Family mental health platform Lumi crowned champion at knockout Digital Product Showcase 

A doctor for five years, Mark Cox turned to entrepreneurship in attempt to tackle a noticeable family mental health crisis, which resulted in the launch of Lumi – a venture that led him to be named the victor at our debut Digital Product Showcase with Barclays Eagle Labs and UK government.

The Product Builder Programme and Product Growth Programme, which are powered by Barclays Eagle Labs, funded by UK government and delivered by Plexal, have concluded with the arrival of our Digital Product Showcase.

Revamping the traditional demo day format with a unique head-to-head spin that Rocky Balboa would likely be proud of, we transformed the Centre Stage at Plexal Stratford into a sporting arena complete with a ring that wouldn’t look out of place for a heavyweight bout. This was a fitting backdrop as talented innovators from our community faced off following completion of: 

  • Product Builder Programme – designed to take new entrepreneurs from idea to MVP in eight weeks. 
  • Product Growth Programme – designed to support startups with innovative digital products and technologies in their pursuit of product-market fit. 

As part of the Digital Product Showcase, eight founders went up against each other, delivering 60-second pitches to a live audience of fellow leaders, investors and tech fans, with crowd participation deciding who would take home the win with each round – the red or blue corner.

The matchups were:

Bodii (Product Growth Programme) is a healthtech solution allowing physiotherapy patients to measure range of movement and receive personalised feedback using AI.  
Taught by Humans (Product Growth Programme) is designed to help employees become AI and data confident, harnessing hyper-personalisation to understand how people learn.

VidPlate (Product Builder Programme) is a platform that taps into the power of AI and Automation tech to fast-track the creation of high-quality video and static ads at scale. 
Legacy Compass (Product Builder Programme) is a family-shared platform to store memories and wishes as well as essential documents and information.

Doshi (Product Growth Programme) is a gamified financial education platform for financial institutions to equip their customers with money confidence. 


biostealthAI (Product Growth Programme) is a method of health monitoring through everyday objects to make it easier to identify potential problems and manage prevention.

Pregma (Product Growth Programme) is a dedicated community of maternity expert healthcare professionals and individuals working to redefine private healthcare.
Lumi (Product Growth Programme) is a digital platform built to transform how young people and families are supported to improve their mental wellbeing.

Three intense rounds later, Mark Cox, the founder and CEO at Lumi, was crowned the champion of the Digital Product Showcase and gave this heartfelt speech upon winning:

Zen on the Plexal marketing team had the pleasure of speaking with Mark, who graduated from Newcastle University in 2018 before finding employment with the NHS. “During my career, I explored various medical specialties but never quite found my niche,” he began. “However, I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit.”

Mark tapped into that creative flair by founding an Instagram page called thestraighttalkingdr, covering lifestyle, medicine and mental health, with his focus eventually narrowing on the latter. “Witnessing the challenges faced by young people in accessing mental health support, especially in A&E settings, prompted me to take action,” he detailed. “That’s when the idea for Lumi was born.”

Explaining the admirable Lumi mission with passion and charisma – which ultimately won over the captivated crowd during the Digital Product Showcase – Mark said: “Lumi aims to address the growing family mental health crisis. One in five young people today has a mental health condition and this takes a toll on their families as well.”

While Mark flagged that existing solutions focus on the child or provide short-term interventions, Lumi sets itself apart to be an all-in-one platform to support the emotional health of families with a format geared to the parents but, importantly, centred around the child. “We aim to make our services accessible, starting with a free MVP,” Mark detailed.

The concept came to Mark in May 2022. He initially focused on loneliness and conducted interviews and workshops in schools, a research task that led him to realise parents contributed to the problem children faced in some cases. “So, we conducted surveys and interviews with parents, leading us to refine the idea further,” Mark said. “It’s been an iterative process, with the platform’s development now in full swing.”

Of course, no startup journey comes without hurdles to leap across and this much was true for Mark in his desire to reimagine how children and parents receive support. “One of the biggest challenges has been gaining credibility and trust from experts in the mental health field,” he shared. “As a doctor I wasn’t a mental health specialist and I knew that our platform had to be rooted in evidence and scientifically backed. Therefore, convincing professionals to support our vision and adapt to changes in our approach, especially as we refined the concept, was challenging. Open communication, humility and admitting my own limitations have been key to overcoming this obstacle.”

With Mark’s entry into the Plexal community through his time on the Product Builder Programme, we heard how he discovered our initiative with Barclays Eagle Labs. “I was fortunate to be introduced to Product Builder through a contact at Barclays, Luca Forte, who suggested it as a suitable option after I discussed Lumi with him,” he explained. “Once I saw the opportunity, I realised it aligned perfectly with our needs, helping us accelerate our development.”

From a cohort of 100 idea-stage entrepreneurs, Mark was selected to be part of the Product Builder Bootcamp stage of the programme, which saw him enter an in-person cohort of just ten founders. “Product Builder has been instrumental in revalidating our approach and refining our idea,” he said. “We’ve received valuable insights and networking opportunities. Collaborating with a product mentor and receiving guidance on creating an MVP has been particularly beneficial. The programme has given us the confidence and structure to move forward with our project.”

And move forward he did. From completing the Product Builder Programme, Mark wasted no time and swiftly entered the Product Growth Programme at the start of the year to further refine Lumi. Commenting on his participation, Mark said: “Product Growth provided a platform to meet founders two steps ahead of us. Hearing about their journeys and learning from them was hugely beneficial.”

In addition to honing and refining Lumi, Mark can still be found in hospitals. “I’m currently working as a locum doctor at A&E, covering two days a week,” he revealed. “To support myself and Lumi, I often look after dogs with my girlfriend. It’s a bit of a juggling act but I believe it will pay off in the long run.”

With the victory of being named winner of the Digitial Product Showcase under his newly received championship belt, evidently Mark’s work is indeed paying off already.

Looking ahead to the future, Mark concluded: “We just completed our initial pilots with schools and have proven the effectiveness of using WhatsApp. Our plan is to now run our first paid cohort with parents whilst we secure additional funding to hire our team, expand our service and develop our proprietary AI model.  Our ethos is centred around accessibility and therefore our business model balances profit with purpose. As we expand, we plan to offer subscriptions, the option to sponsor others and partnerships with schools and businesses to ensure those who need it most can access support.”

Would you like to be part of the next Product Builder Programme? If so, you’ve got until Monday 13th May to submit your application.