Solome Tibebu.

Going Digital: Behavioral Health Tech

As a teen entrepreneur, Solome Tibebu ’12 understood the potential of technology in addressing the biggest obstacle to mental health: access. Even before digital health tech became mainstream, she was exploring ways to use technology to provide better mental health care.

Tibebu has been involved in the mental health space since she was 16. She came up with the idea for Anxiety in Teens after her own experiences dealing with a severe anxiety disorder. At the time, she felt alone and frustrated by the lack of resources as a young person of color. “I felt like I was the only one going through the things I was dealing with, which is so not the case,” Tibebu said about why she formed a peer-support blog to help other teens dealing with the same issue.

Opus College of Business graduate Solome Tibebu in 2013.

When she began her entrepreneurship studies at the University of St. Thomas, she was already running her first business for two years. As a college entrepreneur, Tibebu participated in the Fowler Business Competition, which challenged her to think critically about the various components of a business plan and gave her the confidence to pursue her dream of becoming an entrepreneur. She received $20,000 in winnings and another $100,000 in investment from the Norris Institute Fund.

Tibebu further honed her presentation skills in entrepreneurship classes, where she learned to command the stage and pitch ideas effectively. These experiences gave her a taste of what the real world would be like, and she emerged with the skills and confidence to succeed as a founder.

After launching another mental health start-up, working with large health tech companies and investors, Tibebu founded her own digital health company after college – and began sharing her personal story across the country.

The support she received through the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at St. Thomas set her up for the biggest stage of her career yet – as founder and host of Going Digital: Behavioral Health Tech, the leading community focused on advancing health equity and access for all.

Our goal is to make progress in the health care field possible for underserved populations using tech and innovation.”

Solome Tibebu ’12

Convening changemakers in health care

Today, Tibebu is a leading mental health and patient advocate, nationally recognized speaker, and digital health investor. Her vision as a teen entrepreneur to expand access to mental health care has manifested into the largest digital health company of its kind in the country.

An annual behavioral health conference, hosted by Tibebu, connects key stakeholders in health care who are eager to work together to transform mental health, equity, and access. “What we’re doing here together as a collective whole can actually help change systems,” she said about the event’s scalable widespread impact, which drew 5,600 people last year.

Inspiring others to speak bravely

As for what’s next, Tibebu has her eyes set on three goals: growing the digital health community, enabling early career underrepresented individuals to have opportunities on stage, and impacting incumbents of power to accelerate solutions to the barriers that persist in health care.

On stage, Tibebu speaks openly about the need for more clinicians of color and representation within the mental health workforce. Often the only person of color in the room, she continues to speak her truth and push for change. “You never know whose lives you’re going to change by sharing your story.”

Solome Tibebu ’12 receives the Spirit of St. Thomas Award from former University of St. Thomas President Julie Sullivan during the annual St. Thomas Day award ceremony on May 4, 2022. (Liam James Doyle/University of St. Thomas)