Young Innovators Awards recognition for Cornelius Palm
Cornelius Palm has expressed his delight at being recognised with a Young Innovators 2021/22 award.
Innovate UK’s third annual Young Innovators Awards initiative supports 63 inspiring 18 to 30-year-olds with a £5,000 grant, one-on-one business coaching and an allowance.
Cornelius worked as a paramedic in Germany for five years, studied entrepreneurship at Cambridge Judge Business School, and gained hands-on experience through one failed venture and then as CEO of Happy Health.
“Winning the award is a great validation and adds to my drive to move chronic pain in young people from stigma to the public agenda,” Cornelius said following the win.
Happyr Health was co-founded by Cornelius and Nicola Filzmoser in 2019. Both are chronic pain patients. Cornelius spent his youth with chronic abdominal pain, while Nicola has lived with migraine since the age of four.
“Chronic pain requires continuous and complex self-management that often fails,” he says. “It overwhelms young patients and frustrates doctors.”
He adds: “As a teen, your migraine can feel like a furious beast, so you have to tame the dragon!”
The business Cornelius and Nicola founded launched its first product, the Happyr app, in 2019. The app offers easy-to-use treatment plans, supports lifestyle changes, and provides tailored behavioural exercises. Migraine is the first condition supported by the app.
Indro Mukerjee, Innovate UK CEO, said: “The innovation potential of this young age group is incredible. It’s a cohort that promises to bring energy, entrepreneurial flair and fresh perspectives to today’s big challenges.
“Our young innovators are also relatable role models, inspiring and showing the path to others, as they create economic and societal benefits through innovation – so that we can all see a fairer, more resilient and more productive society.”
The Young Innovator awards are a partnership between Innovate UK, Knowledge Transfer Network and The Prince’s Trust. From solutions to help Covid patients get better ventilation to saving CO2 on pet food, the winners of this year’s Young Innovators’ Awards, announced by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, look set to tackle some of our biggest societal challenges.
The recognition follows the news that the Happyr app is on the Cofinitive #21ToWatch shortlist announced this month.
Cornelius is looking to develop the product and the service this year, saying: “In the coming months, we will focus especially on integrating personalised wellbeing exercises into the app. It’s great fun to work with psychologists, doctors and young people to develop exercises in a creative way.
“The first feedback of the wellbeing exercises for teens and young adults with migraine was touching. The self-care lessons of cognitive behaviour therapy helped – especially teens with migraine – to feel less lonely among the pandemic conditions. The breathing and relaxation animations helped to reduce stress and build more resilience.
“The positive feedback gives us huge strength as a team and we can't wait to make it more widely available.”