Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in mental wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Colleen Leung, Co-Founder of Unmute, located in Boston, MA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

At Unmute, we help people from marginalized communities match to the right therapist. As demand for mental health care rises, we are experiencing a shortage of mental health providers, particularly those who can provide culturally informed care. The #1 indicator of success in therapy is the therapeutic alliance; given that 80% of therapists are white, studies have found that providers do not need to have the same lived experience to create a strong patient alliance; however, they do need to be skilled on developing a cultural alliance. Unmute makes mental health care more inclusive and accessible for BIPOC communities by delivering culturally informed care and matching BIPOC patients to the right mental health provider.

Tell us about yourself

Hi! I'm Colleen Leung; I'm a first-generation Chinese American, born and raised in Hawaii and relocated to Boston to get my MBA from Babson College. Growing up, my family did not speak about mental health openly. So when my mom battled severe depression and suicidal ideation five years ago, our family was at a loss. I blindly navigated the therapist search process for her and found a therapist. My mom was skeptical about seeking therapy, so when the therapist I found her ended up being a bad fit, she was no longer interested in trying therapy again. It was this awful experience where I realized how critical the patient-therapist match and the first therapy experience is when you're coming from a community that may distrust mental health care.

Every day I wake up to new user intakes seeking our team's help in finding a therapist; knowing that we are able to be a part of their healing journey motivates me to do what we do at Unmute.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

To be honest, my biggest accomplishment to date in starting Unmute was getting my CTO to join me full-time. He and his wife just had their second baby a few months back, he was working at a later-stage tech startup as a software developer, and I knew he would be giving up a lot. I had just raised a small angel round- enough so I could pay him at a reduced salary. I felt really accomplished at that moment because bringing him on full-time meant that he truly believed in me and the vision we would set out to create for Unmute.

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

The hardest thing about being a Founder is prioritization- there are countless things an early-stage founder could do, from applying to accelerators, getting more customers, more traction, talking to investors, and focusing on building; the list is endless.

The ability to prioritize what your milestones are at various timeframes is an invaluable skill set to have and one that I continue to work on developing.

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

  1. It's all about your team- surround yourself with people who believe in your mission and will motivate you to keep going when your days are lonely and your hopes are low. There are countless times that I wanted to quit, but having the right team and support system at home will make it easier to survive the lows.
  2. Your business will not exist if you don't take care of yourself physically and mentally first. Self-care is not a nice to have; it's a must-do.
  3. Celebrate the small wins! This is something I'm still working on, it's so easy to be caught up on all the work that needs to be done and to fall into the go-go-go mindset, but it's critical for yourself and for your team to celebrate the small wins along the way. Entrepreneurship is a journey, so you might as well stop and smell the flowers along the way!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

If any readers are looking to get matched to a therapist, visit

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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