02 Sep 2020

Meet our Spring 2020 Teams: Betwixt

By Will Spurr

Meet the tech for good startup using an engaging fantasy game to build mental resilience for users. 



The Founders

Hazel Gale is a former world champion kickboxer who, following a burnout, became a practising cognitive hypnotherapist. She teamed up with Elitsa Dermendzhiyska, a science writer, to create a game that will develop mental resilience for users.


How does it work? 

Betwixt is an interactive smartphone game that requires the user to confront their inner world to succeed. It has been described as ‘Lord of the Rings meets Lifeline’. In playing the game, users collect insights that help them think, feel and perform better in the real world.   


What’s the problem being solved? 

Globally, more than 264 million people suffer from depression. Unfortunately, there is a widespread mental health crisis around the world. As a therapist, Hazel notes that people often only seek help for their mental health when it starts to become a large problem – which is often too late and increasingly difficult to unpick negative behaviours. Betwixt can help users take control of their mental health before they reach a crisis point through its engaging game design.


How do they make money?

The app will have a subscription model targeted at people who are interested in gaming and fantasy fiction yet find the mental health apps available to be unengaging. They’re also looking to working with universities and companies to help communities within these organisations develop common narratives of mental resilience. 


How are they getting on? 

They’re currently beta testing the game – which you can help out with – they’ll release the story in parts towards the end of 2020. Each part of the story is developed with support from fantasy author Natalia Theodoridou, which is then translated into a digital environment, tested, researched through user interviews and fine-tuned. 


How can you get involved?

You can help them out with their beta testing – which is an exciting opportunity to take a sneak peak at the game. They’re very keen to engage with researchers, developers, designers or psychologists that are interested in learning more about the app.


Banner photo credits – Claudel Rheault, Unsplash