New World Angels Announces Investment in TAO Connect, Inc.

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New World Angels has led a $1.1 million investment in TAO Connect, Inc., a St. Petersburg based company providing online mental health tools for college students who suffer from depression and anxiety.

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“TAO Connect addresses the growing demands put on college counseling centers across the country by providing therapists with a transformational way to deliver mental health care."

New World Angels (NWA) recently led, along with Florida Angels Network (FAN) and Florida Funders, a $1.1 million investment in TAO Connect, Inc. (TCI), a St. Petersburg-based company that has pioneered a Therapist Assisted Online (TAO) integrated treatment platform of evidence-based tools for providing online mental health treatment. TCI intends to use advanced analytics and machine learning to customize mental health treatment plans, maximize patient engagement and improve outcomes. TCI, a start-up from the University of Florida’s Innovation Hub, is initially focused on serving the needs of college students who suffer from depression and anxiety. Steve Belous, member of NWA and a new member of the TCI Board of Directors stated “The opportunities for improving mental health care through enhanced tele-medicine are significant and the experiences and background of Bob Clark, Chief Executive Officer, and Sherry Benton, Ph.D. Chief Science Officer and Founder, will allow TCI to provide a service of critical need.”

The funding will be used for TAO’s ongoing product development, marketing and expansion into non-university settings, including: veterans’ services, private practice therapists, and Medicare patients. “Our partnership with New World Angels allows us to continue development of our mental health tools that provide effective treatment options for counseling centers. We believe that expansion of therapists’ services creates benefits for the student and the community at large, as well as building a solid foundation for a thriving business,” said founder Dr. Sherry Benton, President Emeritus of the Academy of Counseling Psychology and mental health care administrator for 22 years.

“TAO Connect addresses the growing demands put on college counseling centers across the country by providing therapists with a transformational way to deliver mental health care. People are connected to their phones more than ever and TAO Connect harnesses the power of mobile and machine learning in a game changing way.” said Rhys Williams, Co-Founder and President of New World Angels.

About New World Angels:
The New World Angels is a group of private investors dedicated to providing equity capital to early-stage entrepreneurial companies based in Florida. With chapters in both Tampa Bay and South Florida, NWA leads or co-invests at levels ranging between $600 thousand and $1.5 million internally, and at significantly higher levels as part of a syndicate. Members of NWA have extensive experience in founding, building, and managing companies in a wide variety of industries. In addition to providing funding, NWA members make their expertise and resource networks available to portfolio companies.

About TAO Connect, Inc.:
Former head of University of Florida Wellness Center and Founder of TCI, Dr. Sherry Benton realized that the traditional one-on-one therapy session model would never be able to serve the growing need on college campuses for expanded mental health care services. TCI combines mobile technology and integrated SaaS tools to supplement shorter interactive therapy sessions. This innovative approach allows mental health professionals to treat 2-3 times more patients while providing better therapeutic results.

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Sandra Arber
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