Age: 27 • Founder and CEO, Real
As a Stanford sophomore, Safira thought she and her peers were all living every overachiever’s dream.
But when a friend attempted suicide, she realized it was more like
a gilded fantasy. “Her experience in rehab was the first time she had ever encountered the mental-health care system,” Safira says. “Imagine if someone never met a primary care doctor until they’re diagnosed with cancer.” Backed by $16 million from VC shops Lightspeed and
Forerunner, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and soccer star Megan Rapinoe, Safira’s app, Real, provides guides and workshops on common problems like dealing with seasonal
depression. Unlike competitors such as Talkspace that are geared toward people in crisis, Real wants to be a preventive measure that eases users into long-term