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POSTED MAY 21, 2021   |   
Kelly-ann Bethel

Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer at Recess ai

Founder & Chief Executive Officer at SKED


Who said that only Elon Musk could manage two impressive companies at the same? Well, Kelly-ann is doing just that.

Kelz is the co-founder and CEO of recess ai. The company wants to help entrepreneurs, creatives, and high performers optimize productivity by improving their mental fitness. It's first product is an app that is scheduled to launch very soon.

Back in 2015, Kelz founded sked. sked is a website builder for service providers who want a quick and easy way to create their own appointment website.

We can't wait for you to discover this extraordinary woman.

Alright Kelz, the floor is yours!

Please provide us with your name(s)

My name Kelly-ann Bethel mostly called “Kelz”

Where are you from?

Originally from Trinidad and Tobago working from Toronto Canada

Tell us about you (background info)?

Kelly-ann Bethel fondly called “Kelz” is a 3x tech entrepreneur and is currently the co-founder and CEO of two startups, SKED & Recess.

Kelly-ann Bethel first burst into the tech scene in 2007 while at her local university. There she launched shopawaytt.com, one of the first Caribbean platforms that facilitated online purchases from foreign retailors like Amazon and eBay without the use of a credit card.

Merging her passions; psychology, tech & entrepreneurship, Kelly-ann and her co-founder Lisanne Fellinger has been working on an innovative wellness tech startup called Recess. Recess is mobile app that digitizes a trauma informed therapy through VR & AR to help optimize performance and mental fitness of entrepreneurs, creatives & executives. Launching soon in June 2021.

Kelly-ann also spends her days running SKED (skedonline.com) where she is the co-founder/CEO. After launching in 2015, as a marketplace mobile app for services, SKED has passed through many iterations, but we have built a simple website builder and business management dashboard that helps small service businesses get a website that manages their appointments, clients, accepts online payments and tracks revenue.

After serving over 300 businesses across over 10 countries. SKED continued to develop easy-to-use business tools to help low tech-savvy community businesses thrive online. As a response to post COVID reality, & with more persons joining the gig economy, SKED launched a Pro version, SKED makes it easy for anyone to get up and running online; no code, no developers, no hassle. SKED pro provides a powerful website builder with integrated appointment booking software, business management tools, payments, and custom domain for low tech, community-based services businesses and side giggers.

For her work in the technology, she has won many awards & competitions and have represented the Caribbean tech in many spaces in Canada, Europe & US. Kelly-ann as presented on a global stage in conferences such as Web Summit Lisbon Portugal, Afrobytes Paris, Tech Beach Retreat, Jamaica and she sat with Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Keith Rowley to discuss digitization of the country.

She sits on advisory board for many Caribbean based startups and have been responsible for the launch and development of other tech businesses in the region as a launch consultant. Within the tech ecosystem in Trinidad and Tobago she has sat on the founding team of ecommerce association to help develop the payment ecosystem within the country.

With over 14 years in the Caribbean tech entrepreneurship Kelly-ann Bethel is a leader and pioneer as a woman in Tech for the region.

Kelz is now the CEO & Founder of Toronto based start up Recess. An app that digitizes trauma informed psychology to help business owners, founders and entrepreneurs improve performance and reduce stress.

Why are you starting this business?

I'm passionate about building tech for humanity. My current thesis is on exploring the intersection of mental health, tech, and entrepreneurship.

With 14 years as a tech entrepreneur and MSc in Psychology, I observed ebbs and flows in productivity and mood over time. This is consistent with research that indicates that 42% of entrepreneurs have challenges with their mental health.

Fueled by this passion, we are currently building Recess; a mind tech app focused on optimizing performance and increasing flow in high performers. While aiming to solve the issue of scalability around mental health, our app digitizes principles in neuroscience and trauma-informed psychology through the use of VR/AR.

Please provide us with some information about your business. (description, business model, etc.)

Recess is a high scale tech start up in the mental health niche. Our business model is pretty simple, people pay a monthly subscription to use our product in addition there are many in depth courses within the app with deeper courses for specific issues like imposter syndrome, perfectionism etc.

The sector of mental health niche is growing and have been increasing over 50% year over year. The mental health tech space is projected to have exponential growth in the next 5 years as you can see from unicorns like headspace and calm. Here are some stats below that frames the opportunity:

• Mental health is a global pandemic.
• 1 in 5 persons has been diagnosed with mental illness
• 300 million people globally suffer from depression and anxiety
• Barriers to treatment due to global stigma
• Increasing demand for psychologist globally
• 33.9 psychologist for every 100k persons in the US
• Behavioral healthcare software market 2.3-billion-dollar industry and growing
• Funding for mental health startups are on the rise in 2020
• Increase in entrepreneurship due Covid19
• Rise in mental health issues due Covid19

What stage are you in right now?

Currently Recess is in alpha testing and is about to launch a private beta found in June 2021. The version would be public in September 2021.

If persons are interested in becoming one of our first users, please visit our website at withrecess.com to sign up.

What are you looking for at this stage for your business?

At this stage of the business our aim is awareness with crippling statistics between the correlation of mental health and entrepreneurship we believe that start up accelerators and even VC funds should give more consideration to entrepreneurs’ mental health. Our goal over the next quarter is to partner with accelerator programs and start up hubs across the world. This will help to provide Recess app at discounted rates to entrepreneurs globally.

We believe that mental health care should optimize for the positive parts of ourselves, but we also believe that mental wellness should be accessible and scalable to all those who need it.

What do you want us to remember about you?

I want people to remember my passion for really making an impact in this space. As a previous entrepreneur, as a woman, as an immigrant and as a woman of color. It’s important for people to understand that my journey 14 years as an entrepreneur, is also my journey to Recess. I’m building Recess for myself and I need Recess just as much as all of us builders and doers.

Instagram: @kelzlovescoffee

Website: www.linkedin.com/in/kelzbethel

Twitter: www.twitter.com/kelzbethel