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Togetherly: the startup keeping relationships going

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Meeting someone online is commonplace. Tech platforms like Tinder and Bumble are now ubiquitous and without stigma. But where is the industry love for established relationships? Enter: Togetherly, a new startup by psychological researcher Holly Dixon, which turns relationship science into actionable advice.

Holly is currently working towards completing her PhD in Psychological Medicine at the University of Auckland. It was while studying that Holly received an email from the Velocity entrepreneurship programme – “Commercialise your research”, it said. Holly contacted staff at the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to see if her idea for a venture was something of interest. She was encouraged to enter the 2018 Velocity $100k Challenge, and went on to win the social entrepreneurship category.

Togetherly’s services include an online course that Holly teaches called “Growing Togetherly” and she is about to offer one-on-one relationship coaching. The online aspect to her business means that she will be able to offer knowledge and expertise at scale and delivered via a medium that the current generation are comfortable with. Holly says “I saw a funny tweet the other day: “millennials love therapy so much that I’m about to start making my services available for purchase on wedding and baby registries”. It’s tongue in cheek but I think it speaks to the millennial motivation to improve themselves and the world.”

Holly is similarly motivated to make an impact. Her whole career has been in service of others with roles as a tutor, case manager at the Ministry of Social Development, teaching fellow and psychology researcher. She now wants to democratise relationship counselling and education.  “I got tired of doing and reading research that only gets read by academics and a few therapists. I want people to benefit from this information so that they can protect the most important thing in their lives: their relationships. I have been inspired by the Gottman Institute’s mission to bring relationship science to the people, but I want to draw on a broader range of research, more up-to-date research and do it in a way that better connects and engages a younger audience”.

Holly’s instincts for a gap in the market are supported by recent reports which show that globally the Sextech industry has been valued at US$30 billion-dollar and is growing at 30 percent each year, which is faster than the drone industry.  Holly cites OMGYes and DIPSEA as inspirational in the way they have adapted innovative new technologies to deliver relationship advice.

Togetherly continues to develop supported by the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Holly went through the Centre’s six-month incubation programme, VentureLab, and has made the most of the mentors she has encountered and the networks she has formed which she will keep into the future. She is currently focussed on completing her PhD, expanding Togetherly’s online presence and developing her services.

For someone who delivers advice for a living, what is the best piece of advice she has received so far? “Purpose beats anxiety any day. But also my favourite quote of all time is “We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be” – Jane Austen”.

 

James Hutchinson
James Hutchinson

social media

Meeting someone online is commonplace. Tech platforms like Tinder and Bumble are now ubiquitous and without stigma. But where is the industry love for established relationships? Enter: Togetherly, a new startup by psychological researcher Holly Dixon, which turns relationship science into actionable advice.

Holly is currently working towards completing her PhD in Psychological Medicine at the University of Auckland. It was while studying that Holly received an email from the Velocity entrepreneurship programme – “Commercialise your research”, it said. Holly contacted staff at the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to see if her idea for a venture was something of interest. She was encouraged to enter the 2018 Velocity $100k Challenge, and went on to win the social entrepreneurship category.

Togetherly’s services include an online course that Holly teaches called “Growing Togetherly” and she is about to offer one-on-one relationship coaching. The online aspect to her business means that she will be able to offer knowledge and expertise at scale and delivered via a medium that the current generation are comfortable with. Holly says “I saw a funny tweet the other day: “millennials love therapy so much that I’m about to start making my services available for purchase on wedding and baby registries”. It’s tongue in cheek but I think it speaks to the millennial motivation to improve themselves and the world.”

Holly is similarly motivated to make an impact. Her whole career has been in service of others with roles as a tutor, case manager at the Ministry of Social Development, teaching fellow and psychology researcher. She now wants to democratise relationship counselling and education.  “I got tired of doing and reading research that only gets read by academics and a few therapists. I want people to benefit from this information so that they can protect the most important thing in their lives: their relationships. I have been inspired by the Gottman Institute’s mission to bring relationship science to the people, but I want to draw on a broader range of research, more up-to-date research and do it in a way that better connects and engages a younger audience”.

Holly’s instincts for a gap in the market are supported by recent reports which show that globally the Sextech industry has been valued at US$30 billion-dollar and is growing at 30 percent each year, which is faster than the drone industry.  Holly cites OMGYes and DIPSEA as inspirational in the way they have adapted innovative new technologies to deliver relationship advice.

Togetherly continues to develop supported by the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Holly went through the Centre’s six-month incubation programme, VentureLab, and has made the most of the mentors she has encountered and the networks she has formed which she will keep into the future. She is currently focussed on completing her PhD, expanding Togetherly’s online presence and developing her services.

For someone who delivers advice for a living, what is the best piece of advice she has received so far? “Purpose beats anxiety any day. But also my favourite quote of all time is “We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be” – Jane Austen”.


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