Marcie Cheung: From fashion to healthcare as a queer Asian entrepreneur

So Marcie, how did you get here today?

Well, I was born and raised as a typical Bay Area Asian. I had a pretty normal childhood, and I went to UCLA for college, where I graduated with a degree in Mathematics and Economics. Once I graduated, I moved back to the Bay Area and took a job with Cisco as a financial analyst. After a year and a half, I realized my true passion was in the fashion industry, and I would do whatever it took to break into fashion.

And that’s when you started KindMind?

Almost. I was doing some consulting, which was fun. Still, once I understood the severe mental health issue of healthcare workers, I wanted to create a mental health platform specifically for clinicians. My parents caught COVID-19 early on, and I spent a lot of time with the doctors and nurses caring for them. I realized the pandemic only made things worse and wanted to create a solution for our caretakers.

What was it like creating the platform?

I had an idea in mind, but I knew I had to understand the pain points directly from my users. I interviewed hundreds of clinicians, took their feedback, and started building. I took my experience in fashion (supply and demand, lead times, etc.), made Jet.com (marketplace models, scaling, pricing, etc.), and took parts of it to build KindMind.

What challenges did you encounter when launching KindMind?

Other than the typical mental challenges of being an entrepreneur, I would say that there were more challenges for women than any of my other identities. There is a different expectation for women that they have to prove so much more before being given a chance. Fundraising as a woman is challenging — only 2% of VC funding went to female entrepreneurs last year, and I hope it continues to change and progress.

What advice would you give to other AAPI founders who might feel those same feelings?

There’s no right way to get there, and many opportunities can look like failures and vice versa. Don’t get discouraged because your journey might not look like other founders. We’re working hard to carve out new paths.

What’s next for you and KindMind?

I’m thrilled to announce that Heading Health has acquired KindMind, and I’ve joined them as the SVP of Growth. This is super exciting as we look to the future. We’re making significant strides with patients with severe depression, starting with an ketamine treatments that can help patients with depression and anxiety when combined with therapy.

You can connect with Marcie on LinkedIn for the latest updates on her and Heading, and make sure to follow our blog on Medium for more inspiring founder stories.

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