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Founder15: Grin Lord, mpathic


The Founder15 is a blog series where we profile founders of Work Tech companies in their own words. Today, we bring you Dr. Grin Lord, Founder and CEO of mpathic, a contextual writing and audio tool helping people and organizations develop skills for greater understanding, compassion, and insight via AI-powered analytics, correction, and empathy training.

  1. “Tell me about you.” How do you answer that question? I am a licensed clinical psychologist and research scientist by training. I spent about 15 years researching the exact words and phrases that increase objective perception of empathy, trust, and alliance. I have two incredible kids, two hairless cats, and an intrepid husband. I like karaoke, boba tea, and teaching other women to play poker.
  2. What’s your company’s origin story? Where to start when you’ve been studying something for 15 years? Here are two interesting facts from my research that influenced the origin: (1) you can’t train people to become more empathic from a workshop or a PowerPoint presentation, and (2) just-in-time coaching is one of the best ways to shape human communication. We turned this research  into an API that can detect and correct any problem to enhance any SaaS platform to improve conversations and prevent issues before they occur. It’s kind of like Grammarly for empathy.
  3. Why is your company different? We’re built by psychologists and AI experts. Our communication models were created by having domain experts label all the good and bad things in communication; I call it “psychological language processing.”  Any HR SaaS can increase employee retention and candidate acceptance rates instantly without workshops or needing to hire an AI/ML team by plugging in our API-first product.
  4. Why do you do what you do? Empathy is for everyone. I believe almost everyone can be trained to understand another person accurately and build trust; they just might not know where to start.  Even the best of us need reminders. Big picture, I hope mpathic can improve mental health and prevent miscommunications at work through just-in-time feedback.
  5. What do you know now that you wish you had known before you started your company? Pragmatically, I wish I had just known a bunch of the jargon that comes with entering tech and venture spaces – I used to think psychologists had the most abbreviations for things; I was wrong.
  6. Who is a company founder you admire and why? My fellow psychologist Dr. Sarah Adler of Wave Life, mental health coaching for companies with Gen Z employees. I had the opportunity to watch her transition from academia to entrepreneurship; she has been instrumental in providing me with both advice and validation in this process. 
  7. What professional accomplishment are you most proud of? Founding mpathic and the culture that we’ve been able to create here. Every day, I am astonished and humbled by my team and the incredible amount of knowledge and experience they bring to the table.
  8. Number of unread emails at your work email? Don’t ask me about tabs, unread emails, unread texts, and voicemail messages. I truly scare everyone when they look at my phone. 
  9. What’s your favorite album and why? Beyoncé’s Lion King: The Gift – I’m in the BeyHive.
  10. iPhone or Android? Have you seen a group text with Android and iPhone users?
  11. Have you ever been fired? I was laid off from a conversational AI company at the end of 2020, while at the same time, my father received an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Because of lockdown restrictions in memory care,  I moved my parents into my home in Seattle to take care of him. I also had two young kids doing remote online schooling at home, a young toddler and a 5-year-old who was about to start kindergarten. It was impossible for me to work for someone else and take care of everyone. I knew if I wanted to work, I would need to start my own company on my own schedule. I started innovating when everyone was asleep, from 9 pm to 2 am. Thankfully I had my friend and colleague Nic Bertagnolli, who was also trapped during COVID, to help me. We took everything we’d learned from prior start-ups and academia to figure out how to train people with empathy instantly, and mpathic was born!
  12. Are you a morning person or a night person? Night person. Our customers in India may actually believe I am in the IST timezone.
  13. What app on your phone is your biggest time waster? I was recently addicted to Tiktok. I found a lot of value in it because anyone can put up a video from anywhere in the world, and I learned so much from a global perspective. But when I had to answer this question on a podcast recently, just hearing how addicted I was to it made me delete the app! Funny how that works.
  14. What’s one thing that people would be surprised to learn about you? My name Grin comes from my middle name – Peregrine, like the falcon. When I was around age 12 or 13, my parents decided to become wildlife filmmakers, and we lived in an RV every summer and eventually full-time. We’d spend months in RV parks, my parents waiting around to catch footage of rare birds and me looking for ways to entertain myself. 
  15. What’s your go-to order at Starbucks? I’ll take boba over everything any day of the week.

Note to readers: This is a series for Work Tech Founders. If you’re interested in being a part of it, email us at

Joanna Castle

Account Manager

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