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Two Founder Institute San Francisco graduate companies, Ultimatum Inc. and StrainConnect, have recently teamed up to help raise awareness and donations to support U.S. veterans suffering from PTSD. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, as many as 3.9 million veterans suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in 2018, including an estimated 20% of veterans returning from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

StrainConnect leveraged the Ultimatum platform to fundraise for a nonprofit called Veteran’s Ananda, with the goal of raising awareness and supporting veterans’ mental health. The Ultimatum crowdfunding platform works by empowering individuals to influence the causes they care about and create positive social change. The tools Ultimatum provides allow campaign sponsors to amplify impact by matching donor financial support, and create network incentives by pledging small donations when individuals share the campaign message or hashtag on social media.

For this veterans PTSD awareness campaign on Ultimatum, StrainConnect pledged a small donation for every time someone used the hashtag #VeteransAnanda on Twitter. Veteran’s Ananda is a 501(c)(3) independent nonprofit organization that supports veterans in getting the care that they need and deserve, including access to medical cannabis. Veteran’s Ananda uses traditional and non-traditional treatments and therapies to assist with supporting, healing, and rehabilitating U.S. Armed Services members, veterans, and first responders from across the nation.

This charitable organization was a perfect match for the campaign sponsor: StrainConnect offers a bioscience-backed web app that provides consumers with quality CBD and cannabis product recommendations using lab data. Consumers get personalized recommendations by simply completing a quick 3-minute questionnaire. 

Studies have shown that medical cannabis use can significantly reduce symptoms associated with PTSD, as measured by CAPS (Clinician Administered Post-Traumatic Scale) scores. In light of the ongoing opioid crisis, as well as a rising awareness surrounding mental health conditions, medical cannabis products like CBD are rapidly becoming unstigmatized and widely accepted natural treatment options for patients suffering from a wide variety of symptoms. 

PTSD Symptom Reports of Patients Evaluated for the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program, Journal of psychoactive drugs 46(1):73-7 March 2014

Figure credit "PTSD Symptom Reports of Patients Evaluated for the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program" in Journal of psychoactive drugs 46(1):73-7, March 2014.

Rachael Maddison, the Founder and CEO of StrainConnect, explains the company’s support for Veteran’s Ananda,

Our vets have honorably served our country and have seen and experienced the worst of the worst. Studies around the use of CBD & cannabis to assist with PTSD symptoms are astounding and illustrate that we need to decriminalize its usage. Improving safe and legal access to this natural plant could very well slash the opioid epidemic, while simultaneously assisting our veterans in their time of need. Veteran’s Ananda is taking a bold step forward with their one-of-a-kind facilities to support our vets, and the StrainConnect family wholeheartedly supports their efforts.

Ultimatum is a crowdfunding platform designed specifically to help individuals and organizations to create exactly this kind of targeted social impact. We at the Founder Institute are always excited to see collaborations among FI portfolio companies and are heartened to see StrainConnect channel their own expertise in medical cannabis into a campaign that helps raise awareness and funding for a charitable organization like Veteran’s Ananda, whose social impact is so closely aligned with their own mission. 

To learn more about StrainConnect’s campaign for Veteran’s Ananda, or to make a donation, click here to visit the Ultimatum campaign page, or tweet your support using the hashtag #VeteransAnanda.

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Graduates of the Founder Institute are creating some of the world's fastest growing startups, having raised over $800M in funding, and building products people love across over 180 cities worldwide.

See the most recent news from our Grads at FI.co/news, or learn more about their stories at FI.co/journey


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