New Orleans App Startup Filling Gaps in Human Connection

You talk, someone listens. That’s the curiously simple yet unique idea for this New Orleans based app startup.

Happy, the App, evolved from a common feeling: loneliness. Between jobs and still healing from a recent breakup, co-founder Jeremy Fischbach found all of his closest friends and family members unreachable. This isn’t uncommon – you are going through things but you feel like a burden venting to your already busy friends and family. It often feels like no one has the time, and the result is emotional isolation and loneliness. Thus, emerged Happy.

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The app works a lot like Uber – you request a “Giver”, and Happy pairs you with an intelligent listener. With the tap of a button, this Giver will provide you with undivided support and attention. And for $12 per 30 minutes, it is a fraction of the cost of traditional and less readily available forms of therapy. These Givers go through a multi-step vetting process and include all types of people who are extremely emotionally intelligent and skilled at providing support and advice. To ensure consumer satisfaction, it is completely anonymous, and calls are rated each time. In such an interconnected and technologically driven society, why shouldn’t we be linking emotionally intelligent people who want to help, to those seeking it? We do it with cars (Uber and Lyft), and even with homes (Air BnB). Now, we can do it with people.

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I’ve had the opportunity to start working at the company as a social media marketer running the Instagram page. Happy’s CEO, Jeremy Fischbach, resides in New Orleans, as well as the CMO, Emily Rosenzweig, who also works here at Tulane as a marketing professor in the business school. Through my work with the company, I’ve become particularly interested in just how important their mission is. While Happy can benefit all types of people, college students can be particularly vulnerable to the struggles of loneliness. Although surrounded by people constantly, many students do not have someone who has an hour or even thirty minutes out of their day to provide undivided attention and active listening. Even our best friends might not be able to offer this as often as we would like or need. Instant access to empathy and encouragement just isn’t always possible, and the human connection seems to be rapidly dwindling. Now, the same technology that often isolates us allows us to connect in meaningful ways.

If Happy the App sounds like something you are interested in, your first call is free. The concept is new and the app is still in the beginning stages, but it seems to hold some promise for the future of human connection.

About Julia Liquori

Julia Liquori is an English and Marketing major who wishes she could live at the beach all year long. She is a self-claimed extrovert who loves being around people, whether it’s at The Boot or in a workout class.

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