to modernize healthcare and make it more accessible to everyone. These guys are not only smart but also super efficient. I interviewed Yanick Steinbeck to find out more about his story, and got his top tips for founders!

Describe your business in 1 sentence

We build software and hardware for therapists to enable them to practice a specific kind of therapy online called EMDR.

Watch the video interview here

“It went viral in the EMDR therapist community. The week after launch the site went down because there was so much traffic. I started getting emails from the US, Uganda, India from therapists using it and asking to add new features. 5000 people were using it. It went from weekend project, to side project, to company”. – Yanick

So tell us about your background, where are you from?

“I’m from Switzerland, I’m 29, I studied Business and my first job was in Product Management in Berlin. Then I transitioned to the technology side of startups, I worked as a software engineer. brings together by business background and my software background”.

Yanick explained that he was a patient of EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) therapy a few years ago and had really benefitted from the therapy. Then during the global pandemic, he decided to build the software needed to enable his own therapist to be able to practice online.

Do you have a co-founder?

“Yes, my friend Benjamin Viehauser joined shortly after I quit my job to focus on, I’ve known him for a long time, I met him in the US when we were exchange students”.

Any crazy hobbies?

“I love snowboarding, last winter I think I snowboarded a total of 4 weeks, I grew up with it in Switzerland and in the last 2 years I started getting more serious about it”.

Footage of Yanick on the slopes, not really, but he’s probably that good

So, what is EMDR?

It’s a method of therapy used to treat trauma, such as PTSD, for war veterans, rape victims, depression and eating disorders, Yanick explained. Your brain is really good at pushing away traumatic experiences. EMDR uses bilateral stimulation to distract your brain so it can’t jump to its natural defence mechanism of suppressing the memory. Bilateral stimulation, as the name suggests, stimulates your brain left and right. It does this through 1. visual (eye movements), 2. auditory (sounds) and 3. tactile (vibrations). This method is more successful at healing trauma than normal therapy. We built the software and hardware that allows therapists to practice EMDR in person and online.

It’s the number 1 therapy used by the US military in war veterans, the Bundeswehr in Germany and also the UN with refugees and victims of crises.

“We actually built the world’s first hardware product that delivers tactile EMDR therapy online”.

What’s one fun fact about you?

“Oh, one fun fact about me is that I only have one lung. One got removed when I was 1 year old. The other one actually got a bit bigger, the miracles of the human body! Still, I don’t really notice it day to day”.

no way!

What is your experience with BFF, how has it helped you to succeed?

“BFF has been really helpful because, on the one hand you have the community, the events and the peers that you can connect with. On the other hand you have the structure of BFF where you have a sparring partner, an accountability partner, someone to float ideas with, discuss progress with, discuss future strategy with. Lastly a big network of mentors in all kinds of different areas where if you have a very specialised problem, you’ll usually be able to find someone within the network to give you some guidance”.

Common qualities of successful entrepreneurs, according to Yanick.

  1. Resilience 🦾 – you’ll have a lot of headwinds, sticking around in the hard times is important. If you don’t already have resilience, you could build it by starting an intense sport, or meditate, anything that builds resilience towards stress.
  2. Being a smart generalist 🧠 – you need to dive into new fields of knowledge, quickly understand what’s important, learn new things and then find the right people to work with and delegate to.
  3. Operate at different zoom levels 🔭 – Sometimes you need to go deep into a topic and think of all the details. And sometimes you need to be aware that your time is limited and find a way to operate at different levels of depth.

Great founders are able to BUILD and SELL. If you can do both, you have all the superpowers you need to build your MVP, sell it to customers, get funding and hire people. If you’re already good at one, work on the other.

What podcast do you recommend?

“One podcast I really enjoy is the Acquired podcast, it’s a business history podcast, these 2 guys, investors and former software engineers that dive into companies, analyze their history and give you the facts. It’s super interesting for entrepreneurs who want to understand the real stories of successful tech companies”.

Thoughts on Berlin?

“Berlin is so rich culturally and historically, it attracts a lot of interesting people from all over the world. One restaurant I really like is an Italian place called Tirelli’s on Kreuzbergstraße, great pasta”. 🍝

What did you focus on when building

  1. Building the hardware device to allow tactile therapy online (the world’s first device of it’s kind)
  2. Launching a paid plan for the software. We have a free and paid plan.
  3. Outreach and marketing

“The result is we’re now used by more than 10,000 therapists globally and we recently started monetizing with a paid software plan for therapists”.

What are you working on now?

“We’re currently working on growing the business and expanding the product. We’re also looking at partnerships, like researchers, universities, other telehealth players. People who are interested in working with us to reach more therapists, enhance EMDR and enhance the scope of our product. If you’re interested in partnering with us then feel free to reach out”.

The Berlin Founders Fund is financed through funds from the European Union (European Social Fund) and the State of Berlin.