Jonathan is the founder of FreeTextbooks, a campus-based commerce platform across 90+ college campuses. In recent years, Jonathan has paid sustained attention to the increasing levels of dissatisfaction and poor mental health on America’s college campuses leading, most dramatically, to a rise in suicide rates on campus. This trend is particularly pronounced on elite campuses where students have, seemingly, achieved a great deal to arrive atop the meritocratic ladder. Why would we see rising rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide here?
Jonathan’s tenure in the Venture Lab will begin by interrogating the unique cluster of trends that have led to this crisis on campus. What do we expect from college students? What sorts of rites of passage do they experience? What do universities provide for students to ensure their well-being? And, importantly, what would a venture seeking to creatively respond to this crisis look like?