Interested in starting your entrepreneurial journey in app development, but not sure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ty McKinney, co-founder of 8 Bit Cortex, from Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Tell us all about your business...

We are developing an app to gamify collecting mental wellness data with integrated burnout prediction algorithms. Our mission is to make workplace wellness fun and data-driven. We are currently hosting burnout management workshops and offer wellness data consulting as we build our app. If you lead a team and care about their wellbeing, we would love to help you achieve that goal.

What's your background and motivation to grow as a solopreneur?

8 Bit Cortex evolved from scientific research on how to measure fluctuations in attention better. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, our founding team made a gamified prototype to address the looming mental health crisis. Since then, we have pivoted to focus on the workplace wellness sector, as it has the most opportunity for our technology to make a significant impact. We are motivated to see a better future where our friends, family, and colleagues are not victims of burnout but having fun optimizing their mental wellness.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Building our first Minimum Viable Product version of our app ( Seeing other people react positively to what you have created is the most validating experience and propels us to keep making improvements.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a solopreneur?

The uncertainty and insecurity that come with putting your services on the free market. It's the worst kind of Imposter Syndrome. However, the treatment is to be brave and keep trying.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run or grow a small business today?

  1. Ensure your wellness is managed. When this is taken care of, the challenge of building a business is not unnecessarily hard-just regular hard.
  2. People are everything. It's people that will understand your vision and help you line up the first few deals needed to get traction.
  3. No one succeeds alone, so make sure your team provides you the support you need to be the best leader for them to thrive.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

We are currently conducting a research survey on the cost of burnout and would appreciate your time (5-10 minutes) to help us collect data to understand the scale of the problem. If you lead a team of 2 people or more, use this link to our anonymous survey:

Where can people find you online?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.