Plasticity Labs, Jennifer Moss
Company: Plasticity Labs, Waterloo, ON, Canada
Company Description: Plasticity is founded in positive psychology and neuroscience to increase employee happiness and flourishing. The PaaS (Platform as a Service) technology captures small and big data to be analyzed by a team of Plasticity Labs PhDs. Based on the data; evidence-backed, skill-building activities are deployed to improve an individual’s mood for a healthier more positive company culture.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Female Entrepreneur of the Year – Business Products –10 or Less Employees
Nomination Title: Jennifer Moss, CoFounder
Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated entrepreneur since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):
Within one calendar year, Jennifer Moss, alongside her CoFounder and her CTO, developed technology that trains in the traits of human flourishing and happiness for individuals and organizations. The team wrote the company's first line of code in November 2013 and today, they are truly an International company. The software is in 21 countries and deployed to thousands of employees. Jennifer grew the company from two to 10 full-time employees, seven academic researchers and six developer consultants in under one year.
Jennifer's story begins in San Jose, California where she was living with her husband Jim, a pro athlete who suddenly contracted West Nile and was rendered paralyzed. They were expecting their second child and the fear that Jim may not live was overwhelming. When they learned that Jim would survive but likely not able to walk again they were determined to think positively. After all, Jim was alive and that was all that mattered now.
Their mindset paid off. Jim walked out of the hospital in six weeks to stand by Jennifer in the delivery room. Jennifer understood gratitude at its most profound level that day, tears streaming down their faces as they both held Olivia in their arms.
To better understand Jim's recovery process, the couple returned to Canada, Their collaboration with a team of psychology scientists inspired The Smile Epidemic; a free consumer app that helps people to be more grateful by taking pictures of what made them smile and sharing them with the world. The epidemic went "viral" and people were soon posting their smiles in 150 different countries around the globe.
When people started to bring it into the workplace and found it was a morale-booster, Jennifer and Jim applied to a tech incubator to keep the project going. They beat out hundreds of other applicants from all over the world to be chosen as one of the 10 to receive $40,000 and support to get the software off the ground. At the time, Jennifer was only one of three female Cofounders to graduate the program.
Jennifer and her team believed that if the technology's main focus is to improve happiness levels in individuals, then the benefits to companies play out in healthier, more engaged, productive employees. Plasticity uses research-backed training activities to teach people how to have more hope, efficacy, resiliency, optimism, gratitude, empathy and mindfulness in common workplace situations. Working with well-regarded scientists like Shawn Achor, Dr. Anne Wilson and Dr. Vanessa Buote to keep the technology grounded in science is a priority for Jennifer, who says she "takes happiness seriously."
Jennifer was invited to speak at SXSW in 2012/13, TEDxWomen and Demand Success as a thought leader on Entrepreneurship. She was interviewed by LinkedIn, The WSJ, Psychology Today, wrote articles for the Globe and Mail and appeared on national news programs.
In her spare time, she guest lectures for the MBA Program at Laurier University. She is a Professor of Digital Media and mentors startups as the only female mentor in the LaunchPad program. Jennifer is also a mentor and coach for the Google E3 (Engaging in Entrepreneurship and Engineering) for girls Grade 11 and 12.
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Provide a brief biography of the nominated entrepreneur (up to 125 words):
Jennifer Moss is the Cofounder of Plasticity Labs; research-backed software that uses behavioural science training to improve individual and organizational performance. Plasticity measures social/emotional intelligence and harnesses this valuable data to improve psychological fitness.
Jennifer's long-standing passion for improving workplace culture stemmed from a corporate community relations pilot that focused on public service. This project earned Jennifer the Award of Public Service from the Office of President Obama.
As a mother of three, Jennifer is extremely passionate about helping youth to leverage their EQ. She and her husband founded Smiles in Schools to teach kids how to be Academic H.E.R.O.s (Hopeful, Empathetic, Resilient and Optimistic). In conference with the UN and academic scientists, they work with schools globally, to foster these traits in kids.